The Battle For Your Future, Freedom, and Life

Someone I know (through someone) got fired today. Over a *BS* reason for misspelling a name. We all know that’s just a veneer for the true underlying reason: workplace politics.
“Workplace politics” is just a fancy phrase for “battle of egos.” No one wins in the battle of egos.
This person was technically strong, friendly, a long-term full-time employee. Loyal to the company and its culture.
 
Imagine how much it must suck to be fired on Valentines Day. 
This means “anyone and everyone” is replaceable in the modern corporate structure. 
Recently, the CEO of the world’s largest and most valuable startup was fired by the board.
 
We have to always keep this truth in mind. At any given day, anyone can be fired or replaced (due to whatever reason).
 
That’s why to “be free”, eventually you need to be an entrepreneur. A business owner.
 
To be a successful business owner you have to start something, somewhere, someday (as I did with Precog Tech, Fitness & Food, The Naked Soul, The Art of Travel).
 
When you start something new, 9 out of 10 times, you will fail. Failure is part of the success story. It’s a baked-in step in the journey. 
 
If you have already started your entrepreneurial journey, congratulations! 
This Valentines Day, this new year, I hope, you will give yourself the respect for the risks you have taken and endured. 
 
Respect for thinking ahead of the curve. Respect for taking the first steps. Respect for taking the risk.
 
It takes a lot of gut to eat risk for a living. For suffering the risks.
 
Risks and failures cost energy, money, and time. Cost of money causes debt.
 
I hope, this year you will have new eyes to look at things from a 30,000 ft view. The big picture of why do you have the debts and stress that you have.
 
Why these debts and the insane amount of workload is “necessary” if you want true freedom in your life.
 
Hard work, sacrifices, and risk-taking is necessary to birth anything of value. And the reason why you have to succeed in your venture. Quitting is not an option anymore. 
 
If you haven’t yet started the start-up-of-you, then perhaps this is the year, the month, the moment that you begin to seriously think about it. Every good thing begins with a “why”?
 
Think about it. Ask yourself are you truly free? Are you in control of your life? Are you truly happy? Do you see yourself leaving the world in peace (if today is your last day here)?
Your startup doesn’t have to be Uber be it certainly can be. Your startup doesn’t have to be a billion-dollar idea but it certainly can be. The point is, it doesn’t matter.
 
What matters is your start taking control and ownership of your life, your time, your happiness, and your health. 
 
Happy Valentines Day!
 
 

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.

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.

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!

###

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.

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.

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.

 

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

Power of Words

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

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

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

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

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

 

Secrets to Writing A Million Words

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

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

A strong and moving purpose: Paul writing his epistles.

The Purpose

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

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

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

How To Write A Book Every Year

The Daily Word Count

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

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

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

Monday – Friday: Write 300 words each day

Saturday, Sunday: Write 750 words each day

Weekly total: 3000 words

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

 

 

The Habit Of Reading

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

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

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

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

 

The Next Step Is Yours To Take

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

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

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

 

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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 have a writing ritual, please tell me more about your practice. I am always on the lookout for awesome life-and-productivity hacks.

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

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

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

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

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

Top 12 Books Of All Time

Why the number 12?

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

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

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

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

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

 

My 2015 Book List

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

2. Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, Nigeria

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

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

 

3. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, England

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

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

 

4. Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach, United States

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

 

5. Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett, Ireland

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

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

 

6. Collected Fictions by Jorge Luis Borges, Argentina

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

 

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

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

 

8. The Stranger by Albert Camus, France

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

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

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

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

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

 

9. Selected Stories by Anton Chekhov, Russia

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

 

10. Nostromo by Joseph Conrad, England

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

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

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

 

11. The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri, Italy

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

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

 

12. The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Russia

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

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

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

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

 

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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 have already read some of these books, please tell us about what you think? Want to make book recommendations, please shoot me a message. I am always on the lookout for great books.

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

I love you!

My Love, My Heart, Soul of My Soul,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Baby, I love you for your love of life.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Baby, you are insanely romantic.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Baby, I love the way you walk.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Baby, I love you for your incredible big heart.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Once again, Happy 30th Birthday!     ###

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

How To Make Money Online

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

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

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

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

 

How can YOU do this too?

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

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

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

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

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

 

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

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.)

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

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 To Write Faster? Writing A Million Words In A Year

We all know about prolific writers such as James Patterson and Stephen King that are somehow able to produce anywhere between two to five books or more in a single year.

Are there tricks and techniques that they employ to produce books at such a high rate? This article will enable you to learn how to become like these authors and possibly even write a million words in a year.

Before we begin, let’s do some simple arithmetic:

If your goal is to write a million words each year, all you have to do is write 1000000/365= 2740 words each day.

Considering, you’ll only be able to write five days per week (on average), this brings you at 2740 words per day for (52 weeks x 5 days) = 260 days of writing. Now (260 days x 2740 words per day) =  712400 words.

Now, let’s say, 30% of what your write is omitted (not, re-written, but completely omitted during the revision and editing). This will bring your total word count to (70% of 712400 words) ~ 500,000 (half-million) words.

Writing Million Words

Now, consider for a moment, what can you produce with half million words each year? Let’s do the maths. Say, an average novel is 100,000 words and a book of 10 short stories (each short story approximately 10,000 words long) is 100,000 words. So just with 300,000 words you have published two novels and a collection of short stories. And you will still have 200,000 words left.

Wow, congratulations, at this pace, you will be able to write a dozen of novels and short stories collections and perhaps poetry collection and blog posts in just few years. Isn’t that amazing!

How To Write Faster

So what is my point here?  And more importantly, why not every writer not writing more? The reason is it is not simple to write 2740 words each day, five days per week for 52 weeks straight. You may ask, why so?

Because people cannot write fast enough. It’s not that writer’s run out of ideas but that their thoughts often time run much faster than what their hand can type or write.

So what can you do? Read on and comment at the end. If you are reading this, I challenge you to join me in 1 million words a year mission. If you can do it, it will benefit you more than me. Are you with me?

