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What do British Airways, Finnair and Lufthansa have in common?

They’re all courting and wooing Indians!

First it was the hostesses at British Airways Airlines who joined their hands to greet us in a namaste. The Fins took it a step further and did an entire dance in celebration of Indian Republic Day. Lastly, Luftansa joined the bandwagon, assuring us that they are “more Indian than you think”.

Gosh, not sure what to make of it. It’s flattering nonetheless. Anyway, have a look at the below promotions of the three airlines:

Be Brutally Honest – Ramit Sethi

I’ve recently been reading Ramit Sethi’s blog.

One of his advice I’ve been using is “Be Brutally Honest”.

Here’s how this advice helped me recently. I’ve been delaying creating Kindle versions of my Sufi Comics books.  I would give the usual excuses:

“I don’t have time”
“This is going to be difficult”
“It’s too much work”

But these were surface level excuses. When I became brutally honest with myself, I found the real reason for procrastinating was spending too much time on low priority tasks.

I cut down on some of those tasks and made a simple next action of doing one thing ie posting a job requirement on odesk.

Within a week from that date, the Kindle books were done!  Wow, something that I was procrastinating for more than a year, got done is less than a week.

If you like Ramit Sethi’s blog, I’d recommend his SuccessTriggers course.

Why I love ILM Montessori

Our glowing signboard

Steve Jobs commencement address at Stanford, is inspiring. I’ve watched it a couple of times. A line that stood out for me is when Steve says, “I was lucky — I found what I loved to do early in life.”

Well friends, now, I’ve gotten lucky too.

Since December 2012, I have involved myself in a passionate project. A project that has taken over every single waking moment. This is not like the flings that I have had in the past. In fact it’s like falling in love all over again. It’s deeper than that. It’s love with a purpose, a higher purpose.

Oh how much I love learning and how much I love teaching. I’ve covered the walls of my office with books. I’m constantly consuming content. While having lunch, or driving to work even when working out at my gym, I’m always listening or watching a lecture (an occasional movie). (On a side note, these days, I use several techniques, tips, tricks to speed up the rate of which I consume material, but that’s a story for another blog post).

It’s when I’m learning that I am the happiest. The only thing that makes me happier than gobbling up books and videos, is by serving content instead. Hence, I love writing,I love drawing and i love delivering the occasional speech too.

Schooling was a dream project since…since…well since I was in school. As a school boy, I remember overseeing my principal making the bus schedule and I was mentally making notes on how he was going about it.

Even today, walking through any school hallways, observing classrooms I’m in awe. The transformation that’s taking place in classrooms. In every class, there’s the teacher. Impacting the the lives of generations.

Life gifted me with amazing teachers. (Even today God has blessed me with an amazing teacher/mentor). The golden lessons I learnt at school then, I teach my kids today. While whispering a silent prayer to my educators.

Launching ILM Montessori:

An impulsive phone call led myself and seven other also passionate friends to get into a conference room. This was around the Christmas of 2012.

We poured our hearts out at one marathon meeting after another. Week after week, midnight after midnight, we clarified our vision. We went to the depths of the question why we wanted to start a school in the first place. We finally were as specific as we could be to what we wanted and what we didn’t.

We had clarity, took the plunge and committed to a property where our children would study. Our dream was on its way to become reality. And as of today, it’s turning out way better than we had imagined!

With tremouondous excitement and a fair dollop of nervousness we launched ILM Montessori and began our academic year on 18 June 2012. It has been heaven since then.

Our Journey so far:
We’ve been documenting our journey at our blog. Here are some of our high points:

We hosted the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art exams
– We received heart-warming testimonials from our parents. Watch them here.
– We’ve documented our learnings into our hit report. How to select a Preschool for your child.
– Currently we are preparing and rehearsing for our Annual day celebration.

Why I love ILM Montessori

Gosh, I love this project.  However, it’s not always been smooth sailing.  We’ve had our share of downs.  But even when setbacks hit, we do what it takes to get up and get rolling again. I often reflect why am I so attached to this project/venture then others.  Clear reasons surface.

1. The purity and selflessness at ILM Montessori: One of the reasons why we wanted to start our own school is because of the rampant commercialisation of education. In a commercial educational venture there’s always the possibility of self-interest taking over the interest of the school or children. ILM Montessori is a non-profit venture. The trustees have no profitable stake in it whatsoever. So why are we still so involved, it’s not for they money, it’s because we are in love with ILM. We do charge close to commercial rates. We do that so we can give our savings back to the school in terms of better salaries, better infrastructure and better facilities.

2. Working with an amazing diverse group:
Working with our group of Trustees. Every meeting of ours I feel even more motivated and charged towards the project. My daughter studies at ILM Montessori. She does so because I want to put her in a school where it is these people who are in charge. I have complete confidence in their integrity, sincerity and passion. There’s magic when working with a group of skilled, motivated, sincere individuals. At times that’s all on needs. Other perks begin to seem trivial.

3. The immense intangible reward of the project itself:
During my day job I’m involved with a team to create and sell homes and office spaces. Seeing a real-estate project come to life has it’s thrills. But it’s no comparison against crafting beautiful minds, shaping purposeful lives and working on changing the world for a better tomorrow. As I’ve mentioned, I have had amazing teachers. I can do the things that I do, because of my teachers. I am the person I am, because of my teachers. Here’s a chance for me to be part of that great tradition and help give a little back.

Here’s to the Crazy Ones:

To paraphrase another Steve Jobs quote. In one of his last ever interviews Steve speaks about the secret of success.

