Going digital for your Business


If you’re thinking that the online space is only for big or mid-sized companies, you might need to rethink again before you are sure of it next time. A variable increase in the number of traditional, small businesses is now adopting the digital way to a varying extent and for good reason.


Going digital should not be seen as a way to build an image but has several other leveraging advantages.
In today’s world, you will find yourself in the online space on a beneficial need. No matter what sort of business you do, the type of customers you handle, the model that you follow or create for you, what category of Business it comes under, you make it a necessity to mark your presence in the online world.


Choosing to establish a digital presence sure does have value in it. A quick google search would land you any business sure does have a mark on the digital space or in simpler terms have an online footprint.


Today even if you are having a hardware or a supplies business, you could say that even if not a giant, you do have an identification on the online space. With a simple receipt of money from accepting cards, UPI, or e-wallets which are something like mobile application-based payment, congratulations you have made good progress.


There is always scope for improvement similarly, if you are already into the digital world, there is still a possibility to expand the digital footprint to magnify your presence.


Digital trends impacting MSME


Increased number of small businesses moving online.


A recent study that was conducted indicated that 63% of MSMEs wanted to go digital but only 5% went in the real digital world. A majority of MSMEs reported positive responses to post moving into the digital world. One more study mentioned that businesses that opted for the digital way doubled their growth in a quicker span than their offline counterparts which is a seemingly big achievement. SO on the whole considering both the case study above it is evident that small businesses are continually moving towards digitization.


Adopting cloud technology


Several small businesses adopted cloud technology to improvise their way of working. This included solutions that help in password management, mailing lists, and handling customer relationships. This helps organizations achieve productivity and make a competitive achievement. This was agreed by a majority of MSMEs where the results were proven to be positive. The cloud-based technology solutions that were opted for by the organizations are affordable and could be tailored to suit any business scenario.


Encouragement from the Government to adopt a cloud strategy


To raise the contribution of MSMEs GDP to 50% in the next 5 years the Government has placed the adoption of cloud-based solutions as one of the priorities. !8 tool rooms have been set up to assist the MSMEs in the cloud-based solution adoption which is expected to be increased to over 150 training centers.


Understanding and adjusting to the millennials


In terms of the sheer number and purchase power, the millennials rule the online world. So to get your business on their radar the small businesses must adapt video content for promotion, influencer marketing, and usage of social media.


Power of social media and its dominance


In terms of reach, impact, and conversion to sales social media dominate the marketing strategy. Facebook and Instagram in particular are the key players to focus on.


Chatbots for customer service


Better customer service is the key to financial growth. Given limited resources, automating customer service and response to customer queries help in streamlining the process. The quicker the turnaround for a customer query the more you get to score in terms of valuable service and definitely, that paves way for word of mouth growth, which in turn means more number of customers and could be possible conversion to sales.

How can it serve to be a springboard to success?


Adopting digital methods or digitization is served to be a springboard and bring in exponential growth


A representative of business transformation


Adopting cloud-based solutions helps to streamline the operating process and helps in improving growth and productivity. The most powerful effect on Business would be from adopting digitization.


Versatile and dominant medium of business


High impact branding and communication in the form of text, audio, and video is possible and thereby bringing in unprecedented reach. Helps enable real-time two-way communication through dedicated brand platforms that help in driving interaction and engagement.


The ultimate path for sales


With e-commerce raising the curtain for the show of online shopping from the comfort of homes and at suitable times, the products are available at ease, and payments are also made hassle-free.


A deeper insight into above-sighted advantages is below.


Triggering business transformation


These cloud-based solutions are plug and play which in other words mean they can be tailored to suit your business needs. With Big- data analytics-enabled it helps access patterns and insights and enabled to choose business decisions accordingly. From manufacturing to supply chain to CRMs they are tailored accordingly.
Mailing Management – MS Outlook ,Gmail
Storage management – One drive and Google Drive,
Accounting software – Intuit QuickBooks Online,
CRM software – Apptivo
Though it requires time and effort to choose the best that suits your needs, the return on investment is exponential.


Versatile cost-effective medium


To reach out to prospects nationwide and worldwide is the best means. Another added advantage being the ability to effectively narrow down the target prospects based on purchase power, demography, and many such factors.
Online videos on Youtube, are a great way to capture the eyeballs and register your brand to the target audience.
A key performance metric is an engagement that decides the success rate. The prospects’ progress journey that lands on sales are the result every business looks out for. This can be achieved by content creating that is compelling and interactive enough to initiate engagement.


Sales enablement


An eCommerce platform could either be your own or can be chosen to be a part of eCommerce aggregator platforms like Amazon, Flipkart, Paytm, snapdeal, and Shopclues.


The deeper you go into digital, the number of benefits it would reap you. But the ultimate choice of what solutions you select should take your business to the next level. This should be the ultimate goal. The digital space has a lot of aspects to offer so choose wisely. If done appropriately, it can propel growth to greater heights. But bad customer experiences could get blown out of proportion so that needs to be taken care of.


Double or triple check before you dive into a digital initiative. So make wise choices and keep testing for loopholes that need attention. Investments into these solutions could be counted as risks, but if you have everything in place and confident about what lies ahead then definitely the results would overshadow the risks that you take.