A blogger, Karen Woodward, summarized the techniques used by one author, Chuck Wendig, who was committed to writing 3000 words a day in a blog post. Read it here on her blog.

In summary, Chuck tips included:

1. Doing your writing in the morning. He wrote, “Writing in the morning has more potential than writing in the evening and hereâ€s why: writing at the end of the day means the candle is burning down. The timer is ticking. Youâ€re watching the horizon eat the sun and with it, the remaining hours before sweet, sweet slumber. Write at the end of the day, youâ€re racing the clock. Write at the fore of the day, you own the clock.”

2. Waking up an hour earlier. Woodward explained that waking up earlier results in greater productivity. You should also make sure to attain at a minimum seven hours of sleep a night.

3. Drinking coffee in moderation.

4. Using your time to write. Wendig stated, “If you’re going to write a lot, you’re going to need to feint and duck, stick and move, and reach in to grab fistfuls of time-flesh and use it for your own sinister purposes: in this case, writing. Got a lunch break? Write. Sitting at a long stop light? Take a few quick voice notes on your phone.”

5. Maintaining a schedule with the amount of work you’ll need to complete each day to meet your deadlines.

6. Outlining the content of your manuscript. Wendig wrote, “If you start the day with a mission statement already in play thanks to an outline, you can jump in, eschew any planning the day might require, and just start writing. The goal is to give as much of your time to actually telling the story as you can.”

7. Asking your loved ones for the time you need to write.

8. Finishing your first draft without editing as you go.

9. Do not doubt your ability to produce a great story.

Writing A Million Words

Write my friends, write
Tell your stories
Write, then write some more

The origin of the challenge to write a million words in a year is credited to Raymond Chandler (1888 – 1959) who had the idea that to make a living; pulp writers had to produce a million words a year. A key component of writing this quantity of words is keep track of your daily word count.

One blogger, Alasdair Stuart, wrote though that this method only made him more anxious and finally succumbed to the fact that he could not produce a million words in a year. He wisely stated:

“What’s important is the willingness to try something new that will push you and shape you and make you stronger coming out the other side.”

However, setting word counts did work for one writer, Anthony Trollope, whose goal was to write 250 words every fifteen minutes. His method of writing was detailed by the writer, William F. Buckley, in an interview with the Paris Review, when he stated,

“He had a note pad that had been indexed to indicate intervals of 250 words. He would force himself to write 250 words per 15 minutes. Now, if at the end of 15 minutes he hadn’t reached one of those little marks on his page, he would write faster.”

In an article published on Slate.com by Michael Agger, strategies for writing faster were explored.

He wrote, “Since writing is such a cognitively intense task, the key to becoming faster is to develop strategies to make writing literally less mind-blowing. It’s obviously a huge help to write about a subject you know well. In that case, the writer doesn’t have to keep all of the facts in her working memory freeing up more attention for planning and composing.”

Another strategy for increasing your volume of writing is to write in longhand. An author, Karen Dionne, wrote an article for Huffington Post, describing why this method is so successful.

She wrote:

When an author working on a computer makes a typo, as I just did by typing “Whwn” instead of “When” at the beginning of this sentence, they stop and fix it. Why shouldn’t they? The mistake will have to be corrected at some point, the author has noted the error in the here and now, and it only takes a second to correct it.

When I write in longhand, I don’t write “whwn” when I mean to write “when”. Occasionally, I cross out a word or a sentence, but there are no distracting typos, no time consuming regressions.

Writing Speed Tips

Five tips for improving writing speed were examined in a blog post on the website of Hootsuite, a social media management application, with these strategies:

1. Skip the Introduction – write your piece without the constraints of a planned introduction or lead.

2. Don’t Get Caught Up in the Wording – you have to maintain a rhythm while writing and keep the momentum going. Leave placeholders when you have difficulty figuring out what word to use in a particular context.

3. Keep Your Research in the Document – copy any quotes, information, or statistics at the bottom of your document before you start and put a line across the page to distinguish between your writing and the research you’ve compiled.

4. Write What You’ve Got – be concise and make your writing easy to digest for readers.

5. Talk It Out – ask a colleague for their perspective on your topic as they may offer a perspective that may alter the direction of your article.

 

It is now evident that writing faster is a topic that is has been discussed frequently by writers. The tips and tricks discussed in this article can certainly enable you to become a more productive writer.

An important thing to remember though is to never skimp on the quality of your work when you increase the speed at which you write.

 

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Was this post interesting? Are you taking on this challenge? Just for one year to test what can you achieve using this method and mindset?Please feel free to share your comments and thoughts with us.

Are All Poets Penniless: Do Poets Die Hungry?

This week I have been trying my best to stay level headed post Naked Soul: The Erotic Love Poems book launch.

Truthfully speaking, I have been as excitable as a chef just before the Thanksgiving! My debut collection of erotic love poems was published in eBook on January 23 and I have sold just over 100 eBooks in the first month alone.

The softcover was released on January 9th and is also doing excellent. So far it has sold over 150 copies. The big sales number came right before the Valentine’s Day. (No surprise there.)

Well, 100 or 150 might not seem a big number and certainly it is not but what I can tell you is at the time of drafting this blog, my book is at Top #7 in Love Poem and ranked Top #47222 out of 3,000,000+ eBooks on the Amazon Kindle store.

Labor of Love or Fate of Drudgery

The reason I am taking about the sales number and book ranking is because, well, I thought it is worth talking about this ancient curiosity shared by all: “Are all poets penniless?”

Is poetry a labor of love or an occupation of toil and drudgery? I am hoping to bring some perspective and calm to my current ‘pressure cooker†mind with this current blog. This post is not just a note to myself but a new balanced perspective, something to consider, specially by the writers, poets and all the artists out there.

To start with (and I am not trying to tempt fate here or anything!) I am focusing my attention on a handful of great poets who only achieved fame and wealth after death. Well, some great poets might have died poor but their legacy is certainly richer than many of the rich from the recent times.

Are All Poets Penniless

Years, decades, and even a century or two after their passing, several major literary geniuses (who may have been blessed with the odd peak of recognition while alive) have gone on to have an unimaginable impact on the literary world – dominating classrooms, bookshelves, literati events and book groups, not just Stateside but across the globe.

