Category: Life my Way

Taking the Cold Shower Challenge was a good decision

Taking the Cold Shower Challenge was a good decision

Benjamin p. Hardy wrote about taking a cold shower in one of his articles and its benefits. Without much delay, my brother and I decided to take cold showers for the rest of our life. It seemed overwhelming then cause neither of has tested chilled water during the winters.

This simple decision marked a pivotal point in my life.

I always used to think twice before attempting to do an action. With this simple change, I realised I get the courage to do an action without much hesitation.

Apart from creating a shift in mindset, I also observed other benefits. Getting rid of the irritating throat mucus and a blocked nose was one the great achievements of this challenge.

Do I still think to hesitate to take a cold shower? – Yes, I do!

But, that helps me build a mental attitude of taking that extra step needed to make the difference. I am much calm and composed as opposed to the worry wart I used to be.

I started to get up early, which was a practice I wanted to develop for a while. I ensured I practised the keyboard no matter how tired or sleepy I was. I stopped procrastinating tasks I usually get stuck with for a long time. And I can count many such situations I have taken that extra step and won.

I experienced a significant shift in my attitude. I made it a point to get into the swimming no matter how cold it got. Each time I got into the pool, I was able to complete three laps at one time. Today I was amazed at the laps I could do at one time. I was able to first five laps in one go, the next in another go and then I decided just to keep on going for the next 15 laps. To my surprise, I was able to pull it off. It was an achievement but the time in which I did the 25 laps were under 30 minutes which otherwise took me close to an hour.

I am glad I made that decision along with my brother. It has been eight months already into this habit. And I am determined to keep going no matter what.

Winter is coming! Let’s see how many days more can I sustain it.

Now the question is – Are you are ready to take the Cold Shower Challenge?


Modern forms of Ekalavya’s learning technique

Modern forms of Ekalavya’s learning technique

Ekalavya from ancient history proves that self-learning is the best form of learning. style

Dronacharya (also Guru Droņa) was a master of advanced military arts and was the preceptor of Kauravas and Pandavas in the epic of Mahabharata. He also is known to be a teacher to Ekalavya but by indirect methods.

Ekalavya approached Guru Droņa to learn the art of war from him, and the Guru rejected his request. Deeply hurt by the rejection, Ekalavya did not give his resolution of learning the art of war.  This situation gave birth to one of the oldest forms of self-learning.

Ekalavya took the mud under the Guru’s feet to the jungle and made a full statue of Guru Droņa. It was a symbolic gesture to follow his knowledge and footsteps. With Guru Droņa statue placed under a tree and with a high amount of self-motivation, Ekalavya practised every day for many years. He chose archery as his focused art of war and gained exceptional prowess. He was even greater than Guru Droņa best pupil, Arjuna.

During that time, there was a ritual of Guru Dakshina. It was a form of paying respect to the Guru for his services. I could not even imagine why Guru Droņa could ask such a Dakshina from a self-taught learner like Ekalavya. Guru Droņa asked Ekalavya to cut his right thumb as Guru Dakshina. Eklavya with a smile cut his right thumb and handed it over.

What Ekalavya did was great. In today’s world, we do have many good sources to learn. Not as difficult as learning from a statue. And definitely, does not involve cutting our thumb as Guru Dakshina.

What are the modern forms of self-learning? 

With access to every information at our fingertips due to “Internet”, we now have access to YouTube, MOOCs and mobile apps that can help us learn anything we want.

We just need to have the self-motivation to learn and even stronger reason of why we want to learn.

Of course, we cannot deny that a mentor/guide/guru would improve our learning. But, let’s face it, racing against yourself becomes of more importance than learning either from Guru or being self-taught. And there is a good chance we might not find the right Guru at the time we require him. And then there is a way that involves the exchange of massive wealth to gain knowledge.

The question you must ask yourself is whether you learn something to satisfy your Ego or you want to learn it because you decided to improve yourself. Once you have this piece figured, you need to find a way to avoid distractions.

How to avoid distractions?

With many resources we have, we also double the distractions. It’s not like the forest Ekalavya practised. The environment was conducive for his learning. Yes, the environment is the answer. We need to create our environment, a system to stick to it to gain maximum from self-learning. Also, it’s a known fact that you must have a clearly defined objective of what is the intended outcome you want from learning something.

