I know that I know nothing

The phrase “I know that I know nothing” may sound familiar to you. That’s because, at some point, you must have either heard it from a friend or in school or read it somewhere. It’s a Socratic paradox.

The term, “Socratic paradox” refer to a self-referential paradox, originating in Socrates’s utterance, “what I do not know I do not think I know”, often paraphrased as “I know that I know nothing.”

The following are few of the so-called Socratic paradoxes:

  • What I do not know I do not think I know
  • No one desires evil
  • No one errs or does wrong willingly or knowingly
  • Virtue—all virtue—is knowledge
  • Virtue is sufficient for happiness

I know that I know nothing

The phrase (“I know that I know nothing”) originally comes from Latin “ipse se nihil scire id unum sciat”, which (if literally translated) means “to know that one thing he knows he himself is nothing”.

This does not make much sense if you just read the English translation.

This is because much is lost in the translation (Greek to Latin to back to Greek to English). Also, we have lost most of the historical context and nuances.

My personal opinion is two things are going on here:

1) Socrates is saying, “I know, I do not know things that I don’t know.” (This is factually correct for both Socrates and all of us, but whether you are aware of this fact of life is another topic.)

2) Socrates is saying, “I know, I don’t know anything (besides probably a few things and that too in a shallow sense)”. If you think deeply about it, this also seems to be true for him and as well as anyone of us.

Let us take a deep dive into what I mean by the above (point #2).

The Deeper Truth

We know that Socrates has been the bedrock of Western philosophy. So we can perhaps reverse engineer the foundation of western philosophy to gain some further insight into what actually was said or meant.

Socrates says all wisdom begins with wondering and thus admitting one’s ignorance.

Socrates’ dialectic method of teaching was based on that he as a teacher knew nothing, so he would derive knowledge from his students by dialogue.

There is also a passage by Diogenes Laertius in his work Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers where he lists, among the things that Socrates used to say:

“εἰδέναι μὲν μηδὲν πλὴν αὐτὸ τοῦτο εἰδέναι”

“that he knew nothing except that he knew nothing”
Again, closer to the quote, there is a passage in Plato’s Apology, where Socrates says that after discussing with someone he started thinking that:
τούτου μὲν τοῦ ἀνθρώπου ἐγὼ σοφώτερός εἰμι· κινδυνεύει μὲν γὰρ ἡμῶν οὐδέτερος οὐδὲν καλὸν κἀγαθὸν εἰδέναι, ἀλλ᾽ οὗτος μὲν οἴεταί τι εἰδέναι οὐκ εἰδώς, ἐγὼ δέ, ὥσπερ οὖν οὐκ οἶδα, οὐδὲ οἴομαι· ἔοικα γοῦν τούτου γε σμικρῷ τινι αὐτῷ τούτῳ σοφώτερος εἶναι, ὅτι ἃ μὴ οἶδα οὐδὲ οἴομαι εἰδέναι.
I am wiser than this man, for neither of us appears to know anything great and good; but he fancies he knows something, although he knows nothing; whereas I, as I do not know anything, so I do not fancy I do. In this trifling particular, then, I appear to be wiser than he, because I do not fancy I know what I do not know.

What this tells us is that your knowledge of any subject is always incomplete. As you acquire more facts and truths about a matter, your knowledge increases, oftentimes eliminating previously held wrong assumptions or beliefs.

You are always learning, always seeking, always questioning, always wondering, always doubting, always keeping an open mind that you might be wrong. And as things turn out, you often are…wrong and/or incomplete.

So perhaps, Socrates did mean “I know that I know nothing” but not as an objective fact about himself but as a state of mind.

After all, in the grand scheme of things, none of us know anything that’s truly eternal, the absolute Truth!

One needs to be a forever student. You never stop learning.

Read Next

Top 115 Books of All Time | Books to Make You Wiser

This is my personal list of top books to make you wiser and a better thinker (and a writer, if you are into writing). But, most importantly each one of these books is life-changing and full of wisdom.

By the way, these books span five continents, dozens of countries and 2000 years of distilled human experience.

I’ll continue to add to this list for your enjoyment and my pleasure! So as time goes by the number of books will increase (and the listing is in no particular order).

If you have a recommendation, please let me know in the comments. Thanks!

“Reading makes our soul richer.” – Salil Jha

1. The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

2. The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran

3. Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari

4. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

5. Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach

6. The Idiot by Fyodor Dostoevsky

7. Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison

8. Medea by Euripides

9. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky

10. The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner

11. Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert

12. A Sentimental Education by Gustave Flaubert

13. Gypsy Ballads by Federico Garcia Lorca

14. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

15. Gilgamesh by Unknown in Mesopotamia (c 1800 BC)

16. Faust by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Library – a place like no other / The Naked Soul

 

17. Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse 

18. Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu  

19. The Devil to Pay in the Backlands by Joao Guimaraes Rosa

20. Hunger by Knut Hamsun

21. The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway

22. The Iliad by Homer

23. The Odyssey by Homer

24. Ulysses by James Joyce

25. The Complete Stories by Franz Kafka

26. Alice in Wonderland by Jane Carruth

27. The Recognition of Sakuntala by Kalidasa, India

28. The Sound of the Mountain by Yasunari Kawabata

29. Zorba the Greek by Nikos Kazantzakis

30. Sons and Lovers by D.H. Lawrence

31. Independent People by Halldor K Laxness

32. Complete Poems by Giacomo Leopardi

33. The Golden Notebook by Doris Lessing

Books transform us with transpersonal experiences / The Naked Soul

 

34. The First and Last Freedom by Jiddu Krishnamurti  

35. Diary of a Madman and Other Stories by Lu Xun

36. Mahabharata by Vyasa India (500 BC)

37. Children of Gebelawi by Naguib Mahfouz

38. The Magic Mountain by Thomas Mann

39. Moby Dick by Herman Melville

40. Essays by Michel de Montaigne

41. History by Elsa Morante

42. Beloved by Toni Morrison

43. The Tale of Genji by Shikibu Murasaki

44. The Man Without Qualities by Robert Musil

45. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov

46. Njaals Saga by Unknown from Iceland (1300 AD)

47. 1984 by George Orwell

48. Metamorphoses by Ovid (43 BC)

49. The Book of Disquiet by Fernando Pessoa

50. The Complete Tales by Edgar Allan Poe

51. Remembrance of Things Past by Marcel Proust

52. Gargantua and Pantagruel by Francois Rabelais

53. Pedro Paramo by Juan Rulfo

54. Masnawi (and Collection of Complete Poems) by Rumi

Reading makes us more human / The Naked Soul

 

55. Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie

56. The Orchard by Sheikh Musharrif ud-din Sadi

57. Season of Migration to the North by Tayeb Salih

58. Blindness by Jose Saramago

59. Hamlet by William Shakespeare

60. Othello by William Shakespeare

61. Oedipus the King by Sophocles

62. The Red and the Black by Stendhal

63. The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy by Laurence Sterne

64. Confessions of Zeno by Italo Svevo

65. Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift

66. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

67. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

68. One Thousand and One Nights by Unknown from India/Persia/Iraq

69. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

70. Ramayana by Valmiki, India (300 BC)

71. Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman

72. Mrs. Dalloway and To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf

73. Memoirs of Hadrian by Marguerite Yourcenar

74. The New Testament (The Bible) by various authors 

75. The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason

76. The Stranger by Albert Camus 

77. The Trial by Franz Kafka

78. Middlemarch by George Eliot

79. The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri 

80. The Book of Job (Old Testament) by Unknown 

81. Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

82. Berlin Alexanderplatz by Alfred Doblin

83. Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett

84. Meetings With Remarkable Men by G.I. Gurdjieff  

85. Buddenbrook and The Magic Mountain by Thomas Mann

86. The Story of My Experiments With Truth by Mahatma Gandhi

87. The Dhammapada by Anonymous

88. Lust for Life by Irving Stone

89. The Analects by Confucius 

90. The Outsider by Colin Wilson

91. The Agony and the Ecstasy by Irving Stone

92. A History of Western Philosophy by Bertrand Russell

93. In Search of the Miraculous: Fragments of an Unknown Teaching by P.D. Ouspensky

94. Wandering on the Way: Early Taoist Tales and Parables of Chuang Tzu by Zhuangzi

95. Our Life with Mr. Gurdjieff by Thomas de Hartmann

96. Selected Writings by Meister Eckhart

97. Songs of Milarepa by Milarepa

98. The Myth of Sisyphus and Other Essays by Albert Camus

99. Fathers and Sons by Ivan Turgenev

100. Who Am I? The Teachings of Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi by Ramana Maharshi

101. The Light of Asia by Edwin Arnold

102. Confessions by Augustine of Hippo

103. Mother by Maxim Gorky

104. Japji Sahib – The Song of the Soul by Guru Nanak

105. The Three Pillars of Zen by Philip Kapleau

106. The Yoga Sutras by Patanjali
107. The Importance of Living by Lin Yutang
108. Listen, Little Man! by Wilhelm Reich
109. The Will to Power by Friedrich Nietzsche
110. I and Thou by Martin Buber
111. Light on the Path by Mabel Collins
112. Collected Essays by Aldous Huxley
113. The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself by Michael A. Singer
114. Tales of the Hasidim by Martin Buber
115. Jacques the Fatalist and His Master by Denis Diderot

Self Managing Doers: The Future Of Work

Meet Sophia, she is an AI robot.

The Future Of Work

The future belongs to a new class of workers and investors.

What does that mean? Well, this is going to be a short but deep post, so please hang tight.

A month ago, Amazon added $62B to their market cap (or valuation) in a SINGLE DAY. In fact just within the 7 and half hours of the trading day. How did they do that?

To understand this large number (sixty-two billion), you have to know that the entire FedEx company is worth $61B. Airbnb is $30B and Pinterest just $10B. My point here is how come Amazon is managing to produce so much reach, revenue, and growth year after year?

The short answer is smart machinery. Yes, smart, intelligent robot workers. An army of self-managing doers (just that in Amazon’s case, a lot of these workers are just robots).

The reason, Amazon was able to lock in this boost is because of its ever-expanding reach, influence, and control. For Amazon, the customer is not just the king but everything.

This philosophy has made Amazon into a ruthless, productivity-slave-king. Like Uber, the customers love it, but, the workers pay for it by working HARD. Or, worse, losing their job to a new shiny machine.

So, what can we mortal humans do? How do we continue to grow our small companies against the giants with an army of robots? Or, as an employee, how do we protect our job and income?

Again, the short answer is by having a lean business model and as a human worker, become more valuable. Welcome to the world of “self-managing doers”.