Let’s take a look at some of these writers and poets.

Emily Dickinson

Emily Dickinson was born in December 1830 in Massachusetts. A sociable youngster who maintained good relationships and friendships throughout her childhood and youth; she began writing poetry in her teens. Itâ€s clearly obvious from her writing that the death of close friends and family members during adolescence strongly influenced her.

Her Poem Because I Could not Stop for Death is the first that springs to mind.

 

Because I could not stop for Death,
He kindly stopped for me;
The carriage held but just ourselves
And Immortality.

We slowly drove, he knew no haste,
And I had put away
My labour, and my leisure too,
For his civility.

We passed the school where children played,
Their lessons scarcely done;
We passed the fields of gazing grain,
We passed the setting sun.

We paused before a house that seemed
A swelling of the ground;
The roof was scarcely visible,
The cornice but a mound.

Since then ’tis centuries; but each
Feels shorter than the day
I first surmised the horses’ heads
Were toward eternity.

 

Her most intense writing period began in her late twenties and lasted several years, she is said to have written a staggering 1100 poems during this time; some of which she did share with close friends and family, but the majority of which, she kept to herself. Pretty much a recluse by the time she died aged fifty-five in 1886, Dickson had written around 1800 poems.  It was following her death (and against her dying wishes) that family members decided to publish and share her magnificent work some years on.

 

John Keats

John Keats was born in London, England in 1795. The poor guyâ€s short life was plagued by death from an early age – with both parents dying by the time heâ€d reached fourteen. Leaving school aged sixteen, Keats maintained a healthy interest in literature even while working in the medical profession alongside his guardian (a man so deceitful he kept Keats†large inheritance which heâ€d been entrusted to look after).

Keats penned his first poem during 1816, aged eighteen; his first book called Poems followed during 1817.

A year after abandoning the medical establishment to pursue poetry as a profession, Keats†life was once again haunted by death when his brother, Tom, contracted and died from Tuberculosis, the same illness which killed his mother.

In 1819, despite mounting financial problems and ill health, Keats was somehow able to write a significant amount of poetry; he also met and fell in love with a young girl called Fanny Brawne. Sadly his wish to marry the eighteen–year-old was never realised due to his lack of finances.  As if life hadnâ€t been tragic enough for John Keats, in 1820 he too become desperately ill with Tuberculosis. Despite his illness, he managed to publish a second volume of poems. During the same year Keats travelled to Italy hoping the warmer surroundings would help with his illness. Sadly it was not to be, one of the greatest poets to have ever lived, died in February 1821, lowly regarded and poor..

 

The Eve of St Agnes by John Keats is (in my opinion) one of his best works.

All Poets Die Hungry

Edgar Allan Poe

For someone born so long ago (1809) it blows my mind to think that Edgar Allan Poe still courts such influence, interest and popularity over literary and cultural circles today.

And if you thought Keats†life was tragic, I think Poeâ€s was equally tumultuous – as a baby he was abandoned by his father and when his mother died of tuberculosis during 1811, he was forced to live with foster parents.

Poe, a military man for a brief time before turning his hand to writing full time, is attributed to having invented the detective fiction genre. His name is also synonymous with chilling and macabre poetry and stories.

Like Emily Dickinson, death featured heavily in Poeâ€s work, including in his most famous poem, The Raven.

This poem, by all accounts, turned him into a literary sensation for some time. Unfortunately, maybe because he was a heavy drinker who could no longer hold down a job, he never equalled its success with any of his following work.

Itâ€s been documented that the death of his wife Virginia Clemm (who also just happened to be his cousin, aged thirteen when he married her) exacerbated Poeâ€s drinking. Many conspiracy theories about his death have been circulated, but Poe is reported to have died penniless, dishevelled and unconscious in a Baltimore gutter, aged just forty.

 

Phillis Wheatly

Phillis Wheatlyâ€s life story is equally interesting and heart breaking. Kidnapped from West Africa when she was around seven years old in 1753, she arrived in Boston, Massachusetts, on a slave ship where she was purchased by John Wheatley as a servant for his wife, Susanna, who quickly came to recognize and nurture Phillis†writing talent. The Wheatleys decided not to train Phillis as a slave.

By publishing Poems on various subjects, religion and moral Wheatley made history by becoming the first female African American to publish a book of poems. She even travelled to London, promoting her poetry. I can imagine that for a while her life mustâ€ve felt pretty amazing, especially when compared to the lives of other African Americans at that time. I canâ€t help thinking that things wouldâ€ve had a happier ending for Philllis Wheatley, had Susanna and John Wheatley still been alive after she married.

Wheatly married John Peters in 1778. They lived in poor conditions, but worse, had to endure the death of two infant children. After her husband was imprisoned during 1784, impoverished, Wheatley was left looking after her third child. Sadly, she died young at age thirty-one. Her sick infant son is said to have died a few hours later.

Read her famous poem On Being Brought from Africa to America here.

 

Poets persecuted for their writing and beliefs

I was thinking of moving on to something a bit more light-hearted, but if you donâ€t mind Iâ€ll get one more ‘sad†topic out of the way first.

Weâ€re moving on to poets who are persecuted for their writing, as in poets who express opinions in their work, which goes against the establishment of their countries.

 

Ovid

The first that I can think of is, Roman poet Ovid, back in 8AD he was banished to Tomis, a remote province on the Black Sea, by the Emperor Augustus, itâ€s difficult to pinpoint the motivation which led to his exile but speculation points to the simple reason that the emperor was unhappy with something the poet had written!

 

Enoh Meyomesse

Sadly a similar type of punishment remains commonplace in some societies even in this day and age. Cameroonian poet, political activist and blogger Enoh Meyomesse is currently serving a prison sentence which he maintains is due to personal views expressed in his writing and for his political activism.

Read more on Meyomesse and some of his poetry here.

 

Mahvash Sabet

Iranian teacher, turned poet, Sabetâ€s translated book Prison Poems was published on April 1, 2013. She wrote this collection while serving (along with other leaders of Iranâ€s *Bahaâ€i community) a twenty year prison sentence in Tehranâ€s Evin prison because of her religious beliefs.

