Tag Archives: Sports

Past in Present!

15 Apr

The extended Swamily recently made a road trip to his home town Madurai, for his mother’s 70th birthday celebration ceremony (the traditional way with homam or havan, vedic chanting, etc). After the ever-customary Temple visit & purchasing all kinds of stuff (from eatables to brass items to Nannari sorbet to clothing to sticker bindhi to lamp wicks to gift items to rug cloth bags for saving the planet from plastics to what not…) and now-customary visit to Ramana Mandhiram (RamaNa Maharishi‘s uncle’s house, in the lane opposite to the South Gopuram of the world famous Madurai Meenakshi Sundareswarar temple, where BhagawAn had the profound death experience, while still in his teens, which set his historic one-way trip to the sacred town of AruNAchalA aka ThiruvaNNAmalai, to shine his “Who am I!” spiritual light on the world), they had some time in hand to visit the residence where they’ve spent several of their formative years. 

Present Past… 

During the return journey, the family took a quick detour into a suburb of Dindigul called NGO colony, where Swamy lived for a few years, during the middle & high school years. Swamy’s sister-in-law #3 (of the 3) made an insightful observation, when the extended Swamily were about to get down from the vehicle to see the old house at NGO colony, Dindigul.


Past Past… 

After being away from the family for a few years (for better education, he was left with his grandparents & maternal uncle’s family in Madurai, during the Primary school years, which happened at BAla Gurukulam & Sri VidhyAlayam schools, in S.S.Colony), this independent house (Swamy Sr’s first own house – quite an achievement then, for an honest government servant with a fairly large brood & an extended family) is where Swamy lived & studied from 6-10th standard (@ MSP Solai Nadar Memorial HSS, which apparently remains one of the top schools in the town); met with a life altering (quite literally) sports accident (shattered the knee cap due to improper landing at long jump – for which the PET didn’t bother to train anyone – that too immediately after a sprint, for which Swamy seem have a natural flair) not only abruptly ended his potential sports career (India still awaits an Olympics Gold in Sprint 🐥) but also forced him to discontinue the scholastic education (due to incorrect treatment by an allegedly drug-addict doctor, which resulted in 2 surgeries & prolonged the period of recovery to several months) that he (pretty much always) did well in (a State Rank in S.S.L.C & University Rank in Engineering will sufficiently substantiate that claim), for an year (which eventually made him Anna to his fellow students, then onwards, simply because he was an year senior to them 😜); became an ignorant agnostic for a short duration (blaming God for letting him down😣); turned believer (is it gnostic! 🤔) again; discovered (or re-discovered) his talent for sketching & writing (no formal training in either craft, other than joining a popular online course for painting & promptly discontinuing it soon 🙃); silently appreciated the value of family (hint: his left leg was in a PoP cast for months, due to 2 surgeries to fix his damaged knee, so he couldn’t go to the restroom on his own for awhile – at least until he could pull himself around with the cast 🤕), et al.


Long story short… or in today’s SoMe terms – blog story tweet 😁, that house occupied a significant number of gray cell real estate, to store piles of unreal memories, letting the mind reminisce the long gone past, as and when it liked. And there are a few other places like that as well (Swamy Sr was a humble – untainted as well – government servant, who was routinely transferred from one town to another, every two or three years), not only in Madurai, but also nearby towns like RAmanhAthapuram, Dindigul & UtthamapALayam.


Present Past… 

Incidentally, Swamy was inadvertently visiting some of these places, in the recent past, for different purposes. As a serious seeker, he is fully aware that there are no accidents or mere coincidences in Life. So, his sister-in-law’s (an intellectual & writer similar to Swamy, but doesn’t dabble on the spiritual space, unlike Swamy) remark triggered a thought train… (ah, that bloody wily mind… how glad is it to be in the thick of pointless action again.. & again.. & again.. 💭😱).

Here’s what she said (may not be verbatim, but close enough)…

Anna, you seem to be the most excited person, who wants to see this old house!

