Early one morning, before sunrise, a fisherman went to a river. On the bank, he felt something underfoot, and found it to be a small sack of stones. He picked up the sack, and putting his net aside, squatted on the bank to await the sunrise. He was waiting for dawn to break in order to start his day’s work. Lazily he picked a stone out of the bag and threw it into the water. Then he cast another stone and then another. In the absence of anything else to do, he kept tossing the stones into the water, one by one.
Slowly the sun rose and it became light. By that time he had thrown all the stones away except one; the last stone lay in his palm. His heart almost failed him when he saw, by daylight, what he held in his hand. It was a gem! In the darkness, he had thrown a whole sack of them away! What had he lost unknowingly! Full of remorse, he cursed himself. He sobbed and cried, almost out of his mind with grief.
He had accidentally stumbled upon enough wealth to enrich his life many times over, but unknowingly, and in the darkness, he had lost it. Yet in a way he was fortunate: still one gem was left; the light had dawned before he had thrown it away too. Most people are not even that fortunate.
There is darkness all around and time is fleeting. The sun has not yet risen and we have already wasted all life’s precious gems. Life is a vast treasure trove, and man does nothing with it but throw it away. By the time we realise the importance of life, much of it is whiled it away. The secret, the mystery, the bliss, the deliverance, heaven — all is lost. And one’s life is spent.
WHAT IS TIME MANAGEMENT?
Time management is your ability to use your time effectively, be productive and accomplish not only your daily tasks, but your larger life goals. It means knowing the difference between being busy and being productive: When you’re busy, your mind is preoccupied with your to-do list, skipping from one task to another without focusing on anything. When you’re productive, you have a plan for tackling everything you need to do and you’re able to get laser-focused on your goals.
To make the most of your time and achieve the life that you dream of, you must create a mental shift in how you think about time management. Stop thinking of time as a resource that’s out of your control. It’s true that there are only a limited number of hours in a day, but you can develop time management skills to focus your attention on what really matters.
I remember a story I had read long time back in the book Creativity – unleashing the forces within by Osho.
Once there was a great sculptor, a painter, a great artist. His art was so perfect that when he would make a statue of a man, it was difficult to say who was the man and who was the statue. It was so lifelike, so alive, so similar. An astrologer told him that his death is approaching, he was going to die soon. Of course, he became very much afraid and frightened, and as every man wants to avoid death he also wanted to avoid it. He thought about it, meditated, and he found a solution. He made a statue of himself, eleven in number, and when death knocked on his door and the Angel Of Death entered, he stood hidden among his eleven statues. He stopped his breathing.
The Angel Of Death was puzzled, could not believe his own eyes. It had never happened− it was so irregular! God has never been known to create two persons alike; he always creates the unique. He has never believed in any routine, he is not like an assembly line. He is absolutely against carbons, he creates only originals. What has happened? Twelve persons in all, absolutely alike? Now whom to take away? Only one has to be taken. The Angel of Death could not decide. Puzzled, worried, nervous, he went back. He asked God, “What have you done? There are twelve persons exactly alike, and I am supposed to bring only one. How should I choose?”God laughed. He called the Angel of Death close to him, and he uttered the formula in his ear, the key to finding the real among the unreal. He gave him a secret code and told him, “Just go, and utter in that room where the artist is hiding himself among his own statues.”
The Angel Of Death went into the room, looked around and, not addressing anybody in particular, he said,” Sir, everything is perfect except one thing. You have done well, but you have missed One point, there is an error .“
The man completely forgot he was hiding. He jumped, he said, “what error?”
Death laughed. And Death said,” you are caught! This is the only error. You cannot forget yourself. Come on, follow me.”
The maximum books I have read from one author is Ryan Holiday. I recently revisited his book Ego is the Enemy as it helps me remain grounded. Some key ideas from the book:
- Ego prevents you from improving. If you overestimate your talent, you’ll never improve. If you think you have all the answers, you’ll never learn. And so, at this stage, the most important skill you can possess might be this: the ability to accurately assess your own ability. Confidence is founded on hard work, on accurate self-assessment, on actual achievements. Ego is foundationless. In Holiday’s words: “Ego is stolen. Confidence is earned.”Talk less, work more. Talk drains your energy and eats your time and gets you nowhere. Success isn’t the work you’ve done; it’s the work you’re doing.