*The Baha’i religion was founded in Iran in 1863, making it one of the world’s youngest religions. This religion accepts all other faiths as true and valid. It also teaches that there should be no inequality when it comes to gender or race.

I am left wondering, what’s not to like? Read her Lights Out poem on this blog.

 

Successful Poets: What’s their Secret?

I have covered a lot of the tragedies and hardships experienced by poets in this blog, so I want to finish by letting you know:

It’s not all Bad News!

 

Yes, we can breathe a sigh of relief now as I am happy say that there are many poets and writers do seem to live comfortable and successful lives, many are actually poets who never gave up their day jobs.

 

Lewis Carroll

It was a huge surprise for me to find out that the author of Alice in Wonderland was actually a Mathematician (who wrote several books on Mathematics under his real name (Charles Lutwidge Dodgson).

Incredibly, he was also a teacher for twenty-six years!  But he also found time to work on a few inventions too, creating (amongst other things) a device called the nyctograph which allowed for night time writing (presumably with himself in mind because he was so busy during the day doing his other jobs!)

Read My Fairy, a poem written by Lewis Carroll when he was only 13 years old.

 

William Carlos Williams

This savvy writer, trained as a doctor and went on to publish his first book Poems in 1909, but continued practicing as a doctor in the New Jersey town of Rutherford for the next 40 years.

Read his A Sort of Song here.

 

T. S. ELIOT

The magnificent Missouri born writer and Harvard graduate settled in England after a spell reading philosophy at a renowned college in Oxford. He wrote his famous poem Prufrock while holding down a job as a bank clerk. After several years in banking he went on to become an editor at publishing house Faber and Faber, where he worked full time for forty years.

Hear Eliot reading The Lovesong of J. Alfred Prufrok in a Youtube video.

 

Wallace Stevens

Acclaimed poet and also Harvard graduate, Wallace Stevens, published his first book Harmonium in 1923 while working in insurance; an area he would continue in for nearly forty years eventually working his way up to Vice-President of his company by 1934, carrying on in this role even after receiving the prestigious Pulitzer Prize.

Read his wordsOf Modern Poetry” here.

 

Philip Larkin

The British born poet and novelist Philip Larkin actually managed to sneak in quite a lot of writing while working as a librarian. He graduated from Oxford University with first class honors in English during 1943, then worked for thirty years as a librarian at Hull University, where he is said to have produced a vast quantity of his published work.

Read his poem Faith Healing” here.

 

So perhaps we are onto something here. Could the secret to keeping yourself from the clutches of poverty lie in having another vocation in life? Should we all, if we haven’t already, add a few more strings to our bows?

Just in case tragedy decides to grab and drop some of us into its murky pool of torture without a second thought, leaving us destitute, penniless and forgotten until the pool is dredged some decades later. (OK, maybe I need to put the Poe books down for now!)

 

The truth is, there a plenty of writers out there that have second jobs, some connected to writing such as tutoring, lecturing and performance poetry; and as some of the last section shows, others have no connection at all. But I donâ€t think it hurts to have a plan B. Somehow, I can’t imagine Edgar Allan Poe as a doctor or librarian though.

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What do you think about writing as a career? If you have a family to support will you take the risk? Or will you fulfill your calling as a writer or poet? Please leave your thoughts and input in the Comments below.

Interconnectedness of Music, Poetry, Literature, and Other Arts

“I love to write poetry, I love to sing,” chirped American poet and singer, Jill Scott, by way of introduction on her debut album at the turn of the millennium.

A few tunes in, I could tell she meant business.

Interconnectedness of Music and Poetry

The fusion of music and poetry on her track Exclusively is a prime example of how musical subtleties can illuminate and enhance the spoken word.

As Scott tells her story – sharing intimate details of a sexily charged morning spent with a lover the sultry syllables which unfurl from her tongue and sweetly tumble from her mouth are in total harmony with the melodic, soulful and rhythmic sounds.

She grips the listener with her Philly twang, its beat pattern subtly changing every so often, until suddenly her voice tone hugely alters; as does the music.

This abrupt shift brings us to the end of her tale. The story teller’s sentiments have changed and we, the listeners, feel her first unsatisfactory climax of the day as much as she does. Pure poetry.

Jill Scott – Exclusively (Watch here on the YouTube)

Linking the Mediums of Music and Poetry

Linking the mediums of music and poetry is nothing new, the relationship is a close one with the two having inter-connected on so many levels throughout history. For centuries now performers, lyricists, and musicians have done much to cement this relationship, often producing outstanding results for our listening pleasure.

The poem Break, Break, Break by eighteenth-century British born poet, Alfred Lord Tennyson is a good example.

Music in Poetry (without instruments)

Creating music within a poem can be a difficult task to begin with, but by using carefully constructed verses, writers of poetry for the page can bring rhythm to their work, so long as they’re prepared to put the hours in.

Being cunningly creative with rhyme patterns, pace and line breaks, or by using alliteration and onomatopoeia are just a few of the ways in which rhythmic beats can be created within prose to give it life.

Being brave enough to play around with language and punctuation can also add a lot of flavor to beat patterns: emphasis using capitalization or an exclamation after successive well-crafted syllables on a page, can make all the difference to the flow and pattern of the piece for the reader and, if the writer is lucky, result in the creation of rhythm patterns, rhymes and melodies without a single semibreve, quaver or crotchet being included in the equation.

Writer and cartoonist Dr. Seuss is a fun example of someone who got this right.

Spoken Word Artists

Spoken word artists too have long been blessing us with musicality in their work. The skills in creating musical elements in their work lie, not only in the writing but in their powerful oral execution and melodic flow. Spoken word poets have the advantage of complementing their written work using anything from acting or comedic methods to creating an alter ego.

Merely reading from the page in monotone fashion is not an option in terms of creating a rhythm for a live audience. 

To be successful and engaging in this field a few things a poet may need to adopt in his or her work are: repetition, chanting, alliteration or beatboxing.

