My Manifesto for 2013


There comes a time in everyone’s life when the status quo becomes unbearable. The only option one has is to change – change ways, change thoughts, change directions, change oneself, change outside or change inside. But it is times like these and the changes forced due to the discomfort that pushes one to move forward and become better. 

For me, such times come often, sometime more often than I would like. Perhaps it is because I get bored easily or perhaps because my current ways of being are unhealthy and unsustainable. I am going to be 29 years old in 16 days. I have almost spent 3 decades of my life and yet I have not been able to figure out a way of life which is sustainable, healthy, wholesome, purposeful and satisfying. And I am tired.

I am tired of feeling fatigued, fat, insecure, unmotivated and under confident all the time. If I need to achieve a good life and great things in it, I need to make drastic changes to my life and stick to it. And this year, it is going to happen. There will be disappointments I am sure. I am sure the speed would not be as great as I will like it to be, but this, I know – it is going to happen now or never. 2013 would be the year in which I start to make a turn for the better in all walks of my life. No excuses, no slowing down and no escape. The fact of the matter is that I have spent enough time longing for a life which I know is possible and I can make it happen. All I need to do now is to remove the roadblocks from that happening! 

For that I need to forget what others will say, what mom will say or what he will say. I just need to focus on what my conscience would say if I did not do this right now. I shudder imagining a life which I will end up with continuing with my current ways. Time to turn the corner for good! For that there are some major areas which I need to focus on : 

1. Routine

2. Food 

3. Health

4. Skin/Hair/General Grooming 

5. Professional Development

6. Spiritual Development

7. Fiscal Management

8. Social Development and Networking

9. Focus 

10. Positive Thinking and Happiness 

The items listed are in the order of their importance that I should take care of – Top 4 are all equally important.

So, my manifesto for the year 2013 is as follows:  

  1. I swear to follow a sensible routine to prevent myself from lethargy and fatigue and unnecessary exhaustion. This means :
    • I would get good sleep 
    • I will get up on time
    • Eat on time 
    • Exercise on time 
    • Bathe on time 
    • Watch TV if there is any time
  2. I swear to eat healthy food all the time. I have eaten unhealthy food since I left home at 18. I can surely commit to eating healthy food for less than a year. What goes in dictates what comes out of you in terms of emotions, energy and thoughts. This means:
    • I will not eat junk food except twice a month 
    • I will consume healthy and low calorie food – no white rice, no maida and no desserts except twice a week 
    • I will not eat non veg
    • I will not drink alcohol except once a month 
    • I will not binge/overeat
    • Avoid cold stored food. Prefer fresh made hot food! 
  3. I swear to strive for perfect health at all times. Is it not scary to imagine all those health problems occuring just because one cannot eat right and exercise right?? Is it not horrifying to imagine a situation where you are forced to be less effective physically than you can be just because you did not make right choices? Is it not great to be able to avoid any disabilities and enjoy a long, disease free life functioning to the best of your abilities?? Hell yes!! That is why: 
    • I will exercise a minimum one hour everyday for at least 5 days a week
    • I will do yoga (set asanas) for 30-40 minutes everyday for at least 5 days a week and only one day a week is allowed without exercise or without yoga! 
    • I will keep correct posture while standing and sitting and avoid body harming positions 
    • I will measure weight regularly – everyday or every second day in a journal 
  4. I swear to be well groomed all the time. I have always given minimal importance to grooming but lately I have realized that external grooming is as important as internal grooming. It is our first channel of communication with the outer world and is a reflection of our inner world. Unkempt hair, dirty unpressed clothes, wrong shoes, uncomfortable fitting – all portray a cluttered mind and a careless individual. To succeed – personally and professionally, it is important to convey what you want the world to see, a confident, sorted out, well groomed individual. This means: 
    • I will not wear unclean clothes 
    • I will not keep my hair unkempt
    • I will clean my hair regularly
    • I will maintain daily grooming activities – face washing, moisturizing, oiling, cleaning as necessary
    • I will take care of my teeth and tongue
    • I will be well groomed all the time!! 
  5. I swear to be proactive in developing my career – be it at work or at finding options. Shirking work has never led anyone anywhere. Also, doing good work has always made me happy and satisfied. I will not procrastinate. Karma!! 
    • I will do the office work within deadlines and on time 
    • I will not waste time in office [on internet/by loitering around]
    • I will be respectful towards the work I do
    • I will not be bitter towards my colleagues, be respectful and try to gain important skills and establish good rapport
    • I will be professionally focussed at all times 
  6. I swear to work on my spiritual development. I like to think of myself as a philosophical person and I have thought a lot about some aspects of my life. But, I have never thought about spirituality in such serious terms as I do today. The fact of the matter is that to observe the above 5 rules with any semblance of seriousness, I need to sort out my head and get spiritual about the world and its issues. It would be the drug which would keep me away from negativity and hopelessness.
    • I will chant both the mantras given as prescribed everyday
    • I will think about the important teachings and chew on them till distilled
  7. I swear to take care of my finances. I have been earning for nearly 4 years now and comfortably for about 2. Still, I don’t have any respectable savings to show. It is bad fiscal management. I am clearly running a fiscal deficit right now when I need to borrow money from my brother who actually earns much lesser than me. It is a shame. Any responsible individual would take care of her finances. I aim to become that person.
    • I will fix a monthly savings amount and I will always and forever save that money every month 
    • I will limit my spending on things that I need – no more retail therapies, no more expensive dining out except occasionally, no more petrol wastage and other unnecessary expenditure
    • I will return the money taken from brother
    • I will reduce my liabilities and increase my assets 
    • I will invest wisely 
    • I will give money to Mom and Dad
  8. I swear to enhance my Social Development and Networking skills. No one in this world has risen alone. 
    • I will continue to network, keep in touch with people, help them and also make use of them 
    • Market your own products like blog and curious nation 
  9. I swear to develop a focus for this year. Even it that means the focus is on finding out ways. But there has to be a focus and results orientation. 
  10. I swear to be positive at all times. No-one can beat the person who has spirits. May be life is a fight and you have to continually be in a battle. The only things that ensures you do not lose it are – positive thinking and happiness!  If I have to imagine anything, why not make it positive anyway!  

