how to set goals and achieve them and become productive

In the 1950s, Japan was recovering from the after effects of World War II. The country was focused on growing its economy. A large population resided in the cities of Osaka and Tokyo, which were separated by 320 miles of train tracks. Large amounts of raw material and labor was transported on those rail lines. However, the mountainous terrain and obsolete railway system meant each journey could take up to twenty hours.

So, in 1955, the railway ministry issued a challenge to the nation’s finest engineers: invent a faster train. A prototype was unveiled six months later. Traveling at sixty five miles an hour, it was one of the fastest passenger trains in the world.

what to remember when life does not go your way

As a child, I was fascinated by the Indian army. I loved their uniforms, weapons, vehicles (especially the trucks), their macho physiques… I wanted to be a soldier when I grew up. But my frail physique and poor eyesight made this career a no-go.

But that didn’t deter my love for the army, or camouflage clothes. I yearned to own and wear them. My parents didn’t share this enthusiasm though.

Last week, before leaving for a meeting, I showed my attire off to my mother – camouflage t-shirt, brown cargos, light brown Woodland shoes and a camouflage bag.

I have two camouflage t-shirts and pajamas, and track pants. I am looking for a sexy camouflage riding jacket. Heck, if I come across camouflage underclothes, I’ll buy them too.


On 8th May 2013, Sir Alexander Ferguson stepped down as manager of the football club Manchester United. The sun set on an illustrious 57-year career in football. Of them, seventeen were as a player, and thirty nine as a manager. In those thirty nine years, Ferguson won forty nine trophies. No surprises then, that he is regarded as one of the greatest managers of all time.

Did Alex Ferguson listen to people? Yes. Did he need to?

In an analogue world, the typical answer would be “no”. Successful people know their ropes better than others. People should listen to them. They hang on to every word the successful folk utter. That’s why, the latter launch into monologues like they know everything. But Alex Ferguson listened. And he listened well.

tips to learn faster and remember more

Happiness is subjective. Your definition might vary from those around you. To me, happiness means living a fulfilled life. One I look forward to each day. One where I rely more on myself to feel better, and less on others. One where I chase meaningful goals, instead of chasing people.

Selflessness is a virtue, we are taught. It’s important to place others over self. That’s how society functions, they say.

But only someone who takes care of herself can take care of others. To be your best for others, you first must extend that luxury to yourself.

How should you take care of yourself? By nourishing your body, mind and soul. By feeding them the right food. By being a lifelong learner; learning things which broaden your perspective. Do this for a few years and you realize that there are no boundaries, except the ones in your mind.

TED Talks make better life

“People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily”, Zig Ziglar had popularly said.

We read countless self help articles and books, and watch hundreds of self-pep videos. These are wonderful exercises. They keep us motivated to pursue a better life for ourselves.

But some philosophies go deeper – deeper than enhancing the external aspects of self improvement. They take the perspectives we harbored all our lives, crumple them into paper balls, and fling them into the fire by the mantlepiece. The stirred up fire makes us feel warmer. These philosophies go beyond inspiration.

You have heard many popular TED Talks. These talks, viewed and shared tens of millions of times, give you strength to pull off yet another day. But some not-so-popular talks possess the ability to make you question how you lead your life, and stretch the limits of your imagination. You never feel the same again.

quotes to make your life better

Don’t deny it. You want to improve. You want to make your life better and do something you enjoy.

Since long, you have been dreaming of it. It doesn’t matter if you don’t know what you want to do. You long for the feeling of fulfillment. Of being in control. You came here to do more than pay bills, retire and die, right? If you can find time, you will figure out what the ‘more’ is.

And yet, time is one thing you never get. Your tight schedule doesn’t permit you to breathe, forget learning something new. Life sucks!

Some people, on the other hand, do fulfilling things often. Not just that, they also rub it in your face by chronicling it publicly. That sucks even more.

how to become like Dhoni
image source: (INDRANIL MUKHERJEE/AFP/Getty Images)

Gary Kirsten walked into the dressing room to see him padding up.

It was the 2011 World Cup final. Sachin Tendulkar had just been dismissed. Almost 1.25 billion Indians were crestfallen. They prayed for a victory that now seemed unlikely.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni had encountered a poor run in the tournament until then. But, here he was, promoting himself in the batting order, ahead of the in-form Yuvraj Singh and Suresh Raina. It seemed stupid, almost suicidal… like committing deliberate hara-kiri. And yet, Dhoni said to Kirsten, “I think I should go next.”

“Yes, you should”, Kirsten said. The team looked at Dhoni, a million questions running through their heads. He walked out to bat at the fall of Virat Kohli’s wicket.

tips for being a lifelong learner

You want more of it. Badly. Sleep. But you force yourself out of bed. The mornings get to you. Everything is disorderly, the shirt you want to wear isn’t ironed, and everyone is edgy. Somehow, you finish your daily routine and leave for work – sometimes after fighting with your partner, or scolding your child, or without eating breakfast.

Office is no better than the commute. The same dull meetings, the politics, the mundane work, the water cooler gossip, waiting for your boss to leave for the day so you can go home. Evenings, whatever are left of them, are as boring. You watch television, or downloaded series, or look for something to outrage over on social media.

how to be happy in life if you are alone

“I need this job! If I get it, I’m all set,” I said.

“What does ‘all set’ mean,” he asked.

“It means I’ll be happy! Where is your mind today?” I snapped.

“Chill out, I’m just kidding,” he smiled. “But what happens if you don’t get it?”

“You’re my friend, right? Don’t play devil’s advocate!” I said.

He laughed. “But seriously, will your life get worse?”

“Of course. I don’t have a job. I need money. You’re paying today’s pizza bill too, remember?”

“And you’ll never be happy again?”

I shrugged. He spotted the ‘you-just-don’t-understand’ look on my face, and dropped the topic.

Things are different now. Though I’m not old enough to justify my white hair, I’m wiser. It’s taken seven long years, but I understand what he was trying to tell me.