Rapping, pregnant pauses, tempo changes, and even audience participation are all pretty popular too.

After all, a room full of people clapping or chanting in harmony with you as a performer is a fantastic way to bring out the beats and control the melodies, again without relying on a single musician or instrument.

Contemporary performer Saul Williams manages to use several of these methods in his poem Ohm (watch on Youtube).

Poets and Musicians

Whether you look at some of today’s artists or go back a few decades, popular performers both past and present have had strong associations with poetry and music: Jim Morrison, Dylan Thomas, Maya Angelou, and Bob Dylan are just a handful.

Jim Morrison

Jim Morrison published several books of poetry during his short lifetime. But until the album An American Prayer was put together and released several years after his death, he was probably better known as The Doors’ hell-raising frontman.

The LP comprises Morrison’s poetic narrative over music composed by surviving members of The Doors. Genius in parts it keeps the listener captivated and awakens the imagination at the start. The poem Awake blends beautifully with the music’s trance-inducing chimes and 70’s guitar.

Although the sometimes too-upbeat melodies don’t always blend so well with the dark lyrics in subsequent tracks, Morrison’s talent for poetry writing still manages to shine through on this album, despite the lack of harmony between the music and poetry.

Dylan Thomas

The poet Dylan Thomas is no doubt Wales’ most famous literary export his gift of bringing music, bounce, and melody to his work makes it charming to read.

He was a popular performer in the USA during the 1950’s but like Jim Morrison, Thomas went on to become a heavy drinker; he too, by all accounts, also had his fair share of hell-raising moments.

Decades after Thomas’ death in New York, several of his poems were given a new lease of life to mark his centenary in 2014.

Welsh musician Cerys Matthews recorded several of Thomas’s poems and set them to music. A Child’s Christmas, Poems and Tiger Eggs is the magical result the combination of music, spoken word and song is a harmonious and beautiful marriage which works amazingly well.

Lovers of Thomas’ work, as well as voyeurs, may well find some gems that raise a smile or two in this modern collection. Hippos is just one of a number of tracks that stands out in this awesome collection.

Maya Angelou

In a blog about poetry and music, it would be wrong not to mention America’s First Lady of Poetry, the late Maya Angelou.

If there is one poet on this planet whose lyrics have been regularly linked with musicians, it’s Angelou. Such an inspirational figure to many, her poem I know why the Caged Bird Sings’ has been hugely influential for several artists over the years including Alicia keys, who recorded: Caged Bird for one of her albums at the turn of the millennium.

Angelou herself actually featured on hip-hop artist Common’s track Dreamer in 2011. Even singer and actor Olivia Newton-John has been inspired by Angelou. In 2005 she recorded a charity song called Phenomenal Woman, based on Angelou’s poem of the same name.

With her work holding such influence over the music and literary worlds, America is set to feel Angelou’s lyrical presence for years if not decades to come.

Poem or Song?

Can song lyrics stand out more as a poem than as a song? This isn’t a question that comes up very often, but it’s one worth asking. Take a look at the lyrics from the song Forever Young.

Now click on this youtube link to watch the song being sung by its writer.

Those of you who believed that song lyrics can never double up as poetry, maybe these lines illustrate that there might be times when songs do probably stand out more as poems than as songs.

Or may at least sit comfortably across both mediums. What do you think? I am interested to know your thoughts. Comment below.

 

Music to Complement your Reading of “Naked Soul: The Erotic Love Poems”

Once you’ve finally got your hands on a copy, you may want to try the music-poetry combination.

Naked Soul Audiobook

Also, the one audiobook version of Naked Soul: The Erotic Love Poems will be similar to Jose Nunez’s famous (Bilingual ft Taina).

The audiobook production is currently work-in-progress. If you think you can help, please contact me.

When you need some music or spoken word to add to your reading experience, take a look at our top five sensual tunes to enhance your reading experience. Let me know what you think in the Comments section below.

 

Britney Spears’ Breath on me

Seductive, soft and sultry!

 

Birken / Gainsbourg / J’taime

Singing, spoken word, lustful lyrics and ecstatic groaning all feature on this notorious classic from the late 1960’s.

 

Gustav Mahler’s Adagietto from Symphony no. 5

Classical track which takes the listener on a dynamic journey within a huge range of crescendos and diminuendos (increases and decreases in loudness).

 

Air – La Femme d’Argent

Instrumental with cool piano and sexy synthesizer sounds and samples.

 

Lil Louie French Kiss

Fast paced and pounding mainly instrumental track containing a few seductive spoken words. It speeds up and slows down at just the right moments.

 

Enjoy!

 

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Did you know about the free VIP pass offer to the Naked Soul Club? Subscribe your email now and join 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 touch!

What do you think about the relationship between Music and Poetry? I am sure there are other aspects or connections that I have missed. Please leave your thoughts and input in the Comments below.

Interview With R. M. Drake: Who Is This Instagram Famous Poet?

Instagram has seen a humongous growth in recent years. With this explosive user growth, we also see the rise in posts related to literary nature. Quotations and poetry, in particular, are very popular on this relatively young social media platform.

Interview With Writer Robert M. Drake

There are a lot of accounts which posts poems, quotations and short pieces of writing. Amidst this jungle of writers, one name that comes to the forefront is @rmdrk. Behind this hugely popular username (@rmdrk) is actually a Miami based young street artist and writer, Robert M. Drake.

Robert has recently published his third book Beautiful Chaos through lulu.com. His work is being read by over a million people (across the world) on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. His book is already on top third position on Amazon.com in American Poetry category.

I must admit, that it was an honor to interview the man who is not only both successful and highly creative but someone who is being followed by some of the hottest celebrities of our time. Naturally, it sparks a curiosity to meet and know more about this man!

It is impossible to find out the complete list of celebrities who follow him but the man and writer Robert M. Drake is followed by Khloe Kardashian (American reality TV star), Kendall Jenner (American reality TV star and fashion model), Kylie Jenner (American reality TV star), Sophia Bush (American actress and activist), and Shay Mitchell (Canadian actress and model).