A pertinent point, considering the group of people getting out to see the house (now in dilapidated condition, locked out without any inhabitants) included 2 (out of 4) of his younger brothers (who too have lived there) & one more sister-in-law (who is familiar with the house) & the other s-i-l’s parents (who happen to be paternal aunt & her husband, for the brothers & thereby familiar with that house as well). The 3 kids (of the younger brothers) & the driver were just curious about all the excitement of the (yet-to-grow-up) adults, as they had no clue about the place. But the kids were naturally excited about climbing the wall & exploring the ancient dwelling of their parents, where they probably were the past replicas of them in the present! 😯


After spending a short while, checking every part of the house (it was locked, but one can go around, climb the stairs to the open terrace & also peep through the partially shut windows) & recalling a few interesting (or intriguing, depending on the perspective) incidents, the group left the derelict place, overflowing with memories of a long gone, but obviously not yet forgotten, past. The smartphones captured the house, frozen in time, for posterity, as it’s quite possible that none of them may ever visit it again! 


Past in Present… 

As the vehicle continued to clock kilometres on the expressway, speeding towards Chennai, so everyone but Swamy can rush back to their survival routine the next morning, Swamy recalled a different incident, from his Master Sadhguru’s life, which resonated with what he’s now going through. 

It’s called the Karma YAtrA, which enabled those involved in Sadhguru‘s consecration of the Dhyanalinga, (a one-of-a-kind perennial energy form, consecrated using the ancient mystical process of PrANa PratishthA, which is his Guru’s will that took him 3 births to complete), to experience their past, the memories of which was impeding their participation / presence, by exploring places of their past!

(you may know more about it here… http://isha.sadhguru.org/mystic/dhyanalinga/consecration-process/karma-yatra/)

After reaching Chennai late in the night (which can also be termed as early in the morning), taking a brief nap & waking up fresh, listening to the cooing & chirping of birds, it became clear to Swamy that, he has started visiting places of his past recently, not to remember the past (that was a reality a long time ago, but obviously not anymore) but to let go of it (as it has no relevance or value to the spiritual pursuit, progressing towards self-realisation). For good! 
Though Swamy’s state of awareness is still limited to only the Present Past (past events of the present birth / lifetime) and yet to expand to the Past Past (past events in previous lifetimes), he’s at least clear about what needs to be done in the present, ASAP, about the past… Quickly cover a few more places that enshrine memories… to complete the Karma yAtrA, i.e. journey to the Past in Present! 👍👣😌🙌

Be joyful 😌 & spread the cheer 🌻
~Swamy

@PrakashSwamy 


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STOP to Start!

19 Sep

Swamy got a request to motivate students in a college recently. Swamy being what he is, a little bit of preliminary excavation happened, to understand the situation (not problem or challenge – always) better. What was supposed to be an hour or two long lecture on motivation (which, at least in Swamy’s view, is a sheer waste of time and energy on everyone’s part because motivating someone is near the top of the BAUHumbug list), may eventually blossom into a long-term intervention that will help the students get equipped to face the survival war zone called corporate career. But this post isn’t about that (though you’re welcome to avail Swamy’s Human Potential DISCovery + NURTURE offerings, for yourself or your organisation or institution). 

This kind of pointless flurry of activities happen all around us – especially so in the corporate training or learning & development space. 

80% of the training that’s offered to employees of corporates will remain ineffective because they don’t STOP before they start. 

Blinking..? Read on to know the Ws!

Anything a being – including silly humans – does in Life will be done better, if that being or the organization that the being is part of learns to STOP before they Start, well, anything in Life.

“S”trategy – What are you doing / going to do. To get to where you want to be. By when. 

Most people confuse Strategy with Why or How, but it is essentially the big What.

What do I / we want to be 10 years from now?

What will be the growth in our market cap 5 years from now?

What will our customers need 3 years from now?

What changes I / we must make to raise the bar of output / outcome by x% an year from now?

Consultants (yep, those suited, booted folks speaking jargolingo non-stop for hours to make you believe that your well-run business is doomed if you don’t adopt some vague cutting edge model with the tailored framework they’ll offer specifically to you for a pro fee of $300 / hour – oh, that’s a conservative estimate 😨) will vehemently raise their hands and voice that the last one isn’t strategy. Who gives a damn anyway, for it’s their business to survive on such hazy minutae .

In essense, if you don’t know what you want to be that’ll get you where you want to be in a certain amount of time – in future, obviously – whatever you’re about to start (or already doing) is going to sputter someway along like an automobile that ran out of fuel on a deserted road where your fancy mobile costing a bomb couldn’t find VoLTE signal to call for help!

Pic: The starting line-up for the 10km run, Chennai Marathon 2015 – Mrs & Jr Swamy are seen alongside the head of Isha Vidhya – a rural education initiative by Isha Foundation, to support which thousands of Isha Yoga meditators participate in the annual event. 

          ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

“T”acticsHow are you going to do what you want to do to get where you want to be, by whenever (years or months or weeks or days or hours…).

Leaders (genuine ISI certified or generic ISO certified) spend tremendous amounts of time, effort & energy in Strategy, instead of Tactics, which is neither smart nor wise.

Contrary to popular belief, this is what leaders need to focus on and invest their energy, thoughts and action in, not the former one (though that’s important – to begin with), nor the latter (which we’ll get to know shortly anyway, won’t we). In fact, those who get immersed in the latter aren’t leaders at all, because they inadvertently cause more harm to realising their own vision. 

How will we become the No.2 player in our chosen space? (leave the No.1 to those who love high BP & excessive cholestrol & be joyful

How will we differentiate our product / service from the umpteen pretenders?

How can we navigate around the known roadblocks to get to where we want to go?

In a nutshell, this is the pacing of the marathon (Swamy’s long-distance runner bro & s-i-l will be delighted ;), without which, your chances of finishing the marathon (far more important than winning – ask any Olympian, if in doubt) are as slim as those models on the ramp with ridiculous waists that can’t hold that barely there clothing!

Pic: Swamy Jr Akash PC Iyer setting the pace in a segment of the 10km run, in the Chennai Marathon 2015. This was his first Marathon. 

          ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Operations – Ops is the Oops part of whatever you want to do, to get to wherever you want to be, by whenever.  

This is the breakdown of your S, i.e. What, based on the T, i.e. How, into actionable bits and pieces that can be comprehended, owned and acted upon by individuals and/or teams. Usually misunderstood as the plan, since Managers love to have as many plans as they can (isn’t that why they’re aka Damagers :O).

The crux of Oops, ahem, Ops is action, not the plan. 

In the IT services space (just as an example – other spaces aren’t that different), customers got so pissed off by the quantum of planning, which is grossly disproportionate to the quantum of action, they embraced a new model called Agile, almost en masse’ a few years ago. Reason is, Agile is all action – daily and hourly. Accountable action. That’s what Ops should be, not reviewing based on a plan what didn’t happen and why, a week or month or half-an-year later. But Agile is just an example. Ops is action. Period.

Pic: A sea of runners in action, in support of Isha Vidhya, at the Chennai Marathon 2015.

          ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

So, what the heck is the P then? Before that, let’s do a quick rewind to see if you’re ready to STO-P!

S(trategy) – What do you want to do / be, by when. S is envisioning (& articulating – for the benefit of believers / followers / doers to comprehend) the entire marathon, not just the start or stop.

  • Top-10 best-selling book in 3 years 
  • Medal at world championships 
  • 50% market share 
  • 100% placement for students

<fill your S here>

T(actics) – How do you go about where you want to be. T is comprehending (& detailing – for the rest of non-suit types to know) how to compete & complete the marathon.

  • Define the reader demography for the Top-10 bestselling book.
  • Will the style be third-person storytelling or first-person narration of events and facts. 
  • Ebooks or paperback or both. 
  • First of a trilogy or stand-alone. 

<detail your T here>

O(perations) – What are all the things that need to be done by when to get to where you want to be to be whatever you want to be. Oops, that’s how detailed Ops has to be, but not necessarily that confusing. 😀

  • What is the daily fitness routine? Each for how long? At what time?
  • What’s the change in daily diet? How many times to eat? What? When?
  • Which are the tournaments / competitions that are useful for progress? How to register? What’s the fee? Where will the registration fee come from? Who’ll do the travel & accommodation booking?
  • When do the reviews of progress happen? What will be reviewed? How to get instant feedback on changes to be made to the routine?

<list down your O here>

Pic: Wow, we’ve done it. Swamily, all 3 of them (their 2 charming 4-legged daughters couldn’t register to run along) have completed the 10km run in the Chennai Marathon 2015. Swamy & Mrs can’t run, due to major surgery in their left legs, so they walked the distance. Jr ran & walked the distance, for the first time in this lifetime. 
          ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

You’re ready for P, only after filling the <your> segments of STO. No kidding! ✋

All right, you’ve now got the (aha, finally, something truly valuable, in this lifetime) Strategy, Tactics & Operations of something you want to accomplish. Is it time to start? Not so fast, dear reader.🙋

Do you know Why you want to do whatever you want to do to be wherever you want to be?

P is the Why. Big Why, i.e. Purpose.