Self Managing Doers

The future belongs to those who can produce and ship goods at a cheaper cost and faster pace than their competitors. An army of bots, super-computers, global, decentralized teams, and automation jobs will be utilized in an ever-increasing proportion to bring the fixed cost down.

More and more people will lose their jobs or will work harder and longer for a pay cut (not directly, but through inflation and loss of benefits). Take a moment and think about it.

Middle management will become obsolete as they are neither good with the company’s vision nor good at “doing the actual work”. In the future, most employees will report to a Vice President or a Director, or Team Leads.

The team leads will be workers and not managers. Just like a sports team, they will serve in a dual role for the same pay. What will be their reward for additional 2 hours of managing team members and writing reports? Social status.

Non-performing employees (technical or not) will be seen as a burden and fired fast. Eventually, the workforce will look more and more like productive human-like bots who will self-manage their duties and report on tasks completion. These will be the new working class of near-future. Fueled by technology, they will be self-managing doers.

Companies, small or large, will be wi-fi connected distributed teams of “self-managing doers” who’ll ship code to toys to groceries using drones, self-driving cars, and the satellite powered Internet.

For the curious: Besides sharing my life stories and writing poetry, currently, I along with my wife, we are also trying to make this world a little more brave, free, kind, and compassionate by designing wanderlust & adventure themed t-shirts and handmade accessories. Please check them out here: www.artoftravel.store

We share our travel adventures and stories on The Art of Travel blog.

Life After 18 | 51 Hard Truths of Real World

In the ancient times, wars, food, a constant struggle for life used to turn children into adults through a series of life-events (most of which were not always pleasant).

But in our modern world, it’s not exactly clear when one truly enters the adulthood. Is it when we get to legally drive a car or drink alcohol or are no longer our parent’s control? Or, is it when we find a paying job or secure a relationship or have a career or all of the above?

It’s somewhat sad when on the one hand science and society tells you that the human brain doesn’t stop developing until age 25 and at the same time your inner adult doesn’t get to express herself (or himself) until much later when you are beaten down with debts, social obligations, and converted into a social norm following, play by the rules kinda zombie.

Life After 18

Going by the philosophy of this blog, I believe, each soul already possesses what it should do and which paths it needs to follow. Almost everything we face from the time we turn 18 (at the dawn of adulthood), is a series of resistance to thwart us from our path.

As we age and slowly learn more about ourselves, about our own strengths, and about the many lies of society, we begin to take control of our life (if we are lucky). Most humans are not fortunate enough to ever claim their freedom. If you are reading this, chances are, you value your life and you seek freedom above all else.

Below is a short list of truths about life that I have realized over the years. Eventually, each one us learns these on our own. But, the sooner you internalize these truths, the better your life will be.

Hard Truths of Real World

  1. Everything is a choice. A choice is a fork in the moment. Each choice has consequences. Consequences have consequences.
  2. You begin adulthood with nothing figured out. But so does everyone else.
  3. Everything that you’ll do now, you will own it for the rest of your life. Therefore think before you commit to do something or do anything.
  4. The most powerful thing that you’ll ever learn is “compound interest.” Take it seriously. Compounding looks boring at first but then quickly makes things grow exponentially. It’s hard to mentally calculate in exponential terms.
  5. Everything compounds in life. Your health. Your relationships. Your money. Your knowledge and skills.
  6. No one can (or will) make you happy. Making you happy is your job.
  7. Happiness is a state of being. To be happy, be happy. That is all to it.
  8. You would always feel you wish you saved more. So start saving from the day you earn your first penny.
  9. There are two kinds of work you’ll ever do. Work that generates income and work that generates meaning. Your real job, therefore, is to marry the two.
  10. Most managers aren’t leaders or managers, but simply slave drivers with no alignment with the company’s vision or inner desire to truly manage.
  1. Freedom doesn’t begin with making a lot of money but by being self-aware and making yourself grounded in your own truths.
  2. Speaking of which, financial freedom is not “true freedom”. It’s a part of freedom pie (and not the whole pie).
  3. Self-awareness is more important than hard work. The more you know about yourself, the more successful you’ll be.
  4. If you make twice the amount of above poverty line and have a family, get a good life insurance.
  5. Life is fragile, cherish it every moment. People are fragile, be kind to everyone.
  6. Animals are consciously evolved creatures. Be kind to all life forms.
  7. If you need help, be the first person to help yourself.
  8. Health is the first wealth (the key) that allows you to enjoy the rest of your wealth.
  1. Time is the most valuable asset. Your lifetime is finite. No matter how hard and smart you work, you can never gain any more of it then what’s given to you each day.
  2. Become worthy to find a worthy mate or a worthy life-partner or a worthy friend.
  3. Be the person you wish your parents or teachers or coaches were.
  4. Don’t take any advice from someone who is not walking the talk. Money advises from broke. Health advises from overweight. Relationship advises from unhappy singles.
  5. Because someone was divorced three times, doesn’t mean they know the most about human relationships. Too many failed relationships show the person doesn’t really value long-term partnership over personal freedom.
  6. Every successful relationship requires both sacrifice and understanding.
  7. Most people fight over trivial matters. Most fights are fought over trivial matters.
  8. If you truly value someone as your true friend, you’ll always find time to cherish their every life-events opportunities (wedding, baby showers, big birthday milestones, national recognition, big anniversary milestones, funeral, etc.).
  9. Everyone is busy. But, everyone has time for things they think are most important to them.
  10. You never really ever graduate from The University of Hard Knocks. Each time you think you are done learning, you are quickly humbled.
  11. When people ask for advice, what they are really asking for is validation.
  12. Debt is not fun. You must absolutely avoid them. (There is very few exceptions to when debt is okay. In general, debt is never okay.)
  13. Long-term thinking, planning, and execution will always outperform short-term thinking, planning, and execution (in a long-term).
  14. When in doubt, say ‘yes’ to life. Serendipity is real and can have a significant positive impact on your life in most unexpected ways.
  15. The more you understand probability (in a mathematically correct way), the better your decision-making process will become.
  16. Hope is just a measure of anticipation of an expected outcome.
  17. Hope makes the many difficulties of human life endurable.
  18. It’s never too early to learn about game theory and developing good heuristics.
  19. The success in the 21st century is measured by not how hard you work or how smart you are but what leverage you have and how long is your lever.
  20. Looks don’t matter for anything meaningful in life and yet looks will matter for everything superficial and material. So, when dealing with the superficial (which is most of the world and worldly events), pay careful attention to your looks (how you dress, hair, smell & hygiene, posture, handshake, and how you talk).
  21. The first impression now beings before someone meeting you for the first time. Social media and internet have ruined that surprise. It’s neither good nor bad news. Just be aware of this fact.
  22. Whichever job you will end up getting will most likely be done by A.I. during your lifetime.
  23. Don’t plan on settling down with a 9-to-5 job. No job is a secure job anymore. 99.99% of workers are replaceable with other human or machine workers.
  24. If your family is spread out, talk to them on the phone (as frequently as possible). This goes back to the rule of “life is uncertain”.
  25. Talk to your friends. Meet in person. Value them. Invest in your relationships that you deem important and valuable. The alternative is you’ll lose all of your friends without putting the effort from your side.
  26. Most people don’t really change with time. Most just pretend. If you discover a fatal character flaw in someone, keep distance. If someone has betrayed you once, they will certainly betray you again.
  27. Life is too short and the earth is too big to not be picky about who you want to be friends with.
  28. When setting goals, aim for the highest, biggest, most unimaginable outcomes. As the saying goes, if you fail, you’ll likely fail much higher. If you achieve, you’ve likely changed the world.
  29. Study Meta learning (learning how to learn). Meta learning is the most important learning.
  30. No one ever has too many good friends. Cherish each of your friendships.
  31. Read and think deeply about the Butterfly effect (ripple effect). Once you grasp the concept, everything you’ll do from that moment onward will be a little more enlightened. (Again, remember everything has consequences and consequences has consequences).
  32. Your level of mastery on any given subject or work will reveal your true level of passion. Mastery gives birth to passion, but passion not always leads to mastery.
  33. Mastery requires dedication and long hours of deep work. Mastery is about understanding something to its atoms.

When I was writing this piece, I could have gone for a 100 or 200, but then I realized, truths can be shared but they can’t be taught. Each one of us must learn our own truths.

So, with this parting final thought, I would purposefully leave this list incomplete. May your life’s journies bring you many more wisdom.

What 18 Years Can Do In Your Life

Jeff Bezos In 1999. Doing the work himself. Buying and selling one book at a time. A long journey from “only books” to “everything” in such a short time.

What a journey! In just 18 years, Amazon turned from being an unknown tiny online store to world’s largest online retailer.

What 18 Years Can Do

This is what 18 years can do in your life. Be it a spiritual path, entrepreneurship, or a life of wanderlust. To some, this may seem like a long time, to others, it may seem like a short time. But the key lesson here is how much growth can be realized in just two short decades.
Eighteen years is nothing when compared to even the average human lifespan.
 
This is what consistency can do in your life. This is what 18 years of working on your dream can do in your life. (Even when no one else believes in your dreams).
 
Below is the Amazon’s stock volatility (from 1997 to 2017) from early difficult years to a half-Trillion dollar market cap.
Jeff Bezos is now the richest person alive. Amazon today is 680 Billon dollar company. It has been one of the largest job creators in the past 10 years. 
 
But do you know how Jeff Bezos started and what was his life like 18 years ago? Below are a couple of photos that showcase his long journey.
 
From this guy…
To this guy…
To becoming this guy…
Do you think you can work on your dreams for 18 years? Do you believe it’s worth it to work hard for 18 years so you can enjoy the rest of your life and be in a position to help others achieve their dreams, just as you did!
 
Bezos’ story doesn’t end with Amazon. It begins with the Amazon and goes into the eternal vastness of the Outer Space. You can take a space ride in Blue Origin, a space tourism company that Jeff founded in the 2000s.
Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

There Will Be No Privacy In Future By 2050

Privacy is dead. Privacy has already lost the battle. There will be no privacy in the future.

The future of instant media powered by Artificial Intelligence will make it impossible to hide your successes or failures.

What do I mean? In this era of intelligent platforms, which knows a lot about us, any noise you make, will be sent far and wide.

Everyone you have ever known (including people who may have blocked you) will hear the cheering noise of your success. (Or, the pitiful cries of your embarrassing failures.)

This should act as a reminder for all of us to do our best, to be our best, and to aim for the best. Because in the near future, whatever you do, whatever you become, will be most likely known by everyone.