There is little to no doubt that thousands of young and aspiring writers want to know more about Robert. This is where this interview idea came to my mind. I knew I wanted to know more about him. Well, it is my pleasure and honor to introduce Robert to all of you.

Without further ado, enter R. M. Drake.

 

Robert M. Drake: On Lifestyle and the Man Himself

Robert, are you originally from Miami, FL? 

Yes, I am originally from Miami, FL.

What’s your favorite place to eat in Miami?

Currently, I do not have a favorite place. There used to be a spot in a south beach called Van Dykes. It was a restaurant/bar/jazz lounge. It was fresh. I would kick it there several times a month. Good food, good people, good music and good drinks.

Do you like living in Miami? If you were to relocate, where would be that?

Probably San Francisco. I love it there. I feel unreal when I am there.

Do you have any pets? If yes, what are their names?

I have a Dog named Stewie. He is a rescue dog. When I was ready to adopt a dog I went to a local shelter. I remember seeing Stewie and his sister. I liked him a lot. He was very friendly but unfortunately, I did not take him.

A whole week passed and I still thought about him. I felt bad that I did not adopt him. I went back about a week later and his sister was gone but he was still in the shelter. I immediately adopted him and the rest is history.

He is very kind and lovely. Sometimes I feel for him because he cannot speak. I can see a lot of emotion in his eyes. It saddens me.

So Robert, do you write full-time?

Yes, I do, and I am very fortunate to be able to write full-time. I have put in a lot of sweat and blood into writing. Not a lot of people know that I have been writing since 1994. I have written numerous stories.

I have a 650-page book coming out called “A Brilliant Madness.” It a collection of five short stories I have written from circa 2003 to 2007. I am also working on “Gravity”, a novel.

Robert, let’s talk about Spirituality a little bit. Do you believe in God? Life after death?

I am not sure what I believe in. I feel things that I do know of. I have seen things that I do know of. I have a lot of questions regarding the entire religious spectrum. I have had very lucid dreams and experiences that question the ideals of Divinity.

I would like to say “No”, I do not, but something deep inside me tells me to believe and to keep searching. I am not sure what is it but there is something that does not want to eradicate my entire belief in God.

Maybe after all this is a human flaw, to believe that we can only define ourselves until we cannot and then there is a “God” to finish defining whatever it was you could not.

I do believe in life after death. My brother just passed in late August and we have spoken a few times.

Robert, on your Etsy store you mention that you are a sculptor and painter as well. Were you creative since childhood? Do you plan on exhibiting your work in the future?

When I was a child my parents were very poor. They did not have the money to buy me toys. In fact, I would only receive a gift during Christmas time. There were many instances where my father would buy me clay (because it was very cheap) instead of action figures or play guns, etc.

This was the only way I would lose myself. I would use whatever was around me and play. With the clay, I would sculpt action figures and play. When I was outside, I would pick up sticks and play. I was highly imaginative back then. It still amazes me to see how children use their imagination to getaway.

Imagination is a powerful thing. Some of us keep it and nurture it as we grow and some of us forget we have it.

I paint a lot of things. I do a lot of street art. It is everywhere in Miami and in other cities across the USA.  No, I do not exhibit or plan on exhibiting my works. I like my artwork to stay in the streets. It belongs there and I would never want my work to be represented in a gallery. (I have turned down so many requests).

My artwork is free and it is for everyone and it will always be. I would hate for my work to be owned and kept away from everyone who has yet experienced it.

With over 1M+ followers, you are a celebrity on Instagram. Tell us what does it feels like?

It is not real. I am not a celebrity. My work is shared by millions of people but nothing has really changed in my life. I still have the same life and I still live in a shitty apartment. Nothing has changed.

My writing only lives in the digital. It is not real but what is real is the feeling and hope my work gives to people and for that I am grateful. I am very blessed to be in a position where my thoughts and feelings influence a lot of people and that alone is enough to make me feel like my life is worth more than what is it right now.

Do you believe in love at first sight?

No. I believe in lust at first sight. I think that makes more sense to me. The illusion of love at first sight is not real.

 

Robert M. Drake on Writing

Tell us something about your upcoming novel “Gravity”?

Gravity is a novel that I have been writing since 2013. I do not want to mention too much about it at this time but I can tell you one thing: when you read it, you will lose track of time.

You will feel like you are dying only to reborn within every word. You will see yourself in the characters of the story and you will learn how to fall in love with something other than a person (human being).

The story is a reflection of our spirit and I have been chosen to write such a story. It is beautifully tragic in such a way that EVERYONE will be able to relate to it. This is why it is called Gravity, the attraction/force one we will never be able to break free of.

Can you talk about people or books you have read that have inspired you to embark on your own writing career?

I idolize great minds such are Virginia Woolf, Albert Camus, Walt Disney, Jean Paul Sartre, The Rza (which I will be working with soon), John Steinbeck, Nas, Steve Jobs, Kiki Smith, my college English Professor Robert Stambaugh and many more. The list is too long to list.

Can you talk about that one defining the moment when you knew you wanted to be a writer?

I wrote a story called “The Balcony” back in 1999. It was about a girl who jumped off a balcony because she felt so alone and she felt like no one could help her. As morbidly awful as that sounds it actually made the people I showed it to cry.

I knew whatever it was I had in me was special. After that when I was in college, I remember a lot of my professors telling me that I should be a writer. I never stopped writing. It was in my blood and I became obsessed with the idea of writing. Not because I thought it was “cool” but because I felt like I wanted to tell stories; stories that I thought I would like to read as a reader.

I want to capture something and I know I have still not captured what it is that I am trying to capture. If that makes any sense. I would probably feel this way until I die because I am always evolving and what I am trying to define is also evolving. There will never be an end to my work/research. I will never be done.

In your opinion, what is the most difficult part of the writing process? 

Trying to write when you do not feel like writing. And that’s all, really it is.

What advice would you give to budding authors?

Write what you know and do not write what others are writing. I understand there are certain things and emotions we all feel and go through. But if you are happy, do not write about hurting. I believe it is best to express what you are feeling at the moment. This way, the expression remains raw and fresh.