Growth Matters Forum is a community for business owners to explore ideas, streamline growth and create an impact. Join the community here.

COPYRIGHT NOTICE –
@Sindhu Vinod Narayan. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Sindhu Vinod Narayan (Thatmadrasmom) with the right and specific direction to the original content.

Role of MSME in Indian economy

The Government of India introduced Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises in agreement with the Micro, Small and Medium enterprises development act of 2006. Predominantly these enterprises engage in producing, manufacturing, processing, and preserving goods and commodities.


Also referred to as the backbone of the country next to agriculture. They play a dominant role in contributing to the country’s GDP, manufacturing output, and the country’s exports.


The enterprises generate a lot of employment opportunities thereby helping bridge the gap between unemployment and poverty; also paving the way for the development of the rural areas in the country.

They have helped industrialization in these areas with low capital cost compared to large industries. In complementary to the large business sectors, MSMEs have a major part in the country’s economy, thereby helping in the socio-economic development of the nation.


They produce and manufacture both for domestic and international markets. So much advancement and product improvement has been seen in the khadi and coir industries. The upbringing of rural areas has been one of the major outcomes of the MSMEs collaboration with the various ministries and State Governments.
To be precise the 6.3 crore MSMEs are not only contributing one-third to the nation’s GDP but also help in the employment of the population in the non-formal sector.


The MSMEs play a major role in the transformation of India from an emergent power to a reputable financial center. Not wrong in saying that the MSMEs will be the gear in the wheel for this journey.


Importance of MSME for the economy


Throughout the world, the MSMEs have been accepted to be a major means of economic growth and for the promotion of justifiable development. The rate of growth in the highest rate is from the MSMEs.

Requiring Low investment for setting up, flexible operation, and the ability to develop the native technology accordingly are few major reasons that MSMEs have for having taken India to greater heights.
The second-largest employment generating sector next to agriculture, employing about approximately 120 million people.


MSME ministry targets to increase the GDP to 50% due to their contribution by the year 2025, as India moves ahead to become a $5 trillion economy.


At present, they contribute about one-third of the GDP which is 6.11% from manufacturing, and about 24.63 from the MSME service activities of the 45 lac units across the nation.


MSMEs contribute about 45% of the overall exports.
By specifically employing the people in weaker sections of the rural society, the MSMEs promote all-round development through the provision of employment opportunities.


Opportunities to utilize banking services and products are encouraged to be used by MSMEs in tier 2 and tier 3 cities thereby an additional way wherein the amount can be used in the inclusion of the final economy contribution.


MSMEs encourage innovation in budding entrepreneurs to build new products thereby boosting the growth and help in fueling the economy.


COVID-19 and its impact


MSME’s play a crucial role in realizing the vision of ‘Aatmanirbhar’ or self-reliant India. It was also one of the hardest-hit sectors due to the COVID -19 pandemic as the supply chains in world trade took a major jolt and came to a standstill. The government has been lending helping hands to regain the momentum in these sectors, knowing that prioritizing the development of these sectors is critical to the overall development of the Nation. As much as the Government provides support to these sectors, the benefits can be utilized only if the Business is registered as MSME under the MSME act.
An economic package was proposed to regain the momentum, about 20 lac crores almost 10% of the GDP was brought in to help all sectors including the farmers, middle-class people, industrial units, and MSMEs.


LOAN TO MSME

  • Around two lakh MSMEs would be benefited from the 20,000 crore subordinated debts announced for MSMEs.
  • A collateral loan of three lac was provided with a tenure of four years.
  • The definition of MSMEs was changed which now included turnover as one of the parameters in addition to investment. Micro units can have a 5 crore turnover, with no global tender for up to 200 crores and any pending payment to the MSMEs to be made in 45 days.
  • A 12month moratorium on the loans and a 100% credit guarantee cover to be provided as well. These loans were provided until October 31st this year. Close to 45 lac MSMEs were supposed to be benefitted from this.
  • Global tenders up to 200 crores were banned in any Government venture, as foreign companies are bright competitors and use unfair practices to procure the opportunities. The result of which Indian MSMEs falling prey to such international giants. Banning these will help enhance the vision of a self-reliant India and also enable ‘make in India’ to come true sooner.

As the Government now highlights the role of MSMEs in enhancing exports and thereby making our country self-reliant, the need to import from China will stop. These were the Union Minister, Nitin Gadkari’s thoughts that echoed in his meeting .

Being self-reliant already being implemented in industries such as automobile and agriculture, solutions have been seemingly found and the need to import from China has certainly not been seen as a necessity. The results of which were seen sooner as India was now observed to export a lot than importing.


He also said that as far as Indian policies are concerned, our way of technology acceptance, reducing the production cost and providing products of good quality, the young talented manpower in the country is no doubt the strength behind the achievement of self-reliant India.


With the majority of countries not interested to be dealing with China currently, rather providing an advantageous situation for us; as they are rather interested in doing business with India. A great opportunity for the manufacturing sectors to scale up capabilities to boost exports and thereby contributing to the increase in the economy.