No Privacy In Future

Imagine the world in 2050. This is a world where your actions, your thoughts, your impulses are continuously calculated, analyzed, and studied. And the grand irony of this situation is not that this invasion of personal privacy is through hacking or force but by either ignorance or voluntary action.

Humans by nature seek the path of least resistance. If we have learned anything from our history, it is humans will voluntarily give up their rights and privacy in exchange for having less labor. (For example, letting Facebook maintain your user credentials and passwords than creating a new account with new and secure passwords.)

There will be not much difference between a Robo-Citizen and a Human (or a pet). At first, we won’t notice the difference but slowly, slowly as the grave reality of our predicament will be realized, we will try to fight back for our lost privacy! But alas, it will be too late then.

Corporations will rule most of us and few world-class Artificial Intelligence software will, in turn, run these corporate decisions. At some point, the globalized multi-national corporate world will switch from direct human management to algorithm-driven, data-driven analytics and decision.

Again, even the big and powerful corporations won’t notice this change at first but by the time they will do, they will have no choice but to live and die by these algorithms because not following the command of these AI algorithms will mean getting financially destroyed by your global competitors.

I understand you may think this future prediction is incorrect and unnecessarily dark and negative. But, the sad truth is this “dark and negative future” is already here, just not fully distributed and fully executed.

On the positive side, we all can decide to do something about it. The most important of all, we should not give up our personal privacy in exchange for reducing some manual human work. We should not give up our privacy in the name of latest apps.

Privacy is a human right and like any rights, you have to defend it (or else it will be taken away).

Let me know what your thoughts are on the internet and digital privacy issue? Are you concerned or you don’t care about personal privacy at all? Please leave your thoughts in the comments section below.

Travel Is The Best Thing You Can Bring To The Table

Recently, I was having an interesting conversation with one of my team member at The Art of Travel. I think it is worth sharing here as well.

One of the “best skill” that you can bring to any team or project is your “travel experiences.” The more you travel, the better you can serve any project and in any team setting. Why is that?

Because travel will show you the many aspects of human existence and a deeper glimpse into the human persona. You can see the hidden human desires and wants. What is it that we all really want? As a species, do we truly value family, peace, and happiness? Maybe not.

Knowing how little it costs to travel and how much more you get as a reward, it amazes me how we put off our travels and vacations until after our retirement. How beautiful and beneficial it is to travel outside of our comfort zone. Then, why don;t we travel as much?Traveling (near or far) makes you a bigger person, a more experienced and independent person, a more confident person, a more alive and accepting person.

The truth is, we want to but we don’t. Why? Because of the fear of losing what little hands we have been played in our life. We don’t want to take a risk because as a species, we are motivated by fear and not faith. Let this thought sink in for a moment.

Traveling (near or far) makes you a bigger person, a more experienced and independent person, a more confident person, a more alive and accepting person. Traveling gives you the faith.

So, what’s the most important skill that you can put on your resume? It is how often do you travel and how many places you have been to. Travel is the cure to our inner fear. And, by travel, I don’t mean a fancy Switzerland or Hawaii vacation. A roadtrip over the weekend can be equally powerful.

So, for you own sake and your work’s sake, please take as many days off to travel as many you can afford. The more we all travel, the more humble and accepting we all will become of other cultures and people.

In fact, The Art of Travel mission is to enable and inspire millions of people to travel. When achieved, I would count that as a huge success of my life! Travel is the best education and it is freely available to anyone who seeks it.

I Hate Unfinished Business

Last year, this was the week when my brother told me that doctors are suspecting that Dad might have Cancer. He was not getting better and all other options were crossed. Doing a Biopsy was the last remaining test. This was hard for him and everyone.

I suspected this through intuition since January. I told Neha (my fiancee) I am having a bad feeling about Cancer (not sure why). I was reading, researching and watching everything that I could find on Cancer. It’s weird, I know, but I was having precognition about my dad’s real condition.

In all, my father passed away battling cancer on March 5th. So, it was just 48 days from doctor’s suggestion to death. So much can happen in 48 days. I am sad about this but also insightful on how to use my time here. Today, all can be well and the next thing you know is you have just 48 days to live.

I have many videos, voice recordings, and notes that I took during those 48 days but still haven’t found the courage to go back and write my dad’s story and a video of his final days with us.

Unfinished Business

I could not give him anything back and that is the sharpest pain. What keeps me sane though is at least he went away in peace knowing he had a successful life, he has two sons who turned out to be decent, an awesome family who came forward with support, and a loving wife who stood by his side until the end.

Writing this short blog is my humble attempt to break free from the fear of feeling immense pain as my wounds are not healed yet. It may never get healed. But I need to tell my father’s story.

This way I can feel at peace and tell my father, “Dad, I miss you. I love you. I remember you. You are with me. You did great. I will continue to keep you alive in my heart.”

To Feel Pain Is To Be Alive

Do what you need to do, do what you want to do. Anticipate pain. Without pain, you won’t last long under pressure. Pain is the jet fuel for inner motivation. People say pain is temporary, don’t give up. Don’t quit. BS. Pain is not temporary. Pain is intermittent. It should never be completely absent. When you reach the state of zero pain, you are dead. Pain is resistance. And, there is no growth without resistance.

Be glad that you have today. Align your intention and your thoughts. Seize your chance while you have your breath.

Think about it.

“Find a place inside where there’s joy, and the joy will burn out the pain.” – Joseph Campbell

Everyone Says It Can’t Be Done

How do you know if you will be successful? How can you tell if you will make it to the end of the tunnel? The answer is “you can’t!” The only thing you can do is to keep the faith and keep walking. You can only give your best. You can plan and strategize. You can mitigate risks. But, you can’t guarantee any particular outcome. That’s the fun of life, business or almost anything under the sun.

There will be negative thoughts, doubts, fear, and obstacles on the way and you’ll have to cross them. You will not fear the ghosts if you have already anticipated them and made plans.

I still have to pay $5800 to the bank for my previous business loan (of $20K). There is no business loan for my new venture “The Art of Travel” until I am even. But, I have managed to put together a team. A team of over 10 people if I count myself. When you do not have cash, you are left with “creativity”. There is no other option. It’s “do or die.”

It Can’t Be Done

When David had to fight Goliath, he did not have time to go to the gym or a spartan academy. David did not have the money for buying the best sword in the market. He had no cash. He had no time but the present moment and the challenge at hand.

In life, each one of us are put into David’s situation. Either you plan and wait for the best time or you use your brain and find a way out. You want to look good, get fit, make money, start a church, travel, be financially free — then do it.

Start now, because there is no ideal circumstances, ever. This is planet earth. Welcome to the world of dust. The stars are not part of the earth but they can shine and be part of your eyes if you fix your eyes on them. But first, you must make friends with the dust of the ground.

Transformative Change Through Organic Inquiry

There are times in our lives when we all feel we’re on the top. But, there are also times when we slip down unknowingly. They are the high and low points of our life. Sometimes, I wonder why we need to experience these low points, when in fact; we know that such states make us unhappy, doubtful, and unsatisfied? Why is there a need for us to step down from the highest point of our lives? I used the Organic Inquiry method to discover some answers for myself.

Organic inquiry is looking within and narrating our own story. The ego and rational mind are put aside while we seek to understand the greater connection of the various life events.

Life may be so harsh that without a warning, the wheels turn and you suddenly go down. This is traumatic. What is the purpose of being in that stage of life? The answer is simple yet deep.

We need to experience the low points of our life for us to notice that we were once on the top. Sounds confusing, right? Because it is.

When we experience the high points in our life, we feel happy, fulfilled, and satisfied. You really cannot ask for more. But, why is that, when we experience the low points in our life, we feel sad, betrayed and unsatisfied? When we experience the low points in our life, we always ask God or some Supreme being or force to bring back everything to the normal. Often times we blame others, and God for all the misfortunes that came into our lives.

Problems, challenges, and tough circumstances, are given into our lives for us to grow and see what we are capable of. It is important for us to grow not only physically, but also, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and in all aspects of our life. We need to be better than the person we are yesterday. We need to learn, grow and evolve. We need to know the fact that this world is the biggest classroom (a transformative trip) that we’ve got. Learning never stops.

The low points in our lives come with a purpose. It is not given to us just to feel how it feels like to be at the bottom, but it is given to us because it has something to show and something to let us know and learn. The low points in our lives serve as our teacher. It teaches us how to be strong to beat all challenges, how to build our confidence despite the unwanted situation, how to surpass those challenges successfully, and how to become a better person. The low points make us realize that we are capable of something more, that we are far more than what we expect from ourselves.

When life begins to get hard, we need to be strong. But above all, we need to appreciate its coming and see the truth that it is temporary and for a reason. There is no problem in truth if there is a solution. If you think of countless of reasons to give up, just think of one reason why you should hold on, and you’ll see yourself moving forward. You are not alone. Some people envy your position right now.

There is no problem if there is a solution. There is no solution if there is no problem. The highs and lows, the good and bad, the happy or sad are states of our human existence. No life is immune to this law. If you think of countless of reasons to give up, just think of one reason why you should hold on, and you’ll see yourself moving forward. You are not alone. Remember, many people envy your position right now (no matter where you are).

If life is perfect, then that is not the earthly life. There is no evolution without the oscillation between the highs and lows. Life consists of both good times and time of sorrow and miseries. If it remains stagnant, most probably, you are not alive. To live means constantly transforming.

A Day Without My Phone: A Transformative Experience

Today, I forgot to take my cell phone in the morning. And what happened is nothing short of a transformative experience.

I woke up, got fresh, boiled water, made coffee with organic coconut oil, ate a banana and left for the work. Usually, my fiance and I drive to work together as we have only one car. I dropped her to her office.

Five minutes into the drive I was searching for my mobile. I wanted to connect my phone to my car so we could discuss one of the intriguing podcasts that I heard a couple of days ago. Well, no podcast to listen to and discuss about, we talked about life in general, the algorithm for traffic calculation and prediction, and the lifestyle choices that we have made (including the decision to travel together in the morning and use the commute time as time spent together).

On most days, we usually just talk while driving but with our cell phones and hundred of pressing issues, we end up talking about our businesses and many projects that we run together: The Art of Travel, The Naked Soul, Fit Couple Goals, and so on…

But, today was different. I was without my phone and her phone was in her bag. There was no pressure for making an Instagram post or to send a snap on Snapchat. Today was about just the two of us. Her and me. It was wonderful.

I dropped her and with no cellphone in the car, I had nothing to choose from: music, audio books, podcasts. No shuffling, no selection decision gridlock, no time waste. Just, me and the car. Accelerator, looking into the mirrors and driving forward.

