Saturday, March 29, 2014

Life is a Reflection of You!






A son and his father were walking on the mountains.

Suddenly, his son falls, hurts himself and screams: "AAAhhhhhhhhhhh!!!"

To his surprise, he hears the voice repeating, somewhere in the mountain: "AAAhhhhhhhhhhh!!!"

Curious, he yells: "Who are you?"

He receives the answer: "Who are you?"
And then he screams to the mountain: "I admire you!"

The voice answers: "I admire you!"
Angered at the response, he screams: "Coward!"

He receives the answer: "Coward!"
He looks to his father and asks: "What's going on?"

The father smiles and says: "My son, pay attention."

Again the man screams: "You are a champion!"
The voice answers: "You are a champion!"
The boy is surprised, but does not understand.

Then the father explains: "People call this ECHO, but really this is LIFE.

It gives you back everything you say or do.
Our life is simply a reflection of our actions.
If you want more love in the world, create more love in your heart.

Life is simply a Reflection of You!. 

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Li Na - "Let’s try it. One more chance’

There are times in life when you feel so frustrated or desperate that all one can think of is just sitting down in dejection and giving up everything that you have worked for.

You are feeling down, dejected and depressed with the situations in your life and the events that have unfolded so far. Instead of the roses on your chosen path, all you can come across are the thorns, at every step of your life.

What can you do but to give up in despair thinking that this is what destiny has put in hold for you?

If you are right now at this point of your life, then this is the article for you to read. If not, you can easily ignore this and use your time somewhere else as time is the most precious thing in the world.

If you have continued reading the article then It is at this moment, you have to tell yourself that “ No, I won’t give up, no matter what happens and what I have to face.  I cannot give up on me inspite of the tough situations that I am facing.”

You know why? Because champions emerge only after facing the toughest road blocks in their lives.

After getting frustrated with her constant losses and criticism, Li Na, who recently won her first Australian Open in her third attempt, had thought of retiring just before last year’s Wimbledon. In her own words,

When we arriving in Wimbledon I say to Carlos, ‘Eh, Carlos, look, I want to retire’,” Li said. ”And normally I would think that Carlos for sure would say, ‘No, don’t do that, like we try’, but Carlos was like, ‘OK, let’s go home. Go. Yeah’. And I was like, ‘What?’

”In Chinese way, we didn’t like to speak out, so everything just holds [inside] for the self, so he say, ‘You should try to speak out to let us know what happens’. I was like, ‘OK, maybe we try, the last tournament, to see how it’s going in Wimbledon. If going well, I will continue. If not, maybe just over’. So he was like, ‘OK, let’s try it. One more chance’.”
Not to mention, if we look at Monica Seles, who was stabbed in her back while playing a match in 1993, struggled to recover mentally for almost two years before making her comeback to tennis. She was able to reach the finals of a GS and win Australian Open in 1996. The person who attacked her had told her that she was not pretty and that women should not be as thin as a bone. In her autobiography “Getting a Grip”, she gave a detailed account of the after effects of the attack: 
"Darkness had descended into my head. No matter how many ways I analyzed my situation, I couldn't find a bright side. Food became the only way to silence my demons. I'd walk into the kitchen, grab a bag of crisps and a bowl of chocolate ice cream, then head to the couch and eat in front of the television. I still don't know why my anguish found solace in food. Maybe I was subconsciously reacting to Parche's angry comment that 'women shouldn't be as thin as a bone.' If I padded myself with extra weight, I'd be protected from being hurt again."

But she still fought those demons and made a comeback on the tennis circuit. Although she was not as successful as she was before, but she did win a Grand Slam and reached the finals of another one. Also she will always know that she tried and did not give up when she easily could have hung up her boots.
These are just two of the many examples that can be touched upon to prove that true winners have emerged out from situations where they could have easily given up and pursued the easier option. Our minds always wants the easier way out and clings on the negatives of a situation rather than showing us hope. Frankly speaking, it is not the mind who is the guilty party. Everywhere around us if you see in our society, only negatives are reflected upon. Take any newspaper, media channel, sitcom everywhere you look around, it is filled with despair and sadness. In these moments, it is very important for all of us to remind our minds that great works have always been accomplished when they have faced the worst situations and in those times, had the guts to shout out their mind and tell themselves: Let’s try our best one more time and give ourselves one more chance.”


If only Li Na would have given up before Wimbledon, then she wouldn't have been the Australian Open champion once again. Always remember that there is somewhere a Li Na hidden in you before you decide to give up on your goals.