With positive trends showing lesser imports from China and greater exports, the minister added that MSMEs are doing a great job despite facing an economic crisis. He also added that the Government had sanction 93 schemes and over 100 schemes are in pipeline would be cleared sooner to pave the way development of MSMEs.


Certain areas that could boost the development of MSMEs at a quicker rate would be below

  • Artificial intelligence
  • Robotics
  • Using the waste to make something useful (in short waste to wealth)
  • Sustainability
  • Virtual reality-based solutions
  • E-mobility
  • Development of smart villages.


If we see notable developments in the above areas that could be an added advantage for us.


A lot of collaborative projects like centers of excellence are being set up across the nation. These projects are being set up across the IITs and NIITS which are one of the premier educational and research institutes. This would help ignite younger minds and also pave way for numerous budding entrepreneurs.

Growth Matters Forum is a community for business owners to explore ideas, streamline growth and create an impact. Join the community here.

COPYRIGHT NOTICE –
@Sindhu Vinod Narayan. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Sindhu Vinod Narayan (Thatmadrasmom) with the right and specific direction to the original content.

Here’s what my doctor told me about flu vaccines

Parenting always comes with a major responsibility of keeping children safe. As a parent we are not only responsible for bringing them up as good human beings but also responsible for raising a healthy child. This cannot be seen as duty, rather it comes out of parental love and impulse to keep the kids safe from physical harm and diseases.

In the growing years, it is necessary to keep an eye on the child’s growth. Also important is strong immunity. That’s why doctors ask about any kind of symptoms and other health conditions during regular visits.

Immunity in children is another area of concern. Children easily contract infections from elders and can pass on the infection to senior citizens. Since we are already battling a pandemic for which we have the vaccination drive ongoing, here’s what my doctor told me about flu vaccines.

Influenza can lead to dangerous complications and children in the age group of 6 months to 8 years are especially vulnerable. The elderly too are at a risk. Keeping them all safe is a priority and the best way to be protected is to get the flu shot.

The flu has symptoms similar to common cold. Battling flu along with covid-19 is a disastrous situation, which is why the doctors, on flu vaccines in India stress that the flu shot should be taken during the monsoons as India falls in the SH region.

When the pandemic hit us, it took some time before a vaccine was available. However, that is not the case with flu since we already have the vaccine handy. It is just that people need to be made aware of the importance of administering the shots, as well as educated about the right vaccine and the time when they should take it. The flu shot is crucial for 360° protection.

Best time to get your flu shot

The WHO has recommended that the Southern Hemisphere (SH) vaccine is the ideal vaccine for India. Influenza vaccination is most effective when local circulating viruses are well-matched with vaccine antigens for SH. Since the peak season of flu in the larger part of the country starts between mid-summer to monsoons, now is the right time to vaccinate against flu for effective protection.

Flu vaccine should be taken annually. However, getting vaccinated early for subsequent seasons is likely to be associated with reduced protection against flu infection later in the flu season, particularly among older adults says CDC. Protection fades over time, so not getting vaccinated with the vaccine containing the right seasonal strains may leave one more vulnerable. Vaccination can be done throughout the SH flu season, into September or later.

We did see a lot of pediatric cases during the second wave of covid-19, so it is much needed for us as parents to keep ourselves updated on the vaccine schedules for the kids. For diseases like influenza, it is very much a necessity that the entire family is vaccinated. The responsibility lies with us parents to make all the members of the family aware of the consequences and therefore as a proactive measure it is a must to take the flu shot.

Do remember if the adults in the family have recently taken the covid vaccine, there can be a gap of 14 days before they take the flu shot.

Though maintaining good hygiene is a great way to keep away from flu, getting vaccinated gives you an upper hand to prevent getting infected.

CDC recommends getting the flu vaccine, which will help in reducing the additional burden to the healthcare services who strive to keep our population safe.

AS per CDC, below are the benefits of the flu vaccine:

  • Flu vaccination helps you to keep away from becoming sick due to flu.
  • Flu-associated hospitalization is greatly reduced for kids and adults when the flu vaccine is administered.
  • The flu vaccination could be an important preventive tool for adults with chronic illnesses.
  • Women during and after pregnancy are protected if the flu vaccine is taken.
  • Reduction in severity of illnesses is proved by various studies wherein people who got infected in spite of taking the flu vaccine.
  • When you get vaccinated you are not only protecting yourself but also people around you.

Let us not skip or postpone vaccinations just because we are all grounded in our homes. Talk to your doctor, get the flu shot and stay healthy!

We must #PreventWhatCanBePrevented because flu is preventable with vaccination.

References

https://www.cdc.gov/flu/prevent/vaccine-benefits.htm
https://www.who.int/news-room/spotlight/influenza-are-we-ready/5-myths-about-the-flu-vaccine
https://www.hindustantimes.com/brand-stories/three-steps-to-fight-flu-this-monsoon-101631877277522.html
https://www.hindustantimes.com/brand-stories/have-you-got-your-flu-shot-find-out-the-right-time-for-india-101632831201860.html
https://www.hindustantimes.com/brand-post/how-to-safeguard-your-family-from-seasonal-infections-in-the-pandemic-101626856896522.html

Beginners guide to niacinamide #MyFriendAlexa

Lately, you could see the whole skincare world talking a lot about active ingredients. The most commonly talked about is Niacinamide.