- Be a perpetual student. The ego is full of self-regard. It’ll tell you that you’re better, that you’re smarter, that you’re already an expert. When you’re aspiring, you can counteract your ego by reminding yourself that there’s always something to learn. If you’ve gained recognition for your work, if you now have some impressive title, it’ll become even harder to stay humble, to resist the self-satisfied words of your ego. Resting on our laurels is a result of our pride.We’re too busy patting ourselves on the back to see that there’s room for improvement, or that we could achieve even greater things.
- Focus on what’s important. What’s important to you? Not to society or your parents or whoever else you think you should impress. But to you. It’s important to figure this out because, if you don’t, your ego will lead you astray. You may begin chasing goals or pursuing positions that, beyond the status they convey, mean little to you – and that’s a recipe for disaster. Maybe you want more time with your family. Or maybe you really do want more money. Both are fine. What’s important is that you know. Pursuing your goal, whatever it is, will require tradeoffs – and ego allows no tradeoffs.
- Keep your ego in check by learning to delegate tasks and trust your team. Ever feel like you can’t give them tasks to do because they just wouldn’t do as good a job as you? These are telling signs that your ego probably needs to be reined in a bit. Try placing trust in other people’s work. You and your team will benefit from it. Fight the temptation to do the work that you should be delegating. That voice in your head, telling you that only you know how to do things correctly? That’s your ego. Resist it.
- Failure: Find out why you failed. If one of your great ideas gets rejected or you don’t get the job you applied for, it’s natural to feel frustrated. After all, our egos tell us that we’re entitled to receive rewards – but the world doesn’t always work in accordance with our plans. Sometimes we don’t get that promotion or close that sure deal, even though we did our best. So how do we confront this? Rather than feeling disappointed, we can start by acknowledging the work we’ve done and recognize that we can’t always control the outcome of that work, or people’s opinions of us. An unexpected result should be welcomed as an opportunity to honestly reflect on our performance. The next time something doesn’t go the way you expect it to – and even when something just so happens to go well, out of sheer luck – take the time to understand why.
Avoid ego, avoid it now, avoid it in the future, avoid it always.
I believe in ‘Growth inside fuels growth outside’ and that’s the core purpose of the Growth Retreat that I am planning for my mentees, whom I have had the pleasure to help over the months.
A 3-day residential program on the banks of Ganga at Rishikesh this December, is meant to be a game changer in every participant’s ongoing journey of personal growth.
Focused on multi-discipline personal growth, the retreat will have unique formats of interactive sessions with domain experts in entrepreneurship, digital communication, personal brand building, work-life balance, relationship, wealth management, wellness & nutrition and more; clubbed with wholesome rejuvenation with yoga, meditation, and music – elements that will make a big difference in the way we live our life.
I am super excited about the Growth Retreat, where 20+ great minds will closely interact, share experiences and exchange ideas – a huge potential for greater possibilities and a unique networking opportunity.
Why Rishikesh, you may ask.
It is only when we step outside our comfort zone, we begin to grow, change and transform. In my personal journey of transformation, regular visits to Rishikesh have played a big role. Breaking away from luxuries, madness and nuisances of urban living, is therapeutic to begin with and sets a perfect ambiance to fuel personal growth.
What makes it even more exciting that all participating mentees and guest speakers, I met them all on Twitter!
Stay tuned for insightful articles by the Growth Retreat’s eminent guest speakers, in the upcoming issues of the newsletter.
A good tool to take care of nails…As people grow older, their toenails often become thicker, making them harder to cut. Here’s a home remedy that works: apply a bit of Vicks Vaporub ointment (normally used for easing chest congestion) to your thick nails, massaging it on gently. Wipe off any excess ointment before pulling on socks or going to bed. After a month or so of daily applications, you should find your toenails softer and easier to trim.
Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2022 – a peek at some of the entries. Highlighting the fragility, resilience and beauty of the natural world, this year’s images bring the biodiversity crisis – and power of conservation – into sharp focus
A polar bear hanging out of a window, a bonobo cradling a mongoose, a giraffe hiding under a railway bridge – these are just some of the stunning images entered into this year’s Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition.
Among the more unusual images was Dmitry Kokh’s shot of a polar bear taken in the Russian high Arctic (main image). When his boat approached the small island of Kolyuchin, abandoned by humans since 1992, he was surprised to spot movement in one of the houses. Binoculars revealed nearly two dozen polar bears exploring the ghost town. Dmitry used a low-noise drone to document the surreal experience.