Roger Federer and The Much Hyped Age Factor

If you have any questions, you can contact me via twitter or facebook or my e-mail: apekshaha@gmail.com

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Try Again,Fail again. Fail better - Stan Wawrinka , The New Iron Man of Tennis




~ Nobody had defeated a World no. 1 and 2 since Sergi Brugera since 1993.

~ Nobody had ever defeated Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal in a Grand Slam before.

~ Rarely, anyone has stepped up to win their first GS at the age of 28 in the presence of such  stellar opponents..

So what if you have just lost an epic match in just over five hours just 12 months back?

So what nobody predicted you to ever win a GS in the shadows of one of the greatest players in the history of tennis.

So what, you were ranked World No.8 and the Big 4 in tennis has won 34 out of the last 35 tournaments.

So what nobody in their dreams every predicted that you have the talent and ability to win a GS.

But then have you ever heard:

Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.

If you haven't, then you should seriously look at a man named Stan Wawrinka who has a tattoo on his hand which says Fail Better.

Stan Wawrinka is the player who has defied everyone today to win his first grandslam at the age of 28, defeating Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic for the first time in the same Grand Slam.

Stan Wawrinka is the man who stepped out of the shadows of his fellow Swiss player Roger Federer, winner of 17 GS to finally define his own glory moment by winning Australian Open for the first time.

Stan Wawrinka is the man who just 12 months back had cried his heart out after losing an epic battle against Novak Djokovic in a match which Stan should have won.

Stan Wawrinka is the man who had lost to Rafael Nadal 12 straight times before finally emerging as winner in the 13th time.

In the entire Australian Open, if there is any player who deserved to win today was Stan Wawarinka. He is the iron man who will now move on to World No. 3 ranking for the first time in his life and what a well-deserved ranking it is for him.

To have defeated the best two players and not to mention who in the history are already booked down amongst the greatest, is a feat which is worthy of unlimited praises.

Take a bow to a player who has suffered so much of pain, losses and lived in the shadow of his peers. He has achieved what anyone before the start of the tournament had thought impossible.

But then they say that
"Disappointment should always be taken as a stimulant, and never viewed as a discouragement."

 It is something to look upon to and learn from it to become the best in your field. And the opponent that Stan played against today, Rafael Nadal is the best example of the above quote. Inspite of an injury after first set and three games, he continued to play the match when he could have easily hung up his racquet. Not to mention, Nadal is the same player who was defeated 7 straight times by Novak Djokovic in 2011/2012 before he turned the tables around to win the next six matches out of nine they have played together till now.

But today it is not about Rafa, it is about a player who played his heart out to defy everyone and conquered the Mount Everest in his life.

How many of us would have actually gone and done what Stan has done today? We can look in life and see that there are handful of examples only of mental caliber of Stan Wawarinka who has shown such steely resolve in the times of adversity. If something we have to take out of today's match, it will be just one lesson:

Failures should never make you fall down because success comes from experience and experiences come from bad experiences. So whatever the difficulties that you are facing in life, get up and tell yourself in STAN THE MAN style:



Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.

Roger Federer and The Much Hyped Age Factor



If you have any questions, you can contact me via twitter or facebook or my e-mail: apekshaha@gmail.com




Rafael Nadal's Injury Timeouts-Strategy or Real?

Rafael Nadal took a contentious time out today for back injury at Australian Open Finals against Stan Wawarinka, only to be booed by the crowd as soon as he entered the arena. Was it a time delaying tactic or a genuine time out?

There has been a lot of talk going on about Rafael Nadal’s contentious time delaying tactics that are being employed by him during the matches to ruffle his opponents
.

Let’s look back at a few timeouts taken by Nadal during important matches:


1)   Finals at Monte-Carlo, 2008- Federer was leading 5-2 in the first set and Nadal calls for a timeout. When treatment was over, Nadal played brilliantly to defeat Federer. (This is of importance as Fed then lost French Open and then Wimbledon in the epic match to Nadal)

2)   Finals at Hamburg, 2008: A time break, which lasted for 6 minutes, was called by Nadal for thigh massage, just before Federer was going to serve for the set.  Obvious result: Federer lost his own serve and eventually the match.

3)   Wimbledon 2008: It is well known to the world about the time taken by Nadal/Djokovic between serves. In the epic final Nadal, on an average, took around 30 seconds (maximum went to around 50 seconds) between his serves against Federer who took on an average 20 seconds.(Rule was for 25 seconds)

4)   Wimbledon 2010: Against Philipp Petzschner, he called his trainer numerous times on the court. Nadal won, 6-4, 4-6, 6-7 (5), 6-2, 6-3. Petzschner said he did not notice a difference in Nadal’s movements before and after the timeouts.