Niacinamide also known as nicotinamide is a form of vitamin B3. An essential nutrient whose deficiency could lead to disorders of skin,kidney and brain. Taking niacinamide can prevent the deficiency.


The ingredient has much more to offer when it is used in the general skin department. Applying niacinamide topically is proven to help in treating skin conditions like eczema and acne.



Benefits of niacinamide


Niacinamide is mainly recommended for people who have puffy skin and rosacea. The anti-inflammatory properties aid in reducing the redness.
Skin immunity can be boosted as niacinamide helps in building keratin, the protein that keeps skin firm and healthy.

The lipid barrier that niacinamide helps in building aids in retaining moisture of the skin. This is much beneficial for people who have eczema or mature skin.

When you skin is smooth and moisturized due to topical application of niacinamide it helps in minimizing the pores.

Retention of moisture isn’t beneficial only when the skin is dry. Regulation of the amount of oil that the sebaceous glands produce is one of the most important benefits of using niacinamide.

Concurrent rebuilding of healthy skin cells and also protecting skin from harmful ultraviolet radiation is a benefit of niacinamide as well.



5% concentration of niacinamide in application can help in treating pigmentation and also fight against signs of ageing like fine lines and wrinkles. The application also helped in fading dark spots. The results cannot be visible instantaneously but over a period of four weeks.



Niacinamide helps in treating aggressive acne conditions like pustules. The application over a period of time helps in improving skin texture and lesser number of lesions on the skin.



Niacinamide helps protect skin against environmental stresses like dust, pollution and sun damage. It also offers protection to regenerate the healthy skin cells.




FOOD over supplements



Instead of directly taking a supplement to lessen the deficiency it is always best to try improving intake of vitamins through food. Some sources of vitamin B3 are eggs,fish , milk and green vegetables. So next time don’t reject when your offered an extra portion of any of these over the table.


Ingredients that you can include in skincare routine along with niacinamide



Vitamin C, Kojic acid and hyaluronic acid are ingredients that can be paired with niacinamide in your skincare routine for clear skin.



How to use ?



Niacinamide can work wonders on your skin post cleansing, cause that is when your skin is free of impurities and oil.

Post that you can apply moisturizer and sunscreen before heading out.

The ingredient niacinamide can be included in your AM and PM skincare routine.



Here are some of my tried and tested niacinamide products


NYKAA SKINRX 10% niacinamide



This is mainly used for spot correction. The serum is composed of 10% niacinamide, 1% zinc and 1% alpha arbutin for spot correction of dark spots, blemishes and pigmentation.

The serum can be used in AM and PM routine.

Price: 799 quantity: 30 ml

Click here to buy



Minimalist 10% NIACINAMIDE serum



The serum is oil free and also has aloe vera juice as one of its ingredients for additional benefits. This serum is comparatively light weight and does not leave an oily residue post application.

Price: 599 quantity: 30 ml

Click here to buy :



Dot and key 10 % niacinamide spot corrector skin clearing serum



This formulation has 10% niacinamide, 1 % zinc and 1% hyaluronic acid. The serum also has sunflower seed extracts, pomegranate extracts and wheatgerm oil for additional benefits.

Price: 565 quantity : 15 ml

Click here to buy:



Few other popular niacinamide serums are listed below. I haven’t personally tried them out.



Mamaearth skin correct face serum with niacinamide and ginger extract

Click here to buy



The derma co 10 % niacinamide serum for acne marks

Click here to buy



Plum 10% niacinamide face serum with rice water.

Click here to buy

I’m taking my blog to the next level with Blogchatter’s My Friend Alexa.

Nature’s role in healing mental health

Nature can play a major role to leave a profound effect or impact on our brain. This in turn influences our behaviour helping us to alleviate stress and anxiety. Increase in attention , creative thinking and social connections are also being observed as nature’s touch to leeaad a good mental health. We’re still in the beginning stage to find more and more evidences to prove the above.

Nature helps to heal

Spending time in a greener and nature dense environment had its effects on improving self-esteem and alleviating depressive symptoms on those suffering from mental health issues.

Not only improvisation of mental health but also significant progres in physical well-being, reduction in muscle tension, heart rate and blood pressure is also observed to be some of the benefits to indulge in nature therapy.

The multiple incoming sensory signals is caused by soothing effect of nature. Lush greenery, mild natural sounds and nice fragrance also have their place in contributing to good mental health. The sight of flowers or even the scent of roses can leave a relaxed effect.

There are numerous ways to enjoy nature right from the comfort of your home. Tending a garden, working from the outdoors, meditation outdoors than doing them inside is a great change. Working or doing your daily tasks with natural light from the sun and sky is also a great way to enjoy nature indoors.

The sight of an unpleasant environment on the other hand can reverse the healing effect. Regardless of age people find nature to be soothing and pleasing. ‘ Healing Gardens ‘ is a book that cites over two-thirds of people choose natural sights to resort to when being stressed.

A recent research also proves that having a small plant indoors in offices, hospitals and at work or school can have an lessening effect on stress and anxiety.

Nature’s help in soothing

In addition to above effects of nature to heal we often resort to nature when experiencing pain and discomfort.