I knew there were no phone calls coming this morning. It was the road in front of me and countless billboards and interesting advertisements. 

I was looking at the road, the cars around me, the people on phone driving, people texting and driving, people so absorbed in their world that they looked more drones and zombie-like than humans. I realized, I used to be one of these creatures. Unfortunately.

Focus is great and hustle is important but we should seek a balance where we don’t skip on living life.

 

Lesson #1. Wow. Powerful. And it was not even 9 am. (I knew by now that this is going to be an interesting day.)

I reached my office earlier than my usual time. I got to my desk and boom! again, a feeling of relief. I have no phone and therefore no pressure of checking emails or my social media notifications. This meant, no distractions.

I directly got onto the work at hand while proudly sipping bullet coffee just to celebrate this moment — my existence in this pure now — in its completeness.

 

Just Glorious!

 

 

Did I know, just having the cell phone with me (whether I look at it or not) was eating up my brain resources and mental focus? Just having the phone with me was making me scattered, all over, making me less human and incomplete. What a shame!

I got done with all my work in half the time and it was already noon. I drove to Qdoba to grab lunch and there I was in this queue as the only human being without a cellphone in his hand. I was standing there with myself. I was enjoying this inner acknowledgment of my existence, that I was present.

I mattered to me and I was living. I was a living creature with a capacity to think and imagine. I was content. I was happier without my phone. The sensation I was feeling was new to me and I liked it.

I got my order and sat in a corner. I ate my lunch without my phone and the food tasted better. Anyways, it was just my food in front of me. No friends or colleagues to talk to, no newspaper to look at, no cell phone to distract me with the endless gossips from the world.

I finished lunch in 6 minutes which felt like 10 minutes long. Earlier, it used to take me a good 15 minutes (sometimes even longer) to finish a small chicken rice bowl.

Wow, I just saved 9 minutes of my lunch time. Now, I can go out and enjoy the warm sunlight a little longer.

I sat in my car in the sun. It felt so good that I wanted to take a nap. But it was time to drive back to work.

I arrived at my client’s site and watched a wild goose family crossing the parking lot in their slo-mo fashion. It was fascinating. My hands went for my phone in my pocket. Oops, no phone. This meant I could not make a video of these geese. I had to savor the moment with just my eyes. This was a heartfelt connection.

It was good to watch these birds and to observe them deeply without the distraction of making a video.

I got back to my room. I did some more work and took a short break at 3 pm.

I said to myself, “wow, look at the sky.” A fleet of private jets coming to Boston. Where is my phone? Sure, this would have been a cool video for Facebook. 

Wait, what!? A cool video for social media. Since when did I dedicate my life to serving people’s insatiable thirst for meaningless entertainment? Am I here on this earth for others or to live deeply? How much time do I have? How much time am I wasting?

Instead, why not call Mom or my family or a friend whom I have not spoken to in ages. Wait, shoot, I don’t have my phone. I can’t call. But, that’s fine, let me shoot them an email. 🙂

I wrote a few emails to folks I have not connected in 6 months or longer. It felt good just remembering them and thinking about them. As I wrote the emails, I could hear myself talking to them and I could visualize their faces in my mind’s eye. It was good, way better than an awkward sudden phone call which most likely would have ended up in a voicemail.

Now, next time I can pick up the phone and call one of them. The best gift we can give others is the gift of our presence. I was giving myself to other people and there is no other high than the feeling you get from “giving”.

It was 4:30 pm. Time to wrap up the work day and go home.

I left office at 4:30 pm and again free from any expectation of an incoming call, I was sitting comfortably in my car. I was driving smoothly, observing people going about their daily lives.

I could see the river of cars on the highway. Everyone in this river of cars were sacrificing their little precious time that they have on this earth in some way or form. Whether through cellphones or social media or other worries or by not resolving the disharmony at their work or home.

Sure, life is out of balance for most of these folks, but is there anything that they can do to improve their life? 

Yes. There is. I discovered it for myself today. Leave your cellphone at home. You don’t have to go extreme, but hey, why not give it a shot. For one day. See for yourself.

If you want to try this experiment then leave your cell phone at home at least a day each week. Make those days about “YOU!”

You matter. Your time matters and your life and experiences matter.

 

 

Live those days deeply with yourself.  Take advantage of such moments to look inside, to search within. You may get surprised by the powers and wisdom you’ll find within your own heart.

The other thing I experience while driving back home was the time with myself thinking about life was actually fulfilling and quite deep. I enjoyed my commute just thinking, pondering, entertaining one thought after another. And occasionally dwelling on a good thought and thinking deeply about it. It was a good ride to home.

(Fast forward, one month)

It’s been a month since I accidentally did this experiment. Today, I want to tell you that I have been continuing this practice (no cell phone for a day) each week. In return, my creativity, my focus, my insights, my patience — everything has improved significantly. My anxiety level has reduced and I am enjoying life at a much deeper level.

Now, I want to take this experiment to a whole new level.

Living Without Your Cellphone for 7 Days straight!

Do you want to join me? Let me know in the comments below!

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Life As A Research Project | Transpersonal Experiences In Ordinary Settings

Life As A Research Project

What is the experience of being human – the one we wish to inquiry into, investigate, experiment with, or examine? We like to believe that we are living an ordinary life in an ordinary world, but are we really living an ordinary life?

Examining our life under a “transpersonal lens” may be thought of as living a self-examined life. And, a life which is understood is a life lived.

“At birth, when we first opened our eyes, the surprises and explorations began.” – Rosemarie Anderson

The verb “research” has its roots in the French verb rechercher, which means to go about seeking.

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines this “seeking” in three ways:

1) careful or diligent search;

2) studious inquiry or examination, especially: investigation or experimentation aimed at the discovery and interpretation of facts, revision of accepted theories or laws in the light of new facts, or practical application of such new or revised theories or laws;

3) the collection of information about a particular subject.

Transpersonal Experiences

My Life Story – A Little Background

Today, I want to share a few of my transpersonal life experiences. I am happy to do so and hope to offer myself as much as I can. This is my answer to my seeking.

As many of you longtime readers probably know that I am a polymath. But among many things that I do, I am particularly passionate about writing, exploring the natural truths, practical philosophy, listening under the noise, being a healer of hearts (nothing supernatural), and traveling the world and soaking in the essence and greater exposure to this thing we call – “humanity”.

I am a sensitive type with a capacity to handle a lot of emotions and bodily sensations. I find this to be both as my gift and as a source of emotional-pain.

Throughout my life, I have been a deeply spiritual person. I have witnessed in my own life unfold in mysterious and often unpredictable, twisted ways. To me, I am an example of “the path has chosen you and you are just a soul responding to your calling.”

In my short life, I have been on several contrasting poles: I was in utter destitution during 2009-10, literally living on $1 a day in Fargo, North Dakota and Nevada City, California. I have enjoyed earning a lot of money through my IT consulting business.

I have been fired from jobs and I have hired people (I still do). I have experienced failed relationships on levels of being traumatic and currently I am in a happy and loving relationship. Life has been a constant teacher for me.

Transpersonal Experiences In Ordinary Settings

There are several life events and synchronistic moments that I could list as a transformative experience for me but nothing comes to my mind as particularly strong at this time other than my last days with my father.

I’ll start here.

Unexpected Death of My Father from Cancer
My first transformative experience may appear distressing and downing but there is no greater teacher of life than death.

On Jan 24, 2016, my father (otherwise a healthy, working, functioning man) was diagnosed with stage IV stomach cancer with bone mets. He passed away on March 5th, 2016. I was with my father during this whole time. And there is nothing more powerful and transformative than caring for a terminally-ill person.

I would actually skip getting into the details here because this is so recent that it is hard for me to concisely write down without getting into the details. But, just to give you enough information to hang on, I am planning a 60 minutes documentary and a book “Cancer In Your Family: Caring For A Family Member & What Does It Mean For You.”

Becoming a Born Again Christian
Accepting a faith, changing your religion or starting a new practice are common day experiences. What makes religion so strong is the transformative power that it has over individuals through mystical and sometimes supernatural experiences.

I was born in a Hindu family but never took Hinduism seriously. I was an agnostic in a comfortable way. I was a curious mind but I was not actively looking for God. At age 18, things changed. I became a born-again Christian in New Delhi, India.

The Word of God, Jesus, my Spirit, everything became real. As real as the world surrounding me. I was transformed overnight. Cursing, porn, envy, anxiety – anything worldly – everything was gone.

There was no struggle on giving up the world. It was as if the burden of sin was lifted off of me. God was real to me. My heart was overjoyed and my life seemed immensely purposeful.

Becoming a Human & Leaving the Christian Jesus
In early 2010, I was struggling to afford McDonald’s $1 burger for my dinner. I was still digesting a certain hurtful events such as my fake-friends cheating me of my car, possessions, and respectfully kicking me out of my house (because I could not afford the rent), my girlfriend going cold turkey, and my mobile account going into collection because of other folks who did not pay their bills and I was left alone with the collection because the line was on my name.

Life was crazy and I was forced to live day by day. I became comfortable with just me being there – at any moment. Me and nothing else.

During those days, I was translating certain classical hymns into Hindi language for some local churches in India and I was still regular in the church. But something was happening inside me, inside my heart. My spirit was no longer feeling free in the church and its restrictive dogma. The people were nice and they meant good to me and towards the outside world, but they were living within a walled enclave of tremendous self-deceive.

The church going faithful saints were more dependent on each other (in the name of One Body of Christ) than on God or their inner guidance. Bible was interpreted from a standpoint of “all or nothing.”

Islam has this same issue. And orthodox Jews too. This is where Jihadist or any religious extremist get it wrong. Believe it all, literally or believe in nothing. This is plain wrong. This is infact opposite of what actually happened with the Bible itself. From Adam to Abraham to Moses to Jesus. Things changed constantly, even the god(s) changed.

Anyways, that’s a topic for another post. (Leave me your thoughts in the comments below)

One day, I picked up a book of poems from Rumi translated by Coleman Barks. The pages, the words, the flow of heart, the transcendental appeal of Rumi’s words broke my decade long Christian shield.

Jesus was still there but now as a human. A human who attained Godhood. As a godly human who was good, who was god! The Bible was still there but as a guide, a description of the journey of few faithful souls in human history.

In coming months, I stumbled upon Gurdjieff (and his Fourth Way), on Carl Jung’s work on inner landscaper of mind, Ra Uru Hu and his work on Astro-psychology, Astrology, Edgar Cayce, Sufi mystics and ancient Christian, Jew and Hindu saints. My life was not the same after this.