Without clarity of Purpose, however fantastic your vision is, whatever level of insight your detailing has, whichever depth of detail your action plan has.. won’t still get you to wherever you want to be by when you want. 

Gandhi had clarity of Purpose. He got India freedom from the brits, once and for all.

Bolt had clarity of Purpose. He will remain a living legend, the greatest sprinter ever, for a long time.

Sadhguru had clarity of Purpose. His creation – the only Dhyanalinga on this planet – will sow the seed of liberation in all seekers who set foot in his space, for a very long time.

Pic: Swamily’s Purpose for participating in the Chennai Marathon – raise awareness about & support Isha Vidhya. 

          ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

What’s your Purpose! Why do you want to do whatever you want to do?

That’s the P of STOP. The last but the most important piece of the puzzle. 

That’s Why you need to focus on the P first.👍

<fill your P here>.

That’s how you STOP before you Start – the Life Marathon!

Note: Isha Vidhya is an official Charity partner of the Chennai Marathon in 2016. Swamily will be participating to support Isha Vidhya, naturally. You too can!

Be joyful & spread the cheer 😃

~Swamy

@PrakashSwamy

Prominent or Significant!

11 Aug Google

There are many prominent humans out there. We keep knowing about them all the time, through multiple media that continue to bombard our senses with news, insights, visuals and comments about them.

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Sometimes we wonder how in the world are they considered prominent – at least many of them, who also happen to be notorious, one way or another! Unfortunately, the sheep that we are, we keep getting attracted to their prominence, helplessly and hopelessly. We s/elect them to power or adore, worship and make them even more popular – and sometimes far more powerful – than they deserve to be.

Mask2Most celebrities fall under this category. They are prominent, irrespective of whether they have made any meaningful contributions to fellow humans – on wellbeing or wisdom or whatever. We adore them and feel gratified when they are feted and given a vast amount of publicity, as if all that is meant for ourselves. And repeat it, over and over again. The silent philanthropists – including but not limited to movie stars – who take time out to make a difference in people’s lives are an exception.

There were and are many humans out there who have made significant contributions to humankind. On science, medicine, technology, spirituality, education, wealth, politics and so on. We get to know about them either when their contribution is celebrated or debated. Or when they leave the mortal coil. And during their anniversaries.

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Fortunately, because they are significant, their contributions continue to live on, long after they are gone. Despite the fact that we don’t adore or worship them for their significant contribution to making humankind better, which they certainly deserve but hardly receive, at least when they are alive. 

charles-darwinMany scientists (whose discovery or invention translated into something that functions), thinkers (those who also happen to be articulate), authors (not the pulp-fiction type) and even politicians (certainly not the ones who rush to the well of the parliament and shout slogans, shaming not just themselves but the thousands who voted them to power and the nation itself) belong to this category. Most may not be celebrities, which doesn’t diminish their contributions in any way. Popular scientists like Stephen Hawking and Richard Dawkins are an exception.

We all have the choice to seek either prominence or significance in Life. In whatever we do. Or plan to. Or seek to be.

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The celebrities (and wannabes) choose the former, i.e. prominence, invariably. It’s a choice and they do have the liberty to make that choice in a democratic nation or culture. Many get entrenched in the popularity trap, until it takes a huge toll on their Life. That doesn’t prevent the rest to tag along, despite their notoriety and at times blatantly stupid acts.

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Celebrity1A million followers on social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest, etc, shows that prominent humans are wildly popular, notoriety and stupidity notwithstanding. This inevitably misleads millions of young followers to mimic their lives, thereby destroying their own. Sad, but true.

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The knowledge seekers and value makers choose the latter, aka significance, always. They don’t give a hoot about publicity popularity – during their lifetime or after. Their focus is on translating an idea or thought into reality, for making something better, faster or easier. Or creating something new out of the blue. Many of them end up spending a lifetime pursuing just one thing. That doesn’t mean the rest has to ignore them, despite their abject disregard for any kind of acknowledgement or high praise.

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APJ18And then there are a few who managed to remain prominent, while making significant contributions. The late APJ Abdul Kalam became the most prominent citizen – the 11th President of India, and became popular as the beloved People’s President – but has also managed to make significant contributions on a variety of fields such as rocket science (that made India a prominent player on satellite launch space), nation building (a magnificent vision for this once-great nation’s bright & better future), healthcare (lightweight prosthetic leg and a cheaper coronary stent) and education (teaching & guiding University students and inspiring children & youth nationwide). Unarguably an exception, he is certainly not alone in the march of humankind through the long pages of evolutionary history.