Our bodies are genetically engineered to look out for trees, water and natural elements and when we absorb the natural scenes we get distracted from pain and discomfort.

This was evidently seen when two sets of people post surgery where made to stay in rooms facing trees and the other group facing wall. It was fascinating to know people who see natural scenary showed better pain management than people who were made to see the wall.

Nature helps in restoring

Nature also helps to aid better general wellbeing. Almost 95% of people would assure that they felt relieved from being depressed or stressed after spending time outdoors. It also helps calm anxious mind keeping it more balanced.When you’re in a positive mood and good psychological well-being it in turn improves vitality and meaningfulness.
The ability to stay more focused or pay attention also improves when we spend time looking at nature. Nature is inherently interesting to us humans that we tend to focus naturally on what we are currently experiencing. So this serves to calm down the overactive mind and keep it refreshed for the upcoming tasks.

Research also shows that children with ADHD shower improved attention span after spending time in nature.

Nature helps in making connections


When people spend time in nature it helps them connect to one another and also to the world outside.It is also said that people who surrounded their houses with trees and greenery ended up knowing more people,have more concern with helping out each other and have strong sense of belonging than tenants who do not have trees around. They also have increased feelings unity towards their neighbours.


These people show better capacity to deal with life demands ,less violence and aggression between domestic partners.

When brain activity during nature exposure is studied it was evident that the parts of brain that are associated with empathy and love lit up and it ignited the fear and anxiety in urban scenaries.

Deadly screen time

Too much of time spent before screens lacking time to enjoy nature is said to increase depressive symptoms and isolation. In the worst case it can also lead to loss of empathy and altruism.

Nurture children with nature

So it is advisable if we bring up the younger generation to spend very less time in front of the screen and to engage with nature. They could take a walk around the block, read by the window or play outdoor games.

This post is part of blogchatter’s #causeachatter.

Lessons from As a man thinketh

I’m still dumbstruck that books published long long ago still hold good when it comes to giving us life lessons. Published in a period where there was not much importance to trends and fads these books convey the lessons of leading life in a fulfilling manner.

As a man thinketh was published in 1902 by James Allen. Self-help books are usually deemed very long but on the contrary this book gives you the lessons in almost an hour.

Known as one of the self-help classics the books is centred predominantly on the theme that harnessing the power of thoughts helps you to master life. Did you know that James Allen was a pioneer in the self-help movement?

You become what you think

The person who you are now, us because of the thoughts that you previously had or having now. If you’d want to incorporate a change start changing the thoughts .

The hidden seeds of thoughts give rise to all actions of a person.

Good thoughts and results can never produce bad results; bad thoughts and actions can never produce good results.

Divine perfection is achieved with choosing and applying good thoughts. But on the other side, choosing and applying wrong thoughts can make him stoop below the level of beast.

If it is time to weed out bad thoughts it is today. Choose this day to not accept the negative thoughts and fight back. To take control of life, take control of your mind.

Mind is like a garden

The mind is a garden thay can be cultivated in a wise manner or if let loose can grow wild. It is upto you to sow the seeds of beautiful flowers, if not you will see useless weeds.

Think of you as the gardener who pulls out unnecessary weeds and chooses the right seed to sow, nurture and yield beautiful flowers. Choosing to showcase your mind with beautiful flowers or useless weeds depends upon your thoughts.

Life is beautiful when you make the right choices if not the mind is consumed by useless weeds.

“A man’s mind may be likened to a garden, which may be intelligently cultivated or allowed to run wild.”

The beautiful thoughts can be a skill, or a life changing decision so start making the right choices.

Thoughts can not only mentally affect you, it can physically too

Your thoughts which include the how and what can influence not only your mental health but also the body physically.

Being healthy is not only about the body, it also includes the mind. So people who constantly fear of contracting diseases are often the ones who suffer.

The body is the mind’s servant so it choses to obey the signals it receives.

Change of diet will not help a man who will not change his thoughts.

The way of thinking also affects the way people age. People in nineties are bright and always smiling but whereas the one’s in mid thirty to forties are still seen with inharmonious contours.

Anxiety quickly demoralizes the whole body, and lays it open to the, entrance of disease.

What you think can have an impact on your sleep cycle, heart rate and chronic illness. You can think your way to wrinkly skin. Whereas happy and cheerful thoughts can make you beam with youthfulness.

You being shaped doesn’t rely on your circumstances

Just because you’re from a different background or an environment that is unsupportive doesn’t mean that you cannot get what you want. The outer world of circumstances shapes your inner world of thoughts so your circumstances don’t stand the chance to decide what you cannot achieve.

Men are anxious to improve their circumstances, but are unwilling to improve themselves; they, therefore, remain bound

You are free to choose the way to respond to any circumstance. And do you know what’s the best way? To focus the area where you have control. You win life if you choose to focus on areas which have your control and ways to improvise.

Thoughts and actions go hand in hand

Most self-help preachers say that you can achieve if you believe in something. Known as the law of attraction.

However, James on the other hand says that the thoughts on your mind will only be the starting point. If the thoughts are not supported by right actions, you can never achieve what you wished for.