Cheers to 2013. Start of a new life! 

Cheers to a 29 year old girl who dreams of changing the world, even if by a bit and will do so one day! Amen! 


What I Talk About when I Talk About Running – Haruki Murakami

This is a book about that part of Murakami’s life where he runs. He has gained a lot of insight into himself by running for nearly 23 years and taking part in marathons and triathlons and an ultramarathon. It is a memoir of his running life. Is it well written?? Yeah. It is a simple book, easy to read and with a couple of takeaway lines full of life wisdom. It is inspiring in a lot of places. So much so that even a person like me, who is dead against running, was inspired to start to run. 

It is breezy. Murakami does not reveal a lot of himself. I sensed him being restrained all through out the book. Nonetheless, it can be picked up. It took me all of 5 hours to finish, so is a breezy read as well.

On Rafa after Australian Open 2012

Australian Open 2012 Final match was an epic. In a 6 hour give-it-all five set battle, Novak Djokovic won. He played lights out tennis with absolute conviction and precision.

For me, this match was yet another inspirational nugget from Rafael Nadal – The guy is a philosopher and has the best work ethic in the whole wide world.

Rafa was a part of a 6 hour final in the Australian Open against Novak Djokovic which he lost. Novak won again in a match which was a display of supreme relentlessness from both sides. One would think that a player who loses in the end would be crushed and dejected. What Rafa said instead was that he was happy to have been part of a historical match and that he was glad to have fought the way that he did. That he enjoyed being there, fighting, suffering. That he enjoyed the suffering. That is a true sportsperson.

Make no mistake, Rafa is never happy with the second spot. He likes to win more than anything. But, he can appreciate the fact that life sometimes does not happen as one wishes. Despite your best efforts, there is someone who makes a better effort and it pays. That you can try all you got and still fall short. That you can suffer without rewards. Nowhere is this more nakedly visible than in Tennis, where you try for all to see and then lose in the end.

And at the end of it, if you can feel satisfied and be able to say that you have enjoyed the suffering, that you accept what comes in the way after you have tried and given all, that you accept that there has to be a loser and it was you this time, that you accept that it’s someone else’s chance, that you accept that you could have done nothing more than fight and that you enjoyed the struggle is to say that you have the highest character and sportsmanship. That is what Rafael Nadal has.

He has guts, he has talents, he has the will but best of all, he has character to be gracious in defeat and humble in victory. He shows by his way what it means to have a work ethic, what it means to work for passion, what it means to enjoy the struggle – a case in point for ‘Karm Kar! Fal ki iccha mat kar’. I won’t say that he does not care for the fruits of his labor. He does. But, he has the wisdom to accept that sometimes things come to fruition and sometimes they don’t despite your best efforts.

He shows how to live! At least to me! He shows how to go for broke!! People see all the effort and they say he does not earn as much in return, that he loses. But he, he who strives knows the joy of striving, of trying, of improving. Vamos!! Way to go!!

He may have lost this match, but he has regained hope and confidence. Next time, he will win! I know it! He knows it. But he will not take it for granted, he will strive and enjoy striving!

Wonderful Women Series

I just saw the trailer of Mira Nair’s new movie “Amelia”. It made me think that how wonderful a woman she was.  And that led me to think about many other women who are pioneers in their fields, who have achieved so much, sometimes with hardships and sometimes with just their dedication and I am just so amazed and inspired. I think that every aspiring woman should be able to read these stories and draw courage, wisdom and strength. I just want to recall these stories and chronicle them on my page. So, today I have decided to start a series where I will write about the wonderful women that have been and are, the things that they have done and why their lives are like a shining torch.

The series will be called Wonderful Women. I will try to make it as inclusive as possible.

It’s Not About The Bike – Lance Armstrong

This book describes the true story of Lance Armstrong from his childhood to the cancer and his battle with it and then with his limitations to become the winner of  Tour De France- one of the most challenging races in biking spanned over three weeks testing physical limits of human body as well as the strength of spirit and mind.

The life of Lance Armstrong is an inspiration to all. It is about never quitting. Never giving up. Giving your best to whatever comes, even when you are dejected, even when there is hardly any hope left. The book reflects this philosophy superbly. It conveys extremely well what it wants to convey. The extraordinary story is extraordinarily told. It is meant to inspire, to coax and it does. Very well.

No wonder I flipped through the pages without stopping once and lost my sleep also just to finish it. If you have ever felt diheartened and thought that why is this happening to me, if you have not the courage to fight anymore, pick up this book. It stirs something deep inside. It shows one thing, the will and determination a person can hve and the difference that can make in one’s lives.

Worth a read!