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Thinking2Prominence doesn’t last. Significance does. Time and time again. Even the prominent People’s President was denied a well-deserved second term of presidency by the wily politicians (intriguingly, another powerful nation – also democratic – offered a second term to a not-so popular President, pretty much on a platter, not so long ago in history). But his significant contributions in many spaces shall outlast several generations (not so intriguingly, the other 2-term President of that other powerful nation, remains insignificant now, ignored by his own ilk, despite being very much alive).

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Whatever you’ve been trying to accomplish in Life (hazarding an assumption that you indeed are trying, still!), take a long hard look at what do you seek to be – Prominent or Significant? Your choice is as important to you as it is to the rest of human species, as you never know what significant impact your work can have on others.

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Spider1None of us may know (and probably the entire human species never will) who the inventor of the wheel (yep, that simple circular thingamajig that moves all kinds of – not just -vehicles) was. Despite the lack of his/her prominence, the shape of the wheel is so significant that it not only hasn’t been tinkered with by any, even after many a century, but also gave us an oft-repeated phrase “Don’t reinvent the Wheel!”

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Irrespective of whether you end up becoming prominent in your chosen space or not, make sure whatever you do is significant. Prominence tempts, but significance triumphs. Life is full of choices. When it comes to doing and being (and needless to say, living), the most prominent choice of yours could very well turn out to be the most significant!

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GoogleP.S. When Swamy published the blog post “Prominent or Significant!” on 11-Aug-2015, he didn’t expect it to be validated swiftly, by the rise of a humble person from #NammaChennai, with a conscious low profile persona, to a very prominent position, way high up in the#technology space 🌏- propelled primarily by his significant contributions to not just the growth of the tech behemoth 📈 (which is obvious) but also due to the widespread adoption of his implemented ideas 💭🔮 by the vast masses of users, worldwide. 👌 Swamy, for instance, useas an Android Phone (LG G3), Tablet (Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1) & Chrome browser – not just on his PCs running Microsoft Windows 10, but even on his Apple Macbook Pro. All of them, have been under this gentleman’s leadership for a while now!
Kudos #SundarPichai for your elevation as #CEO 👑of the big G, aka#Google. 👏May Grace 🙌 be with you for a purposeful #Lifeoverflowing with novel ideas that make #Life better & joyful for everyone, everywhere. 😌
And one more thing👆… Thanks for being the proof-of-concept for @PrakashSwamy‘s ‘Prominent or Significant’ #idea, which most certainly will propel his own thoughts & ideas for “Human Potential DISCovery + NURTURE©“, further & farther. 👍

@PrakashSwamy

CoachSwamy_Banner1s1

Why Not!

16 Mar
Flower1A flower enchants by blooming and wafts doing what it loves…
plucked or not!
. 
A tree offers shade to many beings and breezes doing what [s]he loves…
chopped or not!
. 
A grain feeds by getting consumed and enriches doing what it loves…
harvested or not!
.
A fruit nourishes by getting eaten or slurped and ripens doing what it loves…
cut or not!
. 
PepsiSA puppy melts hearts with unconditional love and plays doing what [s]he loves…
shooed or not!
A cow nurtures with milk and moos doing what she (he.. he.. no He there :O) loves…
butchered or not!
.
A lion roams with pride and roars doing what [s]he loves…
hunted or not!
.
A baby woos with nonchalant smile and babbles doing what [s]he loves…
cuddled or not!
. 
JumpA kid explores with unbound curiosity and learns doing what [s]he loves…
chided or not!
. 
A youngster bonds with willful sharing and connects doing what [s]he loves…
shunned or not!
. 
An artist paints vibrant Life and colours doing what [s]he loves…
marveled or not!
. 
A sculptor chisels to bring stone or metal to Life and etches doing what [s]he loves…
bought or not!
. 
Kashgrapher2A photographer captures a memorable moment in Life with light and clicks doing what [s]he loves…
wowed or not!
. 
A poet enchants by giving Life to words and rhymes doing what [s]he loves…
appreciated or not!
. 
A sportsperson transcends the limits with skill and competes doing what [s]he loves…
celebrated or not!
. 
A performer enthralls by whipping up emotions and expresses doing what [s]he loves…
encouraged or not!
. 
A musician tugs heartstrings by transforming notes to tunes and resonates doing what [s]he loves…
applauded or not!
. 
Swamy_BalakumaranAn author transports to a different realm conjured in h[is]er mind and narrates doing what [s]he loves…
sold or not!
. 
A trainer enables by getting ideas into learners’ heads and shares doing what [s]he loves…
thanked or not!
. 
A coach lets discovery of self happen and propels doing what [s]he loves…
acknowledged or not!
. 
A seeker strives to eliminate self and expands doing what [s]he loves…
enlightened or not!
. 
Sadhguru_Quote18A guru transmits to realize the Truth and elevates whatever [s]he graces…
surrendered to or not!
. 
Who are you?
. 
What do you offer?
. 
How do you connect?
. 
How much do you share?
. 
How far do you dare to reach?
. 
When where you joyful?
. 
…………………………………