Stepping out, taking action and achieving what you want gets you to your dream. Just sitting and waiting for it to come to you will do no good.

Not what he wishes and prays for does a man get, but what he justly earns. His wishes and prayers are only gratified and answered when they harmonize with his thoughts and actions.
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This post is part of Blogchatter’s half marathon.

Lessons from Ikigai

Does this word ring a bell? Yes its also one of the most popular google search terms.

Ikigai pronounced as ee-key-guy is a Japanese concept that combines the terms iki, meaning “life,” and gai, meaning “benefit” or “worth.”

When you combine both terms it means that which gives worth to your life or meaning to your life or the purpose of your life.

There is a similar French term that goes as ‘raison d’etre’ or the ‘reason for being’. Though the concept has been there for years, it is after the release of the book it garnered worldwide audience.



The concept ‘Ikigai’ evolved from the basic health and wellness principles of the Japanese traditional medicine. The basic principle of which is that the physical well-being is predominantly dependent on the mental-emotional health and sense of purpose in life.

The devotion or activities that one enjoys brings in a sense of well-being and fulfillment which is called ‘Ikigai’. Cognitive-Behavioral therapy stresses on pursuing or taking up activities that give enjoyment, a sense of mastery that helps in alleviating the disorder of depression. It is known that Ikigai resonates the same.



The Ikigai diagram well illustrates the concept as a purpose in life that has both personal and social dimensions. It has spheres which overlap the below which make it easier to understand and implement the concept in daily life.

  • What you love
  • What you are good at
  • What the world needs
  • What you can get paid for


 
Here I list down my takeaways from the book



Finding the Ikigai



Ikigai is the reason to jump out from bed every morning for the Japanese. As straight forward as it is, it is the very reason that you wake up for the new day ahead. Finding it out and finding the right one can make a lot of difference. Waking up with positive thoughts will definitely guarantee a good day. The people at Okinawa have their backyard gardens, community gatherings and little walk that they look forward to during each day. The reason you wake up needn’t be to change the world at one go.



Right amount of sleep



There are certain factors that help you age comparatively slower than normal. Sleep is one of the most important factors. As we age the functionalities of our body slow and complications pop up, it is inevitable. To slow the process down we take steps to reduce stress and eat healthy meals but not to forget the scientifically proven tool for anti-ageing is sleep itself. Melatonin that secrets when we sleep is one of the most powerful anti oxidant that has various benefits. Slowing down the risk factor for Alzheimer, prevention of cancer, osteoporosis, heart problems and improving immunity are some to name a few. So the secret to longevity is within us.



Wabi sabi



Love for the imperfect or wabi sabi as they call it can be explained with a classic example in the Japanese culture the level of attention given to making tea rather I’d put it as the art of making tea.

Handling with slowness and precision makes tea making a beautiful craft. Taking it at a slow pace and with complete focus on the task is the principle here. This can be applied to any task you do or you see someone to do.

Constant search for beauty in imperfection and the willingness to accept the life’s natural cycle is wabi-sabi. We as people and the life in itself is imperfect, incomplete and not permanent.




Never Retire



Find that something that never makes you to retire. Something that wants you to be kept living has to found. Ensure that your brain and your body is active.

“Only staying active will make you want to live a hundred years.”



Live in the present or Ichi-go ichi-e



Most of us are too engrossed thinking about the past or worried about the future. We need to slow down the pace and learn to enjoy the present. The present has the moments that matter and they need to be enjoyed.



We discover the meaning of life and we do not create it.



Work really hard but let that be your Ikigai. Hardworking doesn’t mean you have to be too serious and stressed. The effort that you put in has to matter and not the result. So enjoy the process.


80% rule or hara hachi bu



Easiest and the effective rule . As you are eating when you feel almost full, stop eating. So when you are two-thirds full . Eating this way limits the calorie intake thereby leading to less IGF-1 in body as it plays a huge role in ageing. If you are wondering what IGF-1 is its insulin like growth factor 1.

Click here to purchase your copy. https://amzn.to/3AEPap2

This post is part of Blogchatter’s half marathon.

Review of The Misters Kuru – a return to Mahabharata


Blurb

The Pandavas are back!

Draupadi, Amba and Kunti are well settled in their modern-day Kalyug in New Delhi. So, imagine their surprise when, completely out of the blue, Yudhishtra, Bhima, Arjuna, Nakula and Sahadeva – the Pandava brothers – drop into their world from the heavens. What follows is even more laughter and tears as new battles are fought, old fires are rekindled, and the men find their place in the modern world. If you thought the women had the adventure of a lifetime in Ms Draupadi Kuru: After the Pandavas, the men from the Mahabharata will certainly give them a run for their money. One thing is certain – by the end of their visit, nothing will ever be the same again.

My review

I grew up listening to mythological stories from both sets of grandparents. The two epics Ramayana and Mahabharata took time immemorial to complete. I would await story time to know what next.

The characters fascinated me and I never felt bored if the stories were retold how many ever times they were. The curriculum followed in my school also had moral values as one of the subjects which took deep dive into the epics but in a much more engaging way.

So my interest in mythology went on to continue. I would love to read books that either were a retelling or a book that has a different point of view. So I could say mythology was one of my favorite genres.