He says if you look at those who have been successful, a quality that they all have is that they are insanely passionate about what they do. That passion helps them when the going gets tough. Because when things are really difficult, a sane person would do the most obvious natural expected thing. He would quit. Why, because he is sane.

It’s the crazy passionate individual who pushes through. Because he’s not in it for the money. He’s not it for they glory. He’s doing it because that’s all that he loves doing. It is he who is often successful.

We’re open for Admissions:

We started our school with just Pre-Primary. Now, in the forthcoming academic year we are beginning the Primary section of our school. We’re great believers in the beauty and elegance of the Montessori system. For the first three Primary years we will continue to follow the Montessori methodology. Do wish us luck and Please pray for our success.

Visit our Blog here to see what we’ve been upto at ILM Montessori:
Do Like our Facebook Page here:
You can download a pdf of our brochure here:

Finally, I’ve included a few pics from our photo gallery below.
Have a glimpse of our wonderful ILM Montessori:

 

ILM Boys having a Great time!

Girls just wanna have fun!

This year… make things happen!

“Getting things done is not the same as making things happen.

You can…
…reply to email.
…pay the bills.
…cross off to-do’s.
…fulfil your obligation.
…repeat what you heard.
…go with the flow.
…anticipate roadblocks.
…aim for “good enough.”

Or you can…
…organise a community.
…take a risk.
…set ambitious goals.
…give more than you take.
…change perceptions.
…forge a new path.
…create possibility.
…demand excellence.

Don’t worry too much about getting things done.
Make things happen.”
~ Gina Trapani (Lifehacker)

Read more brilliant and inspiring stuff in the ebook, What Matters Now (pdf).

Ps. Have trouble finding your passion?  Make sure you catch Derek Sivers note on Passion on page 51.

How to Achieve Your Goals with Healthy Habits

I’m the kind of person who loves making Goals. Goals motivate me to aim for something great, to be in a better place then where I am now.

But I’ve also noticed that goals can become a source of unhappiness.

Let me explain.

A person with a Goal mindset often thinks in this way “If I get [goal here] then I’ll be happy”.  As a result our Happiness gets pegged with achieving the Goal.

And once you reach your Goal, you plan for the next Goal starting a new cycle of wanting something to be happy.

Here are some more problems with having a Goal mindset:

  • There’s a lot of excitement in the beginning when we make Goals, but the excitement fades with time, making it difficult to reach the Goal
  • Outcome is not in our control. Therefore even if we do our best, we still may not end up reaching out Goal. But instead we end up carrying the burden of failure
  • All the focus is on the result, and not on the journey. When infact it’s the journey that is more important than the result
  • Goals are often conceived without account for unexpected changes in life. Sometimes our plans change along the way that don’t allow us to reach our Goals

Focus on Habits

Here’s something I found better than goals.

Habits.

Instead of focusing on reaching your Goals, focus on creating the right Habits. In doing so:

  • You are free to enjoy the present moment by focusing on the habit your want to create
  • Your Happiness doesn’t depend on reaching something in the future, but instead of building something in the present – a Habit
  • You’re aiming for long term change, not short term gratification.

How to turn your goals into habits?

For example, if your Goal is to lose 5 Kg in the next 3 months. Focus on creating a Habit like “Workout at the gym 5 days a week”.

Now inspite of your best efforts if you’ve not lost those 5 kg, that’s ok. You’ve done something better… you’ve formed the habit of exercise that will keep you health for the rest of your life.

Isn’t that better than just losing 5 kg and putting that weight back on after 3 months?

Here are some more examples of forming Habits from your Goals:

  • Write a 300 page Book in the coming year. Focus on creating a Habit of writing 30 mins a day
  • Learn to speak a new language. Schedule language speaking sessions a friend
  • Learn a new programming language:  Commit to spend 5 hours a week on an online class with Lynda.com.

You get the point :-)

But how can you achieve anything if you don’t have Goals?

Ok, let me clarify something. I’m not saying “Don’t make Goals”, what I’m saying is don’t have a Goal mindset where you’ve set all your hopes and dreams on achieving that one Goal.

Instead put your attention in forming habits that will take you towards your Goal.

Welcome 2014

It’s the new Year, and many of us are making Goals. I’ve made Goals as well, and for each Goal I’m focusing on a Habit to support the Goal.  What are your plans for 2014? Share your thoughts in the comments section below:

Now that’s Advertising!

I’ve been an advertising buff all my life.  I’ve commented on some nasty ads here and here.  And shared some sparklers here, here,  here and here.

Most ads speak about the greatness of their products.  Not this ad.  Yet I’m convinced to try it out.  And they executed the ad in under 15 seconds, with just one actor and a minimalist set.  Now that’s advertising!

 

 

 

 

 

Here are some solid ad headlines:

Feared by more people than ever before.
Your cough won’t know what hit it, neither will you.
Made with oil of Pine needles. What did you expect it to taste like?
People swear by it. And at it.
Our largest bottle is 200 ml. Anything more would be cruel.
Not new. Not improved.
How bad does it taste? That depends. How bad is your cough?
Unfortunately, adding DM doesn’t make it taste any better.
I’m dedicated to ensuring every new batch of Buckley’s tastes as bad as the last.
Four of the most dreaded words in the English language: “Get out the Buckley’s!”
I have recurring nightmares in which someone gives me a taste of my own medicine.
Since 1919, we’ve been leaving Canadians with a bad taste in their mouths

Prism 2.0

An amazing short film, inspired by actual CIA research files.  Just 15 minutes long.  Have a look.

 

Note to Dennis Lu (the Director):

You really should start a Kickstarter to raise funds for part two.

Sketches at delhi airport

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