20120625_143222Why?

…………………………………

Why not!

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SwamyProfile7aBe Joyful & Spread the Cheer :)

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Swamystery in 2014!

31 Dec Realization

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for Swamystery blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 7,100 times in 2014. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 6 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

For, Forever!

3 Jun
Child-creativeIn the enchanting Game of Life
You are seen as aggressive, when you compete hard to win.
You are perceived as passive, when you just observe it from the fringes.
You are considered active, when you cheer the players to play well.
You are deemed valuable, when you help the players play better.
AK_CBSE2013_1You are respected, when you value the game more than the result.
You are celebrated, when you are part of the team and help them win, consistently.
You are revered, when you create innovative ways to play better and raise the bar.
You are honored, when the outcome of your actions outdo the benchmarks of the past.
3Monkeys27You are vilified, when your tactics fail to yield results desired by others.
You are reviled, when your results fail to enthuse others, repeatedly.
You are ignored, when someone else’s ideas start to sound better than yours.
You are forgotten, when someone ready to lead is found willing.
You are relevant, when you reinvent yourself to be valuable, differently, every time you realize either the game isn’t interesting anymore or you don’t fit in the game plan anymore.
Otherwise, anyone who can, will ask So, What About You?
Space1The game goes on…
24 x 365 x ?
The players go on…
only during their time of relevance, within the limited lifetime.
The Game remains interesting, when more players are keen on playing and more fans are keen on watching.
The players remain interesting, when they are willing to get better and other players are keen on helping them play better.
Podium5You aspire to win all the time,
not knowing the Element of Truth
Yet winning is transient and will come to pass, time and again.
You perspire to play for a long time,
not realizing such Wishing is Just Wishful
Yet playing is transactional and will come to pass, time and again.
AK_Kash_SnowBeing part of the game,
100% and not just Fifty-50
Actively, impactfully, purposefully and joyfully,
as if the game is like an enchanting Dance of Life
Doing something worthwhile to make the game and players better,
as if brightly Lighting up the Life
Screaming4Not being worried about a role or title,
as if you always knew how to go From Ordinary to Extra Ordinary
Not getting carried away by back pats or brickbats,
as if you’ve mastered the art of Living Life...
Never hesitant to share and care,
Every known tip and trick of the A-Z of Life
Transforms The Absurdity of Existence into a Real Dream
something worth aspiring and perspiring for!
Tibetan_Wheel_of_LifeSThe Game of Life lasts forever,
Even as Present becomes Past in Future
Like an Endless Beginning.
But the players last only a lifetime, however extraordinary their play is…
Unfailingly intercepted by the Middle of the Endless Beginning.
Play well in this lifetime,
never saying No We Can’t,
Child_PlayingTo be remembered forever…
as someone who played the Game
not for what (s)he wanted out of it,
but for what the Game of Life stands for, forever!

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Love + Gratitude > @PrakashSwamy
Be Joyful & Spread the Cheer 🙂
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Fortuna Favi Actus!

10 Feb

Sports4We’re all players. Many at work, some in sport, few in creative fields and a handful in the endless beginning called Life. Shakespeare seems to have known as he wrote “All the world’s a stage…!”

The outcome of anything we perform- activity, game, thinking, communication, creation, expression, etc. – depends on what your focus is & what type of player you’re.

Masks9If your focus is success, then you’ll be competitive (& possibly combative) player. The outcome could be elation in achieving success or deflation in failing to do so.

Neither is lasting but either could impact how you play and perform further.