The author’s previous work Ms. Draupadi Kuru, definitely was made many heads turn back. Not because the story was a retelling but the conceptualization of the author and the characters she sketched to suit the current scenario.

So when I knew that the sequel is releasing, I knew I definitely had to give it a read. Draupadi, amba and Kunti descending on Earth, setting their wrongs as right, adapting to the modern life in Kalyug, the then Indraprastha.

Love how Draupadi as a character screamed boldness and loud. The Pandavas deciding to come down and bring back Draupadi is the outline. But will they be able to and how do they do is the plot on which the script is centered.

The earth and the mortal life doesn’t seem the same way as it was thousand years back. Do the Pandavas adjust to the current scenario. Do they keep up their virtue?

I loved the fact that the author did not deviate from characters and their natural traits. Just a weave of modern life situations like fashion shows, cricket, talk shows, vibrators (yes yes you heard me right) and fitted jeans definitely add in a lot of interesting scenarios in the subject.

Arjuna and his ball, nakul and his looks taking him to modeling are definitely interesting twists to the original portrayal.

Life is not as easy when they were down here. They have shocks waiting to startle them, do they handle it well? Will they convince Draupadi to hey back? Not to forget the gossip king Narad Muni being a cook who prepares inedible food.

Who would have thought that he would now hold a ladle? What does Draupadi question Arjuna? Does he have the answers? I leave it to you to read the rest.

In love with the authors writing style of keeping it simple and precise. Not to be told as an exact retelling but a current scenario adaptation of an epic is definitely a good sign.

Click below to buy book

Love love love the caricature on the cover design. Draupadi being depicted as the modern day Goddess definitely lifts the expectations.

Misters Kuru: A Return to Mahabharata

About the author

Trisha Das is the author of The Mahabharata Re-imagined, The Art of the Television Interview and the internationally acclaimed How to Write a Documentary Script. She has written and directed over forty documentaries in her filmmaking career. Trisha has also won an Indian National Film Award (2005) and was UGA’s ‘International Artist of the year’ (2003).

This review is part of Blogchatters Book review program bookchatter.

How to boost happiness

“SUCCESS IS NOT THE KEY TO HAPPINESS,
HAPPINESS IS THE KEY TO SUCCESS”
— Albert Schweitzer

We have all crossed the baby phase where all we did was eat and sleep. We had nothing to worry about. We were well taken care off and our every need was met without any strain. We made people happy just by our presence. Being happy and carefree was how we spent life.

But as we grew up reality hit us hard and we understand what life is , how complicated it is. We face challenges to help us grow. We were also thought that if we don’t win them we might be overtaken. So to not be left-behind we were forced to push ourselves hard to keep up with others.

We realized that happiness is not just eating and sleeping for us like how it used to be in the past. Welcome to adulthood.

Life is not complicated unless we put it that way. The carefree happiness of childhood slowly vanishes as we get to know reality and understand feelings lie being cheated or cunning, betrayal. We also fail to understand happiness is within us and our personal trait.

To come out of worst conditions in life stronger and powerful our mind must be trained in a way that no matter what conditions we are put in, it cannot obstruct happiness and inner peace.

Practicing habits can help increasing happiness and make you calm from within. You will not only notice difference in you, but also radiate the vibes to others so people would look forward to having your company. Doesn’t that sound reassuring?

How to boost happiness?

START YOUR DAY ON A HAPPY NOTE

The start to your day has a lot about how your day goes on. A smile and a rough plan on what to accomplish is a great start that gives you the needed motivation to get up. A dull morning isn’t productive so you need to keep a check on your sleep routine.

Less sleep isn’t good for your mind. Taking a nature walk or exercising is a great way to start and keeps you up throughout the day.

BE CONTENT WITH WHAT YOU HAVE

When you look around you will notice that a lot of people or even you might spend a lot of time comparing yourself to others. This will only plant negative thoughts and lead to disappointment.

Focusing on what you have and utilizing them is a great habit. Learn from people and take inspiration but don’t compare. Focusing on the self will give more time for you to grow and understand yourself better. Try to be a better person than yesterday which is the only competition for you.

FOCUS ON THE INTERNAL

Internal well-being is very much important. We spend a lot of time to make ourselves look better in front of others. A happy mind and a beautiful soul will definitely radiate a good personality.
Overthinking, procrastination, stress and laziness could be some of the things you need to work on. Learn how to deal with them, shoo them away from the path of happiness.

MUSIC THERAPY

Good and soothing music helps in alleviating sadness and stressful moments.It helps release tension and makes brain release happy hormones which will make the mood light and happy.

Compile a list of songs or music types that would lift your spirits up.

HAPPY PLACE

Change in environment can make you feel cheerful and give you a breath of fresh air. It does not necessarily need to be a physical place. Surrounding yourself with people who understand you and make you feel happy would also work.

Staying connected with happy people will unload stress and make you feel lighter. Keeping unwanted stress at bay is one of the key areas to focus on.

COUNTING BLESSINGS

Whatever hard time you may go through be thankful for what you have. Nothing other than the sense of gratitude will make you stay grounded and content from within.

Being thankful for what we have with us will make us feel happy and cheerful.