Today, I am living this third life. I call my natural birth as my first life, my Christina life as my second life, and now as a spiritual being my third incarnation.

I am sure there are things yet to explore, taste and learn. But, now being an open heart, I welcome change with joy and not with fear or dismay. I love studying our human journey, the evolution of life in this cosmos, exploring and sharing with others our purpose on this planet – our home – the earth.

I am currently working on publishing two poetry collection and one poetry handbook. My first poetry book Naked Soul: The Erotic Love Poems did fairly well upon launch and reached #1 on Amazon. It has been doing well ever since.

I am excited to make my slow transition into a full-time writing and traveling career. I am here to explore the outer world and the inner world and to share with others what I find.

I’ll continue this discussion in an another post. For now, I feel, it is a good introduction and now I turn the mic to you. I want to listen what you have to share.

 

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Who Are You? Just A Label or An Epic Book

“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.

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)

 

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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.

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.

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.

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.

 

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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.

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

 

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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.)

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.

 

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What do you say? Tell me what YOU are doing to live a healthy lifestyle? The first 10 commenters are always my favorite.

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 didnâ€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 fatherâ€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 worldâ€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 driverâ€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” Shakespeareâ€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 menâ€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).

 

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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.

How to Become a Millionaire Before the Age of 30?

Today, I am going to tell you my story. Well, not everything but a small chapter of it.

When I was about 9 or 10 years old, I always thought I would ever find a job. As a kid watching my dad go to work and do office work was beyond my intellectual capacity and therefore I mistakenly believed that I can never do a job. I am just not qualified.

One night I wrote a letter to my Dad. I think I wrote something like “Papa, please never stop working. I don’t think I will ever get a job.”

My mom and brother asked me to show what I have written. I was so embarrassed by the fact that I admitted I am totally unqualified that I tore the page.

I had to struggle with them to do it. My brother and Mom wanted me to show it to them. It was kind of cute from their perspective that I wrote a letter to Dad. I ended up crying.

Well, this is when I was in Mihijam, a very small town in the eastern part of India. Years later I moved to the US to continue my education in Computer Engineering.

I took a small bank loan to fund my education. My family was middle class and I knew that I am accountable to every single dollar. The success or failure of my American Dream was in my own hands.

I learned and accepted early on that I am 100% responsible for my own future success or failure.

I started working part-time in College and building relationships with people in positions. I was a regular churchgoer during my college years. This saved me hundreds of dollars and hours by staying out of drinking and partying.

In hindsight, spirituality saved me both time and money and it helped build a rock-solid foundation for my future growth.

I used to read a lot. I was big-time into documentary films. But what really used to motivate me was writing and thinking about starting my own business someday. I used to come up with business ideas and discuss them with my friends.

I was a hungry young man ready for any challenge. One day, a young man in his mid-thirties came with a Business offer and I was in awe. It was like God sent.

It turned out to be the Amway MLM business. I joined and worked hard at it. At my peak, I was almost halfway to Platinumship, the first step of Amway’s success ladder.

Well as most MLM stories end, Amway did not work for me and I went back to focus on reading and writing.

A year later, I started an IT company with one of my college friends, and part-time I was also teaching new graduates healthcare and information technology.

Around the same time, I got a high paying full-time job offer with Dell as Senior Software Quality Advisor.

For three years I worked at Dell and in parallel ran my own side IT business. I made some money that allowed me to buy two real estate properties in Noida, India for $150K USD during the Indian real estate boom.

Since I carried no debt at this point in my life, I was also able to invest heavily in the Stock market.

I bought Apple shares when they were below $400 mark per share (before the stock split).

I bought tons of Medical Marijuana stocks at $0.02 and later sold at $0.30 a share.

Fast-forward to today, I am still working as an Independent IT Consultant, and I continue to write.

Earlier this year, I published my first book Naked Soul: The Erotic Love Poems which surprisingly turned into a big success in the Love Poems category on Amazon.

I have two more books coming out soon (they are currently being edited). I also offer one-on-one book marketing consultation.

I have no debt, my car is paid off and between my current stock portfolio, real estate investments, other investments, and savings, my net worth is approximately $1.03M USD (if I liquidate everything).

Having said it all, I also must add that I do not feel accomplished yet. Most of this money is tied to non-liquid assets such as Real Estate and Gold. Moreover, my goals are higher and I know this is just the beginning.

Hope my story provides hope and inspiration to some of you who may be thinking out loud that if they can make it.

Keep working hard where your heart is. The rest will come to you on its own.

 

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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 content directly into your mailbox. Once a week. Sign up now and stay in the touch!

Do you want to become wealthy? Are you working on your goals or are you gonna give up? Tell me in the comments and I’ll try to answer your questions. The first 10 commenters are always my favorite and I like to personally communicate with them. So share your thoughts.

How To Grow As A Person When You Work A Long and Boring Job?

I was there and I am thankful for my fate to endure such long hours.

My life completely changed when I was forced to work in an environment with long hours and a long commute.

I realized I have to do something about it. (I was sleeping earlier but it woke me up.)

How To Grow As A Person

When you have a 10-11 hours long workday, how do you grow as a person? Spiritually, intellectually, emotionally and financially. This is a fair question and an important one.

I used to asked this question to myself and my colleagues. Sometimes this question used to scream at me at night. My job was very technical (debugging code and sql stored procedures) and I was learning and growing as far as my technical skills were concerned.

But, the focused screen time was taking a toll on my eyes and after my job, I did not want to look at any screen which emits light. I was done for the day.

That said, it was also true that I am not a kind of person cut out for a 9-5 or 8-6 job! I am a person cut out for 7-7 (irony?) but as an entrepreneur.

How much do I make an hour? About $200. Will spending one hour to write this blog help me make my hourly rate? Nope, not even a single dime… but here I am. (Because I like doing this and therefore do not mind the hours.)

It’s not about hours, it’s about passion and growth

Why do I do what I do and make my day 7-7? Because, I am passionate about my mission in life and I have the freedom to work on whatever project I want, whenever I want.

It’s Monday, 10:30 am. No problem. I am going to spend an hour writing this blog.

My heart is in answering questions, writing blogs, writing books, running my own company, and investing. I am learning every day. I am growing every single day. On all fronts. Spiritually, emotionally, intellectually and financially.

I try and tend to accomplish at least 20 hours of productivity each day (during my 7-7). I structure my time to do this. I have a routine (even though I work from home). And, I read a lot.

What can you do in your situation? How to grow financially, intellectually, physically, and mentally?

The 5 Point Solution

1. First celebrate yourself
Celebrate the fact that you have a 8-6. A lot of people do not have a job or they have an underpaying job for their skills. You may not realize this but you are in an advantageous situation over many other (reading this answer right now).

May be you are commuting 2 hours daily for your job. Listen to podcasts and audiobooks. That is your 2 hours of daily reading. Powerful.

2 hours daily x 5 days a week = 10 hours of reading/week
i.e. 40 hours of reading/month
i.e. 3-4 books each months + dozens of self-development, business, entrepreneurship podcasts

Imagine, after 6 months of doing this how powerful your mind will become! How much knowledge you will have!

2. Meditate, Visualize and Affirmations
When you wake up in morning, spend 10 minutes (not too much to ask for) to meditate (if that’s your thing). If not read a spiritual book (again depending on how you define spirituality and what is spiritual for you).

If nothing comes to mind and meditation is not your thing, just practice deep visualization of how you would want to shape your life. Visualize clearly that everything that you desire have come to the fruition. Visualize them as vividly as possible. Feel the emotions.

You can also read aloud your self-affirmations. An example would be:

“I am a positive person who is happy for my long commute so that I can listen to uplifting audiobooks and podcasts.”

“I am a happy person who likes to learn as much as I can on my work. I am happy for my job because it provides for my family.”

And so on..

3. Meal and life planning
Since you have time consuming job, I would assume it is also stress inducing. You should cook on Sunday evening for your next three days of lunch. On Wednesday evening, you should cook lunch for Thursday and Friday.

If your team eats out on Friday, join them. Make connections. Build relationships.

Stick to your lunch box on the rest of the days. Try to eat on your own (if possible). Or, with other folks. It’s up to you.

Take a small walk. Let new ideas come to your brain whenever you take a break from your work. Be it small tea or coffee breaks or be it a small walk.

Spend these moments alone. Atleast try to. That is when your inner fire will transform your passion into great ideas.

Besides, the above benefits, you are also saving money on lunch dollars if you are currently eating out. This small saving will pay off in big ways in terms of self-discipline, routine, structuring your life and allowing yourself the luxury of having the free time during lunch hours to think hard and come up with ideas that will make your life better.

4. Exercise and evening ritual
If you are in a relationship and have kids, spend time with your family. If you have to drop your kids for classes or gymnastics, you should participate with them as well.

Swimming? How about you and your partner swim as well with your kids. Music lessons? How about you train yourself in music too. Pick up an instrument that you always wanted to learn.

Gymnastics or dance? How about you start training your body just as you are training your mind.

If you are single, you are lucky. Eat light dinner. Go straight to the gym and workout. Give your best. Lift heavy weights. Challenge your body to its maximum limits. Run as if you are preparing for a coming zombie apocalypse.

This is how you grow your physical self. This is how you become mentally tough. This is how you show to yourself, you are serious. That you are committed to transforming your lifestyle.

5. Weekends are yours to keep
Weekends are sacred. Use those 48 hours as if your life depends on it because it does.

Let’s say you are single. (People with family will have a somewhat different structure on weekends. I can cover them in an another quora question.)

Talk to your friends who are equally motivated and positive as you are. Cut off from people who are negative and time-money-and-blood suckers. By now, you probably know who they are in you life.

Limit your Facebook and social media time to 30 minutes each day on weekends.

Take a trip to somewhere new or go for a hike. When you walk, your brain thinks smarter and faster. When you are moving, your brain gets stronger.

During afternoon or in the morning, (depending on your schedule), sit down and come up with ideas on how you can make some passive income.

Think: How can you save more money? How can you cut your overhead cost by 10% and invest that money? How you can earn more money?

Spend some time learning about money, investing and the world economy.

Think about all the hard questions about your life and try to come up with answers. If you do not have the answers, it’s okay. Ask questions to others and find the answer. Your goal is to just explore possibilities at this time.

I can promise that if you do this for just 6 months, you will be transformed into a new soul in a more youthful and stronger body.

 

Now that you are smarter, get a new job
Now, you are ready to look for a new job and start a business on the side. If you are not a risk taker, then you would come up with ideas on smart money management and smart investment techniques and strategies. Business is not for everyone and it’s okay to accept that.