I am not saying you cannot write about something you went through last year because you can. But I believe it is best to write about whatever it is that is current. It keeps your feelings relevant to the “now” instead of waiting to write about whatever it is you want to write later.

I would also suggest to keep writing even if you express yourself poorly or if you do not like what you are writing. Keep writing. Do not compare yourself to other writers/authors because none are alike. It will only bring you down.

Also, the more renowned you get, the more recognition you will receive. There will be a lot of love but with praise and love comes hatred. For me, it fuels me to become better. I love it!

I love it when someone tells me my work is terrible. Thank you, I want to write better. I want to write deeper, and I will. I am not going anywhere. So, all of you who judge my work negatively and hate it, thank you. Keep hating; it makes me and my writing better.

Does your poetry carry a particular message or do you write for pleasure?

I do not write poetry. At least to me, I never saw them as “poems”. I write stories; that is all I have ever wanted to do. I do carry a message in my stories and the world has yet to see all that I can do.

These social media “thoughts and messages” are about 5% of what I want to do. I believe, if I play my cards right then I will leave a very powerful message behind when I pass away. I can assure you that. 

All the mentions of “her” and “she” in your poems… are there particular people you write about?

They are characters in my stories. And, yes each character is always inspired by someone I know. So yes in a way it is.

What challenges have you had to face in your writing career?

My greatest challenge was probably to get my writing out in front of my readers. It has been a blessing that I have used Social Media to stretch out my thoughts and stories to millions of people.

It is a beautiful thing that I am not enslaved by a publishing company and restricted. I want to show people to not be afraid to fail, and live your dreams. I want to show people that failure is bound to happen but you can succeed. Be free and do what you love. No excuses.

Can someone make living from writing? What advice would you give to struggling artists out there?

Do not sell yourself to a company. Do not let them buy you by offering you a little something you can probably do yourself. You can make money of any product; you just need to present it properly. This is the way the world works. If you are an artist and you want to make a living off your art then study and learn about marketing. It is an entirely different world and a world that might seem too vast to grasp.

This is why a lot of people sign contracts and all. They do not want to deal with the marketing part of their endeavor. But then you are selling your art for a small piece of the cake. Companies will rob you blind and rob you of your work. Do not be a slave. Be your own boss and find the motivation to become so.

Any near term personal goals or long term ambitions?

To live, at least long enough to write a few novels. My brother recently passed away. I know I do not have all the time in the world. My goal is to live a little longer.

Where do you think you will be after 25 years?

I cannot see that far into the future. I am sorry.

 

Robert M. Drake: Just for Fun

What is your favorite English word?

“Beautiful.”

What is your least favorite word?

“No.”

Can you talk about a fan encounter that completely took you by surprise?

One time I was doing street art and a bunch of people came up to me because they saw what I was doing and it caught their interest. When they saw what I had put up they freaked out, and then I freaked out. I do not know how I feel about being exposed. This is why I like to remain in the shadows.

If a film is made on you, who would play your role?

I am not sure. I do not watch too much TV or movies. I do not own a TV and I have not had cable since 2012. I’m not into TV or movies; I don’t know a lot of actors so I feel like I cannot answer this properly. I’m sorry.

So you might know that Khloe Kardashian and several other Celebrities follow you on Instagram. Have you met Khloe in person?

Khloe is fresh. I love her and that is all I want to mention about that.

Do you like going to the zoo?

I have not been in a long time. But it is okay.

What do you do when not writing or painting?

Drinking. Sometimes I have to live a little to remove the heaviness pilling up from the inside.

On what do you spend the most: clothes, accessories, perfumes, underwear, food, etc.?

I do not spend much money. I was poor all my life. I guess in a way I am not attached to anything materialistic but if I must say I do like spending on other people. It makes me feel good about myself.

What were your friend’s and family’s reactions to your success? Were they surprised, appreciative, happy? Tell us a little more about it?

No one actually knows. I do not like telling too much about my work to the people I am close. It might change people and I like to protect the very few people I have left. I do not let any new person in my life; that is all.

Do you have a nickname?

My friends call me Bobby.

 

I hope you enjoyed this interview with R.M. Drake as much as I did preparing and putting it out. Since you are already here, let me tell you a secret. You can subscribe to the Naked Soul letters (see top right of the page) to receive exclusive contents, informative posts and fun-entertaining articles.

Also, please tell me, who would you want me to interview next? Please comment below. Do not forget to follow Robert @rmdrk and Naked Soul @naked_soul_poems on Instagram.

Get the book Beautiful Chaos here on Amazon.

 

8 Lessons From Surviving My 20s

Lesson from surviving my 20s

I just turned 30. Yes, I know. But, inside, I do not feel anything different. This is my first blog post on the “Grand 30” theme.

I’ll be making a few interesting posts on this topic. But first, here are the quick 8 lessons that I would like to share with you (especially those of you who are still in your teens and twenties.)

Stay Alive and Stay on the Course

I have surpassed these peeps and therefore I am doing something “right!” Extreme of anything is not good. A well-balanced, happy life is a good thing. Tupac & B.I.G (died 25), Kurt Cobain (died 27), Jimi Hendrix (died 27), Jim Morrison (died 27), Brandon Lee (died 28), Heath Ledger (died 28), Caesar Caligula (died 28).

Guess what! I am still alive. I am happy! I have survived a lot of things which could have gone wrong. Enough on this sermon. You folks are smart and know what I mean.

Fail Early and Often

The difference between an unemployed 22-year-old with debt, no girlfriend & no work experience and an unemployed 25-year-old, with no girlfriend, in debt and no work experience is basically negligible in the long run (by the time you are 30).

I wasted my year 20-22 in Delhi and Noida, which eventually led me to where I am today. Guess, my failing for two years straight opened the door to a better future.

I sold Amway for 2 years, ran Precog IT consulting company for 2 years, and taught Martial Arts for 2 years. All of this behind me is only a bag of experiences. This led to my journey into Fitness and better business know-how.

I studied and practiced Church Life, lived a Zen life and learned about all the great religions in my 20s and now I have only peace (plus zero opinion) on matters of religion, faith, the afterlife, et al.