5)   Wimbledon 2011: Nadal calls for a timeout at 6-6 in the first set and goes on to win the match against Del Potro.


After the match today, it was told that he felt back problems during the warm up before the match. Was this statement a strategy to calm the outside world down or was it actually an injury; only Nadal can tell. But one thing is for sure, we cannot undermine the determination of this player. Nadal's sportsmanship can be a question but his records are unbelievable and will go down as one of the greatest in tennis history.

What  do you think? 

Follow ApekshaHA on Twitter for Latest Updates: http://twitter.com/#!/ApekshaHA

If you have any questions, you can mail me at apekshaha@gmail.com

(Link to previous post - Try Again,Fail again. Fail better - Stan Wawarinka , The New Iron Man in Tennis)

Monday, January 20, 2014

Rafael Nadal - The Warrior at Heart



"Your playing hand has just been taped because of blisters, it's bleeding and paining. "

What will you do if you will have to go out and serve?

Probably you will still be feeling that pain and not able to play with full force or maybe play at your 50% potential.

That's what generally majority of the players would have done. But this scenario did not happen today. Instead three aces  were dished out consecutively. How did this happen?

This is because the player in question was none other than Rafael Nadal. A blistering hand, stunning shotmaking from his opponent and trailing behind 2-4 in the second set and 4-5 in the third set, still Rafael Nadal was able to ease his way out of the match in straight sets.

The analysis can be read anywhere but what really spiked up my interest was the ability of Rafael Nadal to overcome such difficult situations in the match.  He was 2-4 down and still won the second set 5-7 even though Kei Nishikori was the better player for the majority of the set. Even with blisters in his left hand, he chased each and every ball with the ferocity of a tiger, he hit each and every shot faster than the speed of his opponent's shots, and stood his ground irrespective of the barrage of winners that were thrown at him from the other end.

What made this match even more interesting was the way Rafael Nadal handled the tough situations. Even down at 4-5 in the third set, he broke Kei Nishikori back again with ease to level the third set at 5-5 and then won the set 7-6.

This match clearly showed why Rafael Nadal is undoubtedly the toughest player on the tennis circuit.  It's not easy to break down his mental toughness and it was clearly evident in today's match. For me, it was stunning to see how  quickly he was able to recover from a break down and still go on to emerge the winner at the end after every downward curve. It was not just once or twice but it was in every set. In life, every time we have been down, how many times do we get up and face the situation with full force having belief in your abilities, confident that you will come out on top?

That's what you learn from this champion, that you get down and you get up, you get down again but you get up again and so on.Once you learn the craft of embracing the challenges and knock downs that come through your way in matches or life, you have to know fully well that hanging in there, giving your 100% will eventually knock out any tough situation that you may be in . That's what Rafael Nadal does the best and in my mind there is no player who can surpass this champion when it comes to getting up from the constant knockdowns that may come in their way.

That is why they say,

"It does not matter whether you get knocked down or not, what matters is whether you got up."


So next time, there is a challenge in your life, get up and face it up like Rafael Nadal.

If you have any questions, you can contact me via twitter or facebook or my e-mail: apekshaha@gmail.com


Friday, January 17, 2014

Roger Federer and The Much Hyped Age Factor




"Your age is just a number. It should never hinder you from accomplishing your goals."

This is a quote we have heard  multiple times and yet, we don't restrain ourselves from making judgments about our lives and even better, other's lives. Many critics have been vociferous in their opinion about whether Roger Federer should have retired or not at this stage of his life. Many people have already written him off and never leave a chance to downplay his game.

To them, I want to ask a simple question:

Since when have the so called critics started predicting the future of any player or person so correctly?

Just one year back, the same so called critics were finding it hard to believe that Rafael Nadal can even make a  comeback after his injuries and now one year later, they are calling him perhaps the greatest player ever in tennis.

It is not only about tennis, if we look at any field, critics and people have always tried to downplay anyone in the society who has tried to defy the norms.

~ When a 75 year old man tried to complete the hottest ultra-marthon of the year, people didn't believe he will be able to do it.

~ When at the age of 38,  Károly Takács tried to win the Olympics Gold Medal with his left hand ( as his right hand was badly injured), nobody believed he can do it.

~ When the first time, it was thought that two people can talk to each other sitting miles away from each other, it was considered out rightly impossible. And yet telephone was invented.


I can go on and on about examples of people defying the norms, going against what people