Screaming4If your focus is avoid failure, then you’ll be a cautious (& possibly passive) player. The outcome could be satisfaction in not failing or relief in not being blamed for failure.

Neither will help you grow (real growth isn’t about promotion, new title or higher pay) but either can prevent you from growing.

Orchestra6If your focus is participation, then you’ll be an active (& possibly selfless) player. The outcome could only be joy because you’re just keen on playing and not too flustered by the result.

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kung-fu-panda-2As an active participant, you derive joy from participating and performing with the best of your ability. You’ll gladly celebrate someone else’s success. You’ll empathize with someone else’s failure and probably mentor, coach and guide them. You’ll eventually see people flocking around you because, unknown to you, your circle of influence has expanded. Joy begets joy and you spread the cheer, even if you don’t do it consciously. Over time, you end up becoming the selfless but glorious Sun that planets orbit than some nondescript planet that receives sunlight probably for a fraction of its existence.

Thinking_ChimpThe choice to eclipse your existence as yet another nondescript planet in this vast cosmos and become the Sun that nourishes Life in many such planets in the universe is yours.

Fortuna Favi Fortus is passe’. It’s a brave new world and Fortuna Favi Actus is here, now & hip. Choose living Life over the absurdity of mere existence, experience the grand Game of Life citius, altius, fortius and Glow even in afterlife!

P.S.: Swamy dedicates this blog post to Sudharsan, a young achiever who’s made a mark in the sport of his choice, practically on his own (as a planet, he too had a few suns, of course)! Bravo buddy, keep raising the bar, be joyful & spread the cheer 🙂

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Love + Gratitude > @PrakashSwamy

Be Joyful & Spread the Cheer 🙂

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Joy Drops!

3 Oct

Recently a colleague shared a few interesting tips on ‘How to Stay Happy Always’. One of them was “The tears happen. Endure, grieve. Then go on”. This got me thinking. Wondering rather!

Who says tears happen only due to grief? There are many instances in Life when tears well up in our eyes for reasons that have no relation whatsoever with grief. In fact, they are tears of Joy! So, what triggers them?

Great music. Try listening to Maharajapuram Santhanam’s ‘Bho Shambo’ song with closed eyes. Or the likes of TM Krishna, Sikkil Gurucharan, Bombay Jayashree & MS melting away into their music! Legends like Madurai (Mani Iyer), Kunnakkudi, Kadri & Seergazhi do the same effortlessly. Adele (Someone like you), Susan Boyle (I’ve a dream), Kenny G (Songbird), Yanni (Santorini), Elvis (In the Ghetto) and many such exceptionally talented and blessed musicians too will have the same effect on a keen listener. My recent ‘Aha’ ones were ‘Chakraview’ by flautist Pt. Rupak Kulkarni and ‘Ahir’ by Prem Joshua!

Darshan of a deity in the Garbagriha during Deepa Aradhana! When the priest slides aside the curtain in front of my family deity – Lord Muruga of Kumaramalai – after several minutes of alangaram (dressing up) and the Lord Child smiles at us with a slightly tilted head; When one finally gets the sight of Lord Venkateshwara of Tirupathi after several hours of wait, a sight that lasts only for a few brief seconds but forever etched in one’s memory; When Goddess Meenakshi in Madurai is ceremonially taken to her Palli Arai (bed room) clad in a simple white saree sans jewelry (she’s an Empress, mind you) after the Artha Jaama (late night) Puja; During the Nadha Aradhana (offering of sound) at Dhyanalinga temple at Isha Yoga center. This experience will be amplified in temples such as the Kukke Subrahmanya or Dharmasthala or the many shrines that are naturally lit by only oil lamps!

Aha moments while reading a book, such as the first and second parts of the Shiva Trilogy by Amish Tripathi that I’ve recently read. In ‘The Immortals of Meluha‘ (part 1), the first time when Lord Shiva’s Thaandavam (dance) is described in vivid detail, when his Neelkanth (blue neck) is recognized for the first time by Ayurvati (chief doctor) or when Lord Shiva recites the war cry ‘Har Har Mahadev’ (all of us are God of Gods). In ‘The Secret of the Nagas’ (part 2) when the identities of Lord Ganesh and mother Goddess Kali are unveiled (literally), when they were unconditionally accepted by both Lady Sati and Lord Shiva and when the sacred chant ‘Om Naham Shivay’ was chanted for the first time! Or when Subroto Bagchi’s blind mother tells him to ‘Go Kiss the World’ on her deathbed! You may read my reviews of all 3 books at GoodReads.com.