Once your system is in place, it’s easier for you stick to it. You gain momentum when you begin to results you could not imagine. You may face down times, but it’s important to get back up and start learning again. You might not be able to make enough progress for 100 days in a row, but you need to keep your senses open, as the world has its way of getting the answer you need when you need it.

Inside the mind of a happy person

Inside the mind of a happy person

I open a door which is at the highest level. I enter the room as always with a smile, appreciating the beauty of life. There were a variety of soft bright colours all around the room. It feels like you were in an animated movie but everything is real. I sat there gazing at the colours. I could feel the soft breeze and the freshness of the grass in the room. I could smell the fragrance of Rose. I had nothing in the mind. I was only enjoying the beauty.

“The shirt you are wearing in this photo makes you look like a gay.” said a voice from another room.

I found myself opening another door. This door was many levels below I the room I enjoyed spending time. It seemed like it had bright colours. But I was fooled. I got sucked into the room and the door behind closed. I had no option to go back, so I went further into the room. This room had mud all over. My shoes were now muddy. The thought of cleaning it lingered in my mind. It started raining. I regretted about not carrying my umbrella. My worst fears kept coming alive one by one. Due to the rain, I had a running nose. My mobile and wallet were in my pocket and had no means of protecting them. By now they were thoroughly wet.

I took a moment to ask myself a question.

Am I creating this situation for myself?

The moment I asked this question, I realised, the power to turn things around and what I can create was in my control.

I ran towards a different door. As soon as I entered, I soon realised the room had many clones of me. Each of them had an opinion about the situation.

One with an orange robe said, “The voice from another door might be jealous; calm down. That voice does not know the impact of those words. You are the mature one”.

One with a beard, who was eating a burger said, “How could she say like that to you?”.

This question made me angry and sad at the same time. I realised I hate criticism.

The one in semi formals said, “There are better ways to express criticism”.

The one in the formals said, “Not all of them are like you”.

One with an orange robe spoke again, “It has nothing to do with who you are. Just ignore it”.

Another one who looked exactly like me said: “Maybe it’s sarcasm. Just smile and let it go”.

I smiled. The clones started disappearing. Without the clones, the room became smaller. I knew I had to open a door and enter into it. I did just that, and finally, I was back into the room I loved.

I was back into the bright colours and the feeling of warmth. Back to that awesome feeling of grass beneath me and fragrance of Rose. The door of the from where the voice came from was still around visible. It was slowly vanishing into the bright colours. It was faintly visible as if it could just come back anytime.

I thought to myself, “Why isn’t it vanishing?”.

Listen to music I said. I put on a soothing song by Santana. It is called Europa. I started grooving to the guitar. This song is just beautiful. I started floating up in the bright room. It felt like I was in a void floating around. The door from which the voice came from was not becoming fainter. It started to disappear. I continued to enjoy the music. I was back to my happy state without the worry of the voice.

Waking up to her messy beauty

Waking up to her messy beauty

What kind of partner do you want?

A question two of my friends have asked me, and I was convincingly able to give the same answer to both of them without hesitation. I can think many different ways to describe what I want in a partner. But it all comes down one thing – peacefully getting up to her messy beauty in the morning.

The real measure of women’s beauty is when she wakes up messy in the morning, and you never get bored of seeing her that way.

I believe in an idea where I am excited to return home. The feeling of being excited is what defines the pure essence of calling something home. You don’t want to get back to just to argue over something silly and trivial. You know you are living that relationship when you feel like kissing her forehead every morning. The messy beauty grows stronger by the day, and a beautiful, compassionate love is born. Passionate love can last a couple of years, but compassionate love grows over time.

Of course, I cannot say there is not a relation that can survive without few fights and arguments. For this, we have to deconstruct and bring out the two different mindsets. Fixed mindset is where either of the partners in a relationship has the little amount of Self-Awareness. Their attempt is to focus their energy on correcting habits which are of little importance in a relation. This kind of mindset creates some friction and curbs your excitement to reach home.

Growth mindset on the other is different. It’s a much better umbrella to have those fights and arguments. You do not feel irritated; there is no frustration in doing other tasks or even working. Each of the partners provides enough space for each other to be themselves and understand the importance of individual time.