In such case, you would simply want to improve a skill that you have. Assuming, you are already happy with the money.

Or perhaps, you would just like to relax and take things as they come. Whatever you wish or want, you have the mental and spiritual toughness to face it with grace and gratitude.

Don’t forget to cook your meals on Sunday night. Respect money and it will serve you. Learn discipline and it will take you to the next level.

Have fun in the process. Life is too short to spend figuring out everything when all the beauty of this creation is right in front of you. Take it easy and enjoy the process.

Good luck!

 

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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!

So are you ready to take control of your life, your finances and your future? What challenges are you currently facing? Tell me in the comments and I’ll try to answer your questions.  I would like to help you with your situation. The first 10 commenters are always my favorite and I like to personally communicate with them. So share your thoughts.

Naked Soul Meaning: What Does It Mean To Be A Naked Soul?

 

Naked Soul Meaning

As an observer, writer, wanderer, and storyteller, I believe that to be naked is to show up, to be present, to express my truth in life. It’s to overcome my own self-imposed limitations and to transcend external influences that are often authoritarian or fear-based. To me, this expression of truth can become a sacred romance.

Therefore philosophically speaking, being a Naked Soul is a sacred romance between one person and the world around him.

When we love, we unguard our hearts. We disarm and disrobe ourselves down to the core. Whether we love to travel, to write, or to wrap our arms around another, we only love authentically. That is being truly naked.

How can you be totally naked? It’s not undressing your body. To be naked is to undress and be naked with your heart’s truth. It’s the only way to uncover what resonates with your own soul.

 

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Also, please check out our upcoming podcast. As we speak, a lot of interviewing and recording is going on in the background.

 

The Naked Soul Podcast Series

Hosted by Salil Jha and Neha Rizal

The Naked Soul Podcast is an extensive series of over 200 timeless conversations from the popular authors, bloggers, health and fitness coaches, spiritual mentors and successful entrepreneurs.

Sign up here on the blog, iTunes, and please subscribe on YouTube channel to stay in the touch whenever a new episode is released.

Tune in for wisdom and insights from the leading thinkers, writers, adventurers, and explorers of our modern time.

 

Topics Covered on the Podcast and as well as this blog

  • Addiction and Overcoming Addictions
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Authorprenuership
  • Aging and Longevity
  • Altered States of Consciousness
  • Alternative Medicine
  • Astrology, Human Design, and the Enneagram
  • Self-Awareness
  • Biofeedback and the Quantified Self
  • Body Awareness & Bodywork
  • Zen
  • Business & Entrepreneurship
  • Compassion
  • Consciousness
  • Cosmology
  • Creativity & Creativity Process
  • Dance
  • Death and Peaceful Dying
  • Dreams and The Dreaming Mind
  • Enlightenment & Evolution
  • Feminism
  • Futurism
  • Gaia
  • Global Awareness
  • Healing
  • Holographic Model of the Universe
  • Hypnosis
  • Imagery and Mandala
  • Intuition
  • Jungian Psychology and Archetypes
  • New Language Learning
  • Leadership Theories and Best Practices
  • Literature & Arts
  • Magic and Cults
  • Best Management Practices
  • Metalearning (Learning How to Learn)
  • Martial Arts, Budo, and Tao
  • Meditation and Mindfulness
  • Memory Enhancement
  • Metaphysics
  • Mind-Body Connection
  • Music and Creative Expression
  • Mysticism
  • Mythology
  • Personal Paradigm Shift & Individual Transformation
  • Parapsychology
  • Peak Performance
  • Personal Development and Self Help
  • Personality Types
  • Poetry
  • Psychedelics and Drugs
  • Psychology & Psychotherapy
  • Quantum Physics
  • Relaxation Techniques (Mind, Body, Heart, and Soul)
  • (Morning, Evening) Rituals and Positive Habit building
  • Science and Deep Space
  • Sexuality and Eroticism
  • Shamanism
  • Social Awareness
  • Spirituality
  • Stress Management
  • Sufism
  • Synchronicity
  • Tantra
  • Tibetan Buddhism
  • Transformation and Self Growth
  • Transpersonal Psychology
  • The Unconscious, Super-conscious and Sub-conscious
  • Yoga, Health and Fitness
  • Writing Life, Writing Tips
  • Self-publishing, Book publishing, Book Marketing
  • Author Brand Creation, Platform Building

 

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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!

Are you a Naked Soul? How would you define one or yourself? The first 5 commenters are always my favorite and I like to personally communicate with them. So share your thoughts. Any other questions or comments please feel free to share below.

Read Next

Secrets to a Long and Happy Life: Live Day by Day





Today, I am going to tell you a secret. The secret was known to few people since the ancient times. In our modern age, the secret is well known to the researching scientific community. But do we really know it?

My guess is you have heard of it but probably not aware of how to bring the changes in your own life. We are going to look into some of the practical steps that personally worked for me and you can give them a try as well.

The secret is:

Live Day by Day

Positive thinking results in development of good habits. Good habits and having an optimistic, positive mindset creates a happy, feel-good emotions. A happy person lives in the moment and is able to enjoy life deeply.

Positive thinking is the result of building good habits. So what are these good habits? Let’s take a look at them one by one.

1. Looking 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. 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.

2. The 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 a made in Germany and Japan. We all are living well because hundreds of thousands people are contributing to each other. There is plenty to be thankful for.

3. 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 focusing on 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. You will begin to self educate yourself.

4. 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 closet friends (with whom you spend most time) are into pizza and unhealthy food and lifestyle, there is no way you can be fruitful in leading a fit lifestyle. That said, if you start associating yourself with positive people, you will pick up their habit and start thinking positive, talking positive and living a positive life.

5. The Power Of Spoken Words.
The spoken words have tremendous power. Whatever comes out of your mouth shapes your thinking in a major way. Also what you speak (in front of others) crates an image of you. And by your image you shall be reared and judged. If you have set up an image of no-nonsense, cool and happy person, your peers and surrounding will start treating you in cool, fun and positive way. Chose your words carefully. They literally carry the power of life and death.

6. Books.
Read a lot of great books. Read whatever you can afford and get your hands on. Good or bad, all books are helpful. I would add read mostly good positive books but also read a few bad ones. On purpose, but why? The good books will feed your soul. The good books will uplift your soul and will motivate you, inspire you, teach you and tell you how you can become skilled and great yourself. The bad ones on the other hand will teach you what not to do.

Now, let’s talk about living in the moment.

Living in the Moment


Observing life is the key. An active act of observing occurs when you are mindful. Thoughts will arise and vanish on your mental plane, you should just watch them. Dwelling on any thought or chain of thoughts is the root of anxiety.

Buddha’s journey to enlightenment started right after his acute observation of the world around him. People get sick. People get old. People die. Life is short and full of trials and miseries. Happiness is but for a moment. Time is fleeting.

The Big Picture in the Small Moment
Once you get some perspective about life and your humble position in this vast Universe, you’ll begin to appreciate what you have and you will begin to calm down and take things easy.

For example, your friends got an A+ in each subjects; your neighbor married a hot girl; your uncle won a million dollar lottery — yes, so what! Isn’t it good for them? If these would have happened to you, wouldn’t you be happy? If yes, then why are you not happy in other’s happiness? This is a big lesson. Those who learn it early, win it bigger, while smiling all the time.

The lesson is:

It is not other’s life that you should be concerned with but yours own. Be cheerful in other’s success and weep with those who are hurting.

Be a madman. Be mad in love. Be fully present in the moment, so present that you are one with the reality. Be madly in love with seeking wisdom. Workout, love your body. Above all, love this short life. The days may seem longer on some occasions but trust me, you only get to be in your twenties once.

Make love with another human being.

Kiss under a beautiful sky when the sun is touching the horizon.
Let the winter breeze pinch your face.
Have your hands ready for hugging others.
Sometimes cry, you will fall in love with yourself.
Be nice to others, everyone is in some sort of pain.
Above all, be nice to yourself.

 

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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 think about the connection of positive thoughts with your internal biology? The first 10 commenters are always my favorite and I like to personally communicate with them. So share your thoughts. Any other questions or comments please feel free to share below.

The Naked Soul Podcast: Full Human Potential, Daily Growth, Lifestyle Design

Naked Soul Podcast Launch

Hello friends, Naked Soul tribe members, fans, RSS feed subscribers, VIP email club subscribers, and casual blog visitors! Good morning, happy Friday. What a glorious, sunny Friday it is. How are you doing today?

Today’s post is a great and happy news for everyone because I am starting something which will help us all to connect with one another at a deeper level and take our Naked Soul community and tribe to the next level of storytelling.

After giving it a thought for almost over two years, I have finally decided to start a Podcast of my own. This is an exciting news for me. I hope it will be an exciting news for you as well. Why? For those of you not familiar with the term, “Podcast” simply means a digital audio file made available on the Internet for downloading or playing just like the radio.

So, when you are driving or doing a long commute for work, travel or business or whether you are in gym or just walking for miles, you have now something substantial to tune into and listen and grow (spiritually, mentally, intellectually and financially).

If you are mentally tired of listening to Pop songs on radio or bored of your music playlist, guess what, we can talk to each other now. That is what a Podcast means. And best of all, 90% of podcast users use podcast on their phone while driving or exercising.

I am thinking of creating these Podcasts as a series, new installments of which can be received automatically by subscribing on iTunes, etc.

Okay, so what do I want you to know and do next?

To kickstart, I am thinking of doing a lot of interviews to find out what makes a person “successful and happy”. For the first series, I am looking for anyone who started with nothing and is now making a living higher than the national average and is happy with his/her current state of life. I am also looking for people to talk to who are living a non-conventional lifestyle.

Well, success can be defined in many ways and if you have a story to tell, just email me through the Contact page on my blog. Let’s chat and let’s build our community into a strong tribe.

Moreover, if you went through a particular hardship, illness, earth-shattering breakups, were excommunicated from your religious or cultural group, or financially lost it all and re-started, I would love to hear your story as well. Trust me, your story has the potential to help so many who may be in your situation. Your words will spell healing and hope.

Email me and bless your soul for your heroic journey. If you fit the description, please comment, message, or email. I would love to interview you via skype or in person. After the interview, the transcript will be posted on the Naked Soul blog and the audio will be on iTunes.

Now, tell me, is it exciting? It IS to me. Very excited.

I am ready to talk to you. It’s going to be fun.

Here is the Title and Description of our Podcast.

The Naked Soul Talk Show: Full Human Potential | Daily Growth | Lifestyle Design

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, careers, 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.