During those seminal scenes in movies with phenomenal performance by a star. When Jones Sr. calls Jr. “Indiana” for the first and last time in ‘Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade’; Alfred tells Wayne “Never” in ‘The Dark Knight’;  Sully’s eyes open after the soul transfer at the last moment of Avatar; Vader looks longingly at Skywalker after throwing away Palpatine with his single remaining hand at the end of ‘Star Wars – A New Hope’; T-800 sacrificing himself by sinking into molten metal while looking at Sarah & John in ‘Terminator 2 – The Judgement Day’; Sakthivelu tells his followers ‘போதும்டா, போய் புள்ள குட்டிய படிக்க வைங்கடா’ (enough, please educate your children), to end the pointless bloodshed once and for all in ‘Devar Magan’!

ஈன்ற பொழுதிற்ப் பெரிதுவக்கும் (prouder than the time of birth) moment for a doting parent. Our recent one was when we came to know that Jr. has won the Bronze medal with his Indian team at the World Under-16 Youth Chess Olympiad at Istanbul, Turkey.

Listening to National anthem while representing the nation. Have you noticed how many Olympic athletes had moist eyes, while accepting their medals?

மாங்கல்யம் தந்துனானேன (groom tying mangalsutra in bride’s neck) moment. Most think it’s only for the parents, but many obviously know it isn’t only them.

First time of anything with a newborn – sight, wail, rollover, hail, grip, babble, move, step, fall, rise. And of course that utterly disarming smile that’ll melt any heart – even the ones made of kryptonite!

Brief moments of Deep spiritual experience during Meditation or while performing Kriya. It’s hard to explain, but experienced by many a meditator.

Being in the presence of Guru. my Master – Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev – is an accomplished master blaster, when it comes to blasting open the floodgates within any meditator. He will only laugh out loud when we ask why!

Rewinding our flash memory (pun intended) by fondly looking at a decade or more old photo or video or faded greeting card with a hand written message.

When one stands amidst pristine nature, marveling at its magnificence and the skill and care of its creator! I’ve felt it in many places including the mighty Smoky mountains, foothills of Velliangiri and in the wilderness along the North shore in Minnesota. Lord Shiva’s abode Kailash and Manasarovar, Valley of Flowers, land’s end at Dhanushkodi, the Grand Canyon, Alaskan wilderness, Angel falls, Galapagos, The Great Barrier Reef, Aurora Borealis, the North Pole  are all in the to go list – in this Life or another!

When that brilliant but economically challenged kid whose study we funded gets selected by a top institution for higher studies or by a company for job, based on merit!

When the pet dog jumps at us and eagerly licks our face at odd hours, on our return from a trip. All it expects in return for showering the unconditional love is a gentle rub or a tummy scratch. And it’ll have moist eyes too!

When one comes back alive and kicking from a Life threatening injury or disease. I’ve seen the suffering, prayers and hope well up in my parents’ eyes when I started walking again after two surgeries in my knee that kept me bedridden for several months and brought any chance of a sports career to an abrupt end, when I was in high school. I’m sure Yuvaraj’s mother would’ve felt the same way when he triumphed against cancer recently. Vikram’s wife would’ve been through the same when he rose again and became a colossus in his acting career.

When someone (usually a child) asks a profound question for which we don’t have an immediate answer! All the knowledge we thought we’ve gained through years of experience is of no value at that moment.

India’s World cup winning moment. And when the entire team carried one of the greatest living legends of the game on their shoulders around the stadium! Oh, what a relief for a billion people – Cricket fans or not – to know that it could be done again, after all! And how hard it would’ve been for the brave bunch that did the impossible the first time!

When hearing a simple ‘Thank you’ from a student attending a volunteer training session, reassuring you that the weekend spent volunteering is an investment, not an expense. Our great nation will reap the benefits, someday!

When a Leader gently lets the limelight shine on his team during great moments of triumph and recognition. MS Dhoni, a great contemporary sports leader, does it happily, time and again.

Such teary moments are ample in everyone’s Life and they are never about grief. They are about joy, pride, love, triumph, reverence, gratitude and bliss. There’s no shame in shedding them. For they lift the facade we all have to wear – even if only momentarily – and offer us a glimpse of the true nature of Life. One that has to be experienced, cherished and celebrated. They are Life’s Joy Drops B:)

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