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HIIT Home Workout for beginners – Week1

HIIT Home Workout for beginners – Week1

After a minor injury on my lower back, I decided to work on building my body strength. Of course I don’t want to bulk up. I just want an agile body and ensure I do not fall prey to minor injuries because I am not fit.

A few months back I started working out everyday and it’s feels great to maintain the consistency. To take it to the next level, it’s high I bring structure to what I do and hence this 90 day challenge of #thebodycoach HIIT Home Workout for beginners.

This workout begins with a few warm up exercises and moves on to 4 work outs in the following order:

  1. Running with high knees
  2. Burpees
  3. Power Squats
  4. Mountain climbers

Day 1 was difficult, I could do only 3 circuits. Each requires a 30 seconds of work, followed by 30 seconds rest. For the first circuit I was able to do it but for the next 2 circuits it became difficult, so I ended up resting for 45 seconds for the next 2 circuits.

Goal: 5 Circuits with 30 seconds work, followed by 30 seconds.

I will write my journey of the challenge every week and hope I complete it.

Check out thebodycoach:
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thebodycoach Twitter

This is the video showing how it’s done in case you want to take up the challenge.

Humans of Analytics Story

Humans of Analytics Story

I began with a chronological narration of my journey but could not resist narrating it using analytics. It was all about improving my R^2 and discovering all the unknown variables which could be used in my model of life. I named this model Lifeaholic Linear Equation (Yes! you guessed right, life is a nonlinear equation). I used the Principle Component Analysis and identified 4 components which I feel have incrementally improved my Lifeaholic Model.
I created a Radar chart with each of the components which is similar to a coordinate axis. I named this the Plane of Health, which I feel should be taken care to encounter all endeavors in life. Each web represents a year, as the coefficient kept changing every year I re-built the model.

Component 1: Choice of Leader
During my initial days, Analytics was just a word and it got more flesh once my manager started guiding me to me think critically and help out when I was stuck. This defined how I learned and implemented projects. She never let me focus on any one tool and always told me that tools were only a medium to get a project done. Apart from working on projects, based on my leader’s recommendation, I was asked to prepare and train juniors on Excel and SAS. Looking back now, all this has added to my strengths and helped improving my logical thinking. You can never tell what will help you shape your career, you just need to be open & coachable. I was fortunate enough to have incredible leadership and thankful to each one of them.

Component 2: Self Branding

The pieces of training gave a stronghold on the tools and methods to get a message clear to all segments of students. I also learned how to teach a class and engage slow and fast students. This later helped me connect with my team members a lot better as I knew everybody was unique. I started listening more, although still stubborn in many ways. I started leading early and kept taking on more responsibilities. This helped me push my limits and kept me thinking how I can create more value for my team and guide as I have been guided. I was also more empathetic towards other departments including the HR team. This helped me initiate a journey as a YouTuber. With a video series on how to build a HR dashboard, I started a YouTube channel on Excel and still continue to produce content.

Component 3: Knowledge
It’s not easy to generate content without knowing a lot of things. Once I learned a concept I used to find 10 other ways to implement it. I started helping other teams not only in the Analytics space but also in other departments. I helped the HR team, Sales, Marketing team and Admin team. I still continue to help different teams. All this combined with books and up to date articles on the domain you are working will only help in expanding your knowledge for the present as well the future. I learned that you have to constantly keep learning. I know now that I have to increase the intensity of learning if I want to be able to lead and take decisions fast.

Component 4: Family and Friends
Surprisingly how you treat you parents and siblings will play a major role in how much of a team player you are. Ignoring unresolved conflict with your parents or siblings or even your friends can weigh you down significantly. Also being able to patiently explain some things that may seem irrational to your parents helps your creativity to explain stuff when projects get complicated. It builds your mettle to convince and articulate. Having the right set of friends who discuss ideas and support each other is a major advantage as your surrounding is not letting you focus on dumb shit.

Few years into your Analytics career, I realized the limitations of a linear regression and realize that Life is more a nonlinear equations and possibilities are endless. I am now unlearning a few things and nurturing my mind to think. I will know I have made it when I know I am expressing myself to my (not someone else’s) potential.

1. Marriage is not a part of this analysis, as I am not married yet.
2. If you have a “girlfriend” then the dynamics of the model changes significantly.

You can read the original post here. Part 1 Part 2