In this talk show, we will explore how to realize measurable self-growth and manifest success by turning your dreams into 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 Grinds” story into a “Daily WIN” story. Our goal is to empower each listener so that they live their full human potential.

Are you ready to kickstart your soul-evolution and become world class?

 

Key Themes (that describe the show):

Arts, poetry, literature, books, sex, aesthetic, peace, prayer, empowerment, education, family, culture, spiritual, evolution, passion, creativity, career, finance, business, skills, mastery, talk-show, chat-show, podcast, goals, achievement, win, soul, manifest, success, dreams, unconscious mind, full human potential, transform, world.

an old microphone for podcasting

 

The Naked Soul Podcast Series

Hosted by Salil Jha and Neha Rizal An extensive library of over 200 timeless conversations from the popular authors, bloggers, fitness coaches, spiritual mentors and successful entrepreneurs. Sign up and tune in for wisdom and insight from the leading thinkers, writers, teachers, and explorers of our modern time.

Topics Covered

  • Addiction and Overcoming Addictions
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Authorprenuership
  • Aging and Longevity
  • Altered States of Consciousness
  • Alternative Medicine
  • Archetypes
  • Astrology, Human Design, and the Enneagram
  • Self-Awareness
  • Biofeedback and the Quantified Self
  • Body Awareness
  • Zen
  • Business and Entrepreneurship
  • Cognition
  • Compassion
  • Consciousness
  • Cosmology and the Universe
  • Creativity and the Creative Process
  • Dance and Self Expression
  • Death and Dying
  • Dreams and Dreaming
  • Evolution
  • Exercises/Fitness
  • Feminism
  • Futurism
  • Gaia
  • Global Awareness
  • Healing
  • Holographic Model of Reality
  • Hypnosis
  • Imagery and Mandala
  • Intuition
  • Jungian Psychology
  • Language Learning
  • Leadership Theories and Best Practices
  • Literature
  • Magic and Illusions
  • Time Management and Lifestyle Management
  • Metalearning (Learning How to Learn)
  • Martial Arts, Budo, and The Tao
  • Meditation and Mindfulness
  • Memory Enhancement
  • Metaphysics
  • Mind-Body Connection
  • Music and Creative Expression
  • Mysticism and Mythology
  • Paradigm Shift
  • Parapsychology and Psychic Abilities
  • Peak Performance
  • Perennial Philosophy
  • Personal Development and Self Help
  • Personality Types
  • Poetry
  • Prejudice and Race
  • Psychedelics and Drugs
  • Psychology and Psychotherapy
  • Quantum Physics
  • Relaxation (Mind, Body, Heart and Soul)
  • Rituals and Habits
  • Science and Space
  • Sexuality and Eroticism
  • Shamanism and Native People 
  • Social Awareness
  • Spiritual Teachers and Mentors
  • Spirituality
  • Stress Management
  • Sufism
  • Synchronicity
  • Tantra
  • Tibetan Buddhism
  • Transformation and Self Growth
  • Transpersonal Psychology
  • The Unconscious, Super-conscious and Sub-conscious
  • Yoga
  • Health and Fitness
  • Writing

 

Please, do not forget to email me via the Contact page if you would like to share your story with the world. It does not have to be grand, it just have to be heroic or interesting or fun. And trust me, don’t compare your story with mass media out there. You DO HAVE a good story to tell. Well, email me. Let’s start there.

 

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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 are interested in this Podcast and would like to be a guest, please shoot me an email via Contact Page. If you have an interesting and inspirational story to share, please email me. If you are shy and would rather talk via email, no worries, just email your story and I’ll get back to you and we’ll chat. I would love to hear from you. Any other comments, please feel free to share your rich thoughts with us.
 

Read Next

How I Am Growing My Author’s Platform? How To Find Your 1000 True Fans

How To Find Your 1000 True Fans

I believe in cultivating a tribe around my writing which resonates with my voice. I write both fiction and poetry.

At some point in time, I want to write a memoir too. I am not a single genre writer. I like to read all kind of things and likewise, I want to write on different subjects.

Growing one’s audience is like growing one’s tribe. My tribe is my “community”. These are my readers, fans, fellow writers, friends, and those who share my values.

Cultivating a tribe is more than creating a community. Cultivation requires constant refinement, intimate communication between me and my fans, encouraging reader engagement, and most of all audience-trimming. Before, we talk about “fan-trimming”, let’s find out what having a tribe does for us?

Your tribesmen are your brand ambassadors.
Your tribesmen are your cheerleaders.
Your tribesmen are your sales agent.
Your tribesmen are your trusted beta-readers, advisers and market feedback.
Your tribesmen are your allies and friends.
Your tribesmen are your supporters and they want to see you succeed.
 

As you can see from the above bullet points, trimming becomes essential to preserve the quality of your support network, your tribe. Your tribe members can be anywhere but they are not your fans or followers on Facebook and Twitter.

Most often they are your email list subscribers and the ones those who frequently comment on your blogs, Facebook and/or Instagram posts. They actively engage with you and your writing. You should cherish them as your real family.

In this blog post, I want to share my journey and the adventure I have had since I decided to publish my work.

I started Naked Soul blog back in October 2014. I published my debut poetry collection “Naked Soul: The Erotic Love Poems” on Jan 9, 2015, and the eBook came out on Jan 22, 2015.

I was already having some presence on various social media and promoted my book on Google, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Pinterest. But if you are new, you can start now. Social media is cool and it helps a little. Note the word “little“.

I sent out emails and contacted bloggers to review my book. I created an email list using MailChimp and started sending out helpful tips and interesting stories from which we all can learn. I started traveling and meeting new people. I found new characters for my second book (coming out soon) based on the people whom I have met on my adventurous journey.

So what is our focus in this blog post? And, why am I doing this all? A 12-14 hours of daily writing, reading tons of books, developing new connections with people – why all this hard work?

If you are a writer or blogger yourself, you may very well be asking these same questions. So what are we trying to achieve here?

My good guess would be — we are trying to grow our audience size. We are seeking outreach to people whom we can touch and impact positively through our stories.

We are trying to tell our stories to those who would benefit from our writing. But, how do we do that? How do we meet our true fans? How do we connect with our readers? How do we grow our network and meet new readers?

I think I have an answer (tried and tested by me previously). Continue reading to take a first-time look at my detailed plan outlined here. As I mentioned, I started this blog in October last year and joined various social media around the same time (+/- a few months). Following my plan outlined here, I grew my Facebook page to 15K, Instagram account to 20K followers, Pinterest account to 3.2K followers, Twitter account to 15K followers, YouTube account to 1000+ followers (with 1 million+ views) and my mailing list to over 300 subscribers.

During this time, I was also able to get on SlideShare with three slides, got over 38K views on my Google+ page, and created my presence on Tumblr, and on top three online poetry portals (Hello Peotry, PoemHunter, Deep Underground Poetry).

I am going to outline my plan to grow my author’s platform further to a target goal that I have set up for myself for this year.

How to Grow Your Author Platform

1. Write More Books

I have these upcoming books in the next three years. God’s Original Psalm is the project that I am currently working on.

  • Naked Soul: The Journey Of Love (Genre: Poetry/Romance)
  • Naked Soul: The Sacred Intimacy (Genre: Poetry/Erotic)
  • Naked Soul: God’s Original Psalm (Genre: Spirituality)
  • Letters By A Young Christian Mystic (Genre: Spirituality)
  • Friendship (Genre: Non-fiction, Self-help/Relationship)
  • How To Travel The World Under $30,000 USD (Genre: Travel)

The best thing a writer can do is to “write more books”. Pretty obvious, right? But isn’t. Majority of the people spend time figuring out one secret technique that will make them an overnight success. I wish magic was real.

The best way to grow your author’s platform is to simply write more books. The more good books you write the luckier you’ll become. Almost like magic.


2. Improving My Organic Search Rank on Google for Greater 
Discoverability
– More quality content and Frequent blogging
– Guest blogging with other bloggers and writers
– Make blog posts shareability easy for your readers.

More quality content and Frequent blogging

I am taking blogging more seriously. I have been blogging since 2005 and have had numerous blog. After years of soul searching and discovering my authentic voice, my genuine voice, I have started this blog and this blog is going to my open diary taking note of my various adventurous journeys.

My second goal is to build a passionate community around the Naked Soul Blog by engaging the blog readers through “Comments”. Often times, what is not answered or covered by a particular blog post is answered by a reader’s comment. Comments help all the readers.

 

3. Building a Huge Email List of Interested Readers
– From blog email sign-up form
– From Facebook page giveaways, quizzes, etc
– From Instagram giveaways, etc
– From new one-on-one connections made online

 

4. Outreach & Connection With My Readers on Social Media

  • Instagram: by words as pictures and good, heartfelt captions
  • Facebook: by poems, blog post links, and videos
  • Pinterest: by pictures
  • Twitter: by tweeting short poems and quotes
  • YouTube: by videos
  • Goodreads: by posting blogs, answering fan’s questions, giveaways

 

5. Growth on Social Media Using Specific Tools

You might not need these but in case if you want more tools to explore. I would recommend sticking to the basic four.

I have used them all and they all are good and the reason you do not want more tools is simple: you won’t have any time left.

 

6. Build a Team of Core People

Your job will be to assign tasks to your team member. If you are starting out, chances are you have a day job and are busy. You may want to hire one, two or more Virtual Assistants (VAs) depending on your needs and present situation.

If you have book launch coming up, I highly recommend getting a VA. For the launch of Naked Soul: The Erotic Love Poems, I hired a VA from Zirtual, a US based company.

In the coming months, I will be working with two VAs from India (at the same cost of one VA from Zirtual). I have not hired anyone yet but hope to do so within a month or so. Once my team is set up, I will:

  • Decide what will my team do vs what I do? (task delegation)
  • Help my VA in outreach to bloggers and other writers
  • Train my VA on using all of the above-mentioned tools (but I’ll be managing the tools, overall strategy, and the setup)

 

7. Be Active in Facebook group for writers and on Goodreads

– Help other writers as much as I can.

– When requested and provided an Advance Reader Copy (ARC), write a book review.

– If requested write a book blurb, book’s back cover material, book’s Introduction and/or a Foreward if our genre overlaps.

– Help and promote similar (overlapping)  writers on my blog and social media

– Share and exchange our experiences and stories from our writing journey (quite an adventure so far)

The more help you provide, the better and effective you will get at using your own advice. Moreover, there is no such thing as “giving too much”. The more you give away for free — the better it is for your long term career.

Make friends, early on. Trust me, this is going to be a long ride. You’ll need a group of friends to keep you motivated in tough times.