This is like cleaning a huge clutter from my soul. Because spirituality is very deep in us, you can’t skip it. One day you have to face it. The earlier you do this, the better you’ll become in understanding other human beings.

Money Or Job is Not Happiness

Money is good, but wanting money kills happiness. Fame is good, but wanting fame kills your joy. Success is good, but wanting to be great can ruin your simplicity.
Anything good is actually good, but you wanting it, trying to “force” it in your life will basically kill your happiness!

Value True Friendship

There are many types of friends in life: one of them is like when you go away for a long time and come back, it feels like nothing changed.
This is the only kind of friends whom you can call friends. They are there, and they will be there. They like you as a whole. Rest all other kinds — do not stress too much about them.
Mostly, you build friendships over shared interests and these are most fun ones. But these are also the flakiest ones.
Whenever I left a particular church or sports or a city, I also lost all the friends whom I thought were my “true-best-friends”. These people will be quick in judgment, often immature, and shallow.
Understand, like everything else, some people come in your life and share your journey for a while and then part. It is just life.
You cannot force a friendship. This is the time, you gotta make some true friends, invest time and energy.
Make mistakes, have fun, break a few rules, watch movies all night, share music, get into fights, do all sort of things, trust me, you won’t be able to do in your 30s.

Learn a skill (Sharpen a Talent)


Your 20s is the time, when you should really, seriously, try to pick up a skill that interests you. It could be mastering jokes, playing a guitar, dance, a foreign language, anything.
Trust me, you will never regret it and you’ll never get another golden second chance.
Education is important, grades are important too, but they are not fun. You want to have a sidekick, a specific unique identifier that differentiates you.
You anyways, have no freaking clue on what you are going to do with your life, so when the time will come to date a girl, or impress a new hiring manager or being fun on a group college trips or just sitting on the airport, train, bus — this uniqueness will fuel your voice and you won’t act like some shy weirdo.
Most of us are insecure. It is human nature. Having a particular talent will pretty much guarantee that you will feel (and others around you will make you feel) that your life has worth and you mean something.
It is important to have a boosted self-esteem. Later, in life, if you survive the 20s, still alive, you won’t give much damn about these. But it is important when you are single, lonely, poor and still finding your “Self”.

Learn how to say “F***” It

Disclaimer: Okay, this might seem offensive or ridiculous to some. My apologies in advance. But, f*** you! Back to the point: Understand, that the world in general does not cares about you.
The world is a very big place with too many people in it. Everyone is trying to make something out of their time here. You cannot take their rudeness (or indifference) towards you seriously. Nor you should be afraid of unsettling a few apple carts.
Remember that you have a middle finger. The more you will use it (not in a real sense showing it to real people, but mentally), the calmer you’ll feel, the less stress or hurt you’ll bag.
Show it to things and people you do not want in your life. There are literally, asshats out there and many of them will look good and talk good. But they do not possess your best interest. Nor do they give a rat-ass about your existence.
So, f*** all, that causes you harm and insults your soul. Dismiss it altogether. You’ll be doing it billions of time and by late 20s, you’ll really know how important “fcuk” is.

You’ll Face Disappointments

You’re supposed to FAIL and NOT accomplish all of your goals. Okay, this was personally hard for me. But, over the time I realized that 20s is meant to fail (for the vast majority of us, humans. Yes, Mark Zuckerberg is actually an alien, jk).
The more you fail during this decade, the more you increase your chances of getting successful in the 30s and 40s. You are bound to fail in finance, sports, relationships and entrepreneurship, leadership, direction, etc.
During my college years, I started a student organization The Way of Qi (TWOQ) and had a big ambition for it. I left it. I tried my hands in a few business opportunities and unfortunately, I had to leave them all in the middle. Why?
Because I was making mistakes in determining what I really want? Who to take as a business partner? Where to finance my enterprise? There were just too many uncertainties and a very little experience behind me.
I had a fire in me. Having the fire in your chest in what keeps your 20s young. Let that fire burn as many things as it can. Don’t stop due to pre-judging an opportunity.
Guess what, maybe, you are one of the aliens (Zuckerberg Brotherhood) and you can become a millionaire by age 30. But, in short: fail, fail, fail. Take pride in “failing forward.”
And of course, we all know, when you fail 10 times, you also have a few decent WINs in your lap!

Set Ambitious Goals (but Accept What You Achieve)

I had set a lot of goals for myself before I reach 30. The most outrageous of them was having 1 million USD in investment & liquidity and finishing my MBA from Harvard University.
Well, I am far from both and to be honest there are at least half a dozen more which were very personal and I could not achieve them (as of today). The lesson here is by setting these outrageous goals, I got a LOT done in the process.
Instead of crossing them off at 30, now I might do them later at 31, 35, 40, 90… it doesn’t matter anymore.
When we are young, often times, we want to do things because we want to show it to others. Look, I have “it” in me. I can do it. I am somebody. But as we mature in life, we learn that the true goals of life are very personal and intimately tied to our soul’s purpose on this earth.

Turning 30

Anyways, so what am I doing next?
1. I wanted to visit all 50 US states by age 30. I have done 30 already (as of today). My new target is by the end of 2019, visit all 50 US states. (well, finishing at age 35 is not bad)
 
2. I wanted to visit all 29 states of India by 30. I did 15. Now, the new target is by end of 2020, visit all 29 Indian states. (Finishing it while I am still my 30s is not bad)
 
3. And, I added a new one. One even more outrageous and BIGGER. Visit and tour 101 countries of the world in the next 5 years. Then make a book on it featuring one story from each country and a few of the most epic photos from each country.
 
My budget for this one: < $40,000 USD. Expensive?
Not really. A lot of decent commuting cars are more expensive than it. Will I be able to do it in 10 years? I don’t know. But I am going to try! And hard!
Update from May 2019: We have made some progress. Check out my travel goals and journey so far on www.artoftravel.tips and if you are into travel and adventure, check out www.artoftravel.store.
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Your turn. How would you celebrate someone’s 30th birthday? If you have suggestions, feedback, and thoughts, please feel free to leave a comment and I will try to honor your requests.