LISTENING TO BODY

At times in order to achieve our goals we tend to overwork the body beyond its capacity. Post the threshold the body starts sending out signals that it needs rest. Be on the lookout for these signals ignoring which will lead to stress, lethargy and anxiety.

Have you noticed some people being frustrated all the time. They probably don’t rest their bodies and overwork the capacity. Create a work-life balance which will keep a check on your happiness too.

REMOVE DISTRACTIONS

Check around you and if you find something pessimistic or negative stay away from it and cut it off immediately. Things and people who promote negativity are not worth your energy being spent.

The roller coaster life has its ups and down. That adrenaline rush can make you happy while going up and sad when you suddenly fall down. Prepare you mind to handle them both.

You needn’t follow them all. But trust me making at least two changes from above will surely make a difference in your way of life.

COPYRIGHT NOTICE –
@Sindhu Vinod Narayan. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Sindhu Vinod Narayan (Thatmadrasmom) with the right and specific direction to the original content.

This post is part of Blogchatters half marathon.

How to stay happy

“THE PURPOSE OF OUR LIFE IS TO BE HAPPY”.
~Dalai Lama

Everyone agrees in unison to the above thought but a question that lingers in their mind is how to be happy always?

Happiness means different things for different people. For me it would be a good night’s sleep and for you it could be something different. There could be some similarity in things that would make us happy but on rare occasions it can be a probability that same things could make people happier.

We juggle a lot in life. Career, family, education but in the end we always want to feel good by being happy. Happiness can’t be bought by exchanging money in supermarket nor is instantaneous if we switch on a button. I hope somebody invents with that innovative thought, so that many people who are in search of happiness would benefit.

But do we realize that we always look out for something or someone to make us happy. So just like it is a known fact our happiness depends on external factors. We fail to recognize and we are definitely missing out on something that is so very near but not seen or felt. Any guesses?

Start believing that happiness exists within us, our thoughts,beliefs then your goal of becoming happy is easily reachable.So a pleasant feeling in your subconscious mind is dependent on the choice of thoughts that makes you happy.

It is all interconnected. Thoughts, emotions and state of mind. If confidence, focusing interest, anger or fearing is an individual trait don’t forget to include happiness among them.

If you can work on making yourself a confident person or to focus attention keeping yourself happy by inculcation of position thoughts and beliefs shouldn’t be difficult.

There are a lot of of ways that help in understanding how to stay happy .

Here are ways you can keep yourself happy.

ENJOY THE PRESENT

Most people either brood over the past or think too much ahead about future that they fail to enjoy what is happening at present. In short they fail to live in the present. Make sure you cherish what is happening right now so that doesn’t add up to your thinking bucket of past. Most important secret of happiness is to live in the present.

REMOVE NEGATIVE THOUGHTS

Unhappiness is due to negative thoughts which make your mind scattered. As a result your mind focuses only on picking negative vibes. Channelizing your thoughts on the right path is the best solution. Observe negative beliefs or thoughts, remind that you deserve only happiness and do this constantly. Replace the negatives with positive thoughts. Whatever you focus grows so let that be positive always.

PRACTICE GRATITUDE

Honest and sincere expression of gratitude is the birthplace of happiness. Be thankful to who you are and what you see around you. Have the feeling of content and be grateful for what you have. Did you know that you attract positive vibes when you express gratitude?

DON’T CONTROL OTHERS

The most important thing for happiness is that to understand and accept that you have no control over other person’s action or thoughts. You are going to remain unhappy if you decide that you could change people if you control them.

SELF-AWARENESS

Identify what you are good at. Your strengths, abilities are what you should be aware of and that would make you happy. List them out and start focusing on them. Channelize your thoughts on those positive beliefs. Tap out the huge potential that lies inside you.

GRACEFULLY ACCEPT CHALLENGES

Who doesn’t have challenges. Life could be partial but definitely everyone has challenges at some point in life. Challenges are only to test your inner potential. Unless we face challenges we are not aware of what we are capable of. Overcoming challenges makes you stronger.

SLEEP AND WORKOUT

Ample and adequate sleep is necessary for peace of mind. The body and mind are connected and if you do not give enough rest to the body, you are putting yourself under stress, confused mind and unhappiness creeps in.

Exercise or workout on the other hand helps in release of hormones that help in physical and mental well-being. Practicing breathing exercises increases oxygen flow and makes you feel fresh and energetic.

HELPING OTHERS

Learn to be a giver in life. Helping others definitely gives a sense of satisfaction followed by happiness.

Money , vacation,property give you temporary happiness. Only if you are happy within you can enjoy them. You should focus on your long term thoughts by setting priorities in life and take control of your thoughts and live a deserving life.

Our thoughts, emotions and mindfulness will land you a happy life. So it is never late for you to start building habits that will guarantee a happy and fulfilling life.

COPYRIGHT NOTICE –
@Sindhu Vinod Narayan. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Sindhu Vinod Narayan (Thatmadrasmom) with the right and specific direction to the original content.

This post is part of Blogchatters half marathon.

This blog post is part of the blog challenge ‘Blogaberry Dazzle’ hosted by Cindy D’Silva and Noor Anand Chawla.