 

8. Get Reviews From Reputable Bloggers, Book Reviewers, and Magazines

This is important. After writing your best book, the next most important thing is to get some great reviews and some media coverage. The “media” that I am talking about is not the old school “Press Release” but the presence of your book everywhere on the World Wide Web.

In other words, your book should be present everywhere a book is allowed. Internet mainly.

Getting 2 or 5 good reviews will help you get more reviews. Your initial book reviews will shape your later reviews. Also, remember, once you have collected about 25 reviews, it will be relatively easier for you to pitch your book to mid-size bloggers.

If you manage to cross 100 reviews, you may very well get coverage on The Huffington Post (books) and Amazon’s editorial newsletter and blog, Omnivoracious.

 

9. Find and Connect With the Mavens in My Field

– Keep building quality relationships on Goodreads community with Goodreads mavens

– Keep posting new works and building relationships with fellow mavens on poetry portals such as Deep Underground Poetry, Poem Hunter, Hello Poetry, etc

– Keep discovering and connecting with the mavens everywhere: Social media, Blogosphere, etc.

 

Recap

The above 9 bullet points describes my 80%-90% of activities. Using these methods (and only these 9 methods, eighty-to-ninety percent of the time) I am going to find, meet and build a one-on-one relationship with my 1000 true fans. This will take time, true, but they are all tested strategies proven to work.

 

9 Things That I Will NOT Be Doing

Below is the list of 9 another things that I will *NOT* be doing because I will probably run out of time doing the things mentioned above. (Remember 80/20 rule?) 80% of your results are produced by the 20% of your core work. So, what happens if you use 80% of your time on that 20% of core work that produces 80% of your results? Magic. After all, magic is not completely dead.

But if you have time, energy or capacity to DO these tasks as well, good for you! These are the other things (ideas) that I have tried to some degrees and find them to be useful.

But remember, prioritize your time. As an author you can *also* benefit from doing these. Here you go:

1. Attend writing/books related meetups and build new connections with readers and writers. The goal here is to not overkill it. Attend a few meetups each month. Build quality connections.

2. Join book clubs; or start a new book club in your area (or try one online). This is a low-investment approach to book marketing. The goal here is not promote your book, but be seen as the expert in your domain and/or genre.

3. Try LinkedIn publishing. If you are a full time writer go for it. But, if you are like me doing a day job and writing part-time, then you are better off not mixing up your LinkedIn (professional network) with your writing life.

4. Try podcast (in addition to blogging) to reach whole new group of audience. If I have to start one thing from this list of 10, this will be my first pick.

5. Participate in local, state, regional and/or national poetry contests. Usually, it is a high investment, low return strategy. But like a lottery (with a shower of good-luck), if you WIN, you can use the award as a book blurb in your marketing. This kind of things don’t sell books directly but brings curious readers to you. And some of them will eventually get your books.

6. Plan a book tour and do book readings. (It does not have to be grand. Start local.) A national or even a multi-state book tour would fall under my next section. But, if you are doing it locally (using your car and no overnight hotel stay), you can give it a shot. It is fun too. And it feels good as well.

7. Participate and do open mike poetry and/or poetry slams. Depending upon your city or town, this can be a good place to find your next fan.

8. YouTube – Record your readings (poetry or fiction) and share it on your YouTube channel, Facebook Page, Google+ and on Goodreads.

9. Organize Google hangouts and do live poetry readings. Engage with your fans and interested readers.

 

9 Things That I Do NOT Recommend (Time Wasters)

Below is the list of 9 things that I firmly believe to fall under time wasters. It is not that these activities will not help you but chances are they will not be worth your time, money or brain-power.

1. Try to approach bookstores to keep your book (even with the book-returns clause). First of all, sadly your endeavor is not going to be successful and even if you manage to get one or two bookstores keep and display your books, they won’t be able to give your copy a prime spot when there is already hot books out there competing for that tiny space.

2. Try to join forces with local merchants to store your books on display on commission basis. Not worth the time and effort.

3. Try to sell your books to your family members, close friends and anyone who meets you. Not a good strategy from a long term perspective. You do not want to alienate people. By pressurizing people into hard-sales, you’ll most definitely make them avoid you in future.

4. Promote your ebook for free. Only offer free books if you have other books available in the series. If you only have one book (assuming you have honestly put in a lot of time into it and it is > 175 pages), price it $2.99 or may be even $0.99.

The reason you do not want a free book is because, free-book readers are also harsh and critical. And it is simply a high risk to get in a spiral of bad reviews. One good review gets you another good reviews. One bad review gets you another bad review. You do not want your writing career to start with 3.5 star rating. Do you?

5. Paying for reviews or Buying reviews on Fiverr or anywhere. Damn it. It is both sad and pitiful that so many amateur writers are into buying reviews. It hurts you more than anything else. Readers are smart and moreover, you want your reviewers to read your book and like your writing.

It is better to send ARCs (Advance Reader Copies) to interested readers and request them to review (good or bad).

6. Send Direct Messages to random people (read: strangers) on Facebook, Instagram, Goodreads or anywhere. Do not do this. This will not get you more than grand total of 0-5 sale and ton of hate and annoyance. Again, think long term. You do not want to piss of your readers even before they got a chance to become your reader.

7. This one does not require a bullet point in itself but it is important. Do not spend a lot of time marketing your book on social media. Again, read point #6. If you are just starting out, more often than not, your shouting about your own book would only come off as self-promotion and annoyance.

Social media’s primary purpose for most reader is entertainment and connection. Discovering a new book from a no-name author would be the last priority any Facebook user can think of.

8. Big budget advertisement. If you do not have atleast three or more books out, you are better of not having a big advertisement campaign. When you promote big, your message will be seen by many potential readers (and book buyers).

Some of them might not like your advertised title but may find your other book interesting. If you have only one book, the ROI is usually a big waste of money. Save this money for later. You’ll need it.

9. Use my personal Google+ and Facebook page to reach out to more like-minded people. There is nothing wrong in doing this. But from my personal experience (and of countless other writers and artists) — this eventually sums up to only one thing — A Waste Of Time.

 

Last But Not The Least

A quick note on social media. Social media is important. There is no denying that but focus on using a few rather than all.

I feel the most important ones for a writer are (in order of importance): 1. Facebook, 2. Instagram, 3. Pinterest, 4. YouTube, 5. Twitter, 6. Google+. And you can stop right here.

This is more than you can swallow.

 

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What are your thoughts about growing your tribe? Have you tried any of these methods or tools yet? If yes, please feel free to share your experience with us? Please leave your thoughts and input in the comments below.

How to do Mindfulness Meditation in 9 Steps? Learn step-by-step in just 15 minutes

Have you ever wondered why mediation is so popular in our culture? It is no wonder that in today’s society, which is full of stress and anxiety, meditation helps people in calming one’s mind and bringing clarity of thoughts.

You may ask, What is meditation? To that, I would say, Meditation is the mindful observance of our own mind. ‘Watching the self’ is the key in meditation. This impersonal act of witnessing our own self from within brings quietness and peace to our being.

The primary purpose in mindfulness-meditation is to observe or watch our inner self — without any judgment, evaluation or expectation. Just by watching, you immediately get out of the never-ending-thought-train. When you stop or slow down the thinking mind, you feel serene and calm.

However, I must add that feeling good and peaceful is not the primary goal of meditation.

The ultimate goal of meditation is to seek to know your own true self. The chief aim of mediation is to experience the no-mind and to seek and know the truth. The realization of the oneness of all life with a compassionate and loving heart is the final fruit of mediation.

But, to embark upon such a quest, one must be relaxed first: physically and emotionally. Therefore, any mediation practice begins with the calming of the mind.

How to do Mindfulness Meditation

Once you are relaxed you are ready to begin your journey. The most common question that people often ask is “How do I meditate?” I have never done meditation before, how can I start?

Well, I was in your spot once and I figured it out. It is actually simple. Below you will find out how one can start practicing meditation and stick to one’s schedule at one’s own pace.

A step-by-step guide

1. Find a place that is quiet and not too warm or cold. Find a seating cushion or something comfortable that you can use to sit on. If you do not have a seating pillow or cushion, you can also use a chair. If you are going to use a chair, make sure that the height of the chair is not too tall or short according to your height.

 

2. You do not have to fold your arms or feet in a certain fashion or order but you certainly can if you want to. The first step is to make your physical body comfortable. You want to minimize the physical discomfort so that you can take on the greater challenges of the mind and spirit.

 

3. As you sit and are still preparing, keep this thought in mind that you are at ease and you are safe and at ease. This silent affirmation will help relax your body.

Gently close your eyes and breathe slowly and deep. Do not rush into breathing deeply. Let the natural flow and rhythm take control. Keep breathing deeply yet gently.

 

Just be

4. Now you are ready to “just be”. The first step is to not do anything. Yes, do not do anything. This is the first step. Do not repeat a mantra, or a word or anything. Do not imagine or focus on any image or symbol. Just be. Be relaxed. Just watch whatever the mind is doing.

 

Breathe

5. Focus on your breathing and watch how each breath is taking place. Keep witnessing this until the mind has calmed down (relatively speaking). Some random thoughts will keep coming to you. Let them come. You just bring your attention to your deep breathing.

 

Having thoughts is okay

6. Do not disturb your mind by trying to prevent a thought to occur or by trying to chase a thought. Let thought arise if it comes; let it pass, when they dissolve. Similarly, one thought may be dissolving while the next one is arising. Recognize this fact as the nature of the mind. It is okay. Do not artificially disturb this flow. Let it happen if this happens but make sure you keep watching every thought as they occur.

This is the first lesson of mindfulness meditation. Do not repress a thought; do not do anything at all on your part. You just be a watcher; this very act of watching is meditation.

 

Awaken

7. As you become more and more aware of your inner world (being) and your environment with all the sensation that you may be experiencing or feeling in your body, your focus sublimely shifts from your breath to witnessing.

Remember, witnessing means witnessing everything, all that there is witnessing do not filter out anything nor does it expects anything. Keep sitting and keep watching.

 

Feel the emptiness

8. As you watch, slowly and slowly, the mind will become empty of thoughts. But, if you are falling asleep, come back to the attention. Battling sleep at this deep state of relaxation is difficulty but by regularly practicing, you will overcome.

By practicing every day, you will become more alert and aware.

9. As you become regular in your practice and develop inner strength, in due time, you will also overcome most of the discomforts associated with your physical body. The only key here is to keep sitting and keep watching.

No special instruction is required. You will find your teacher within yourself. Just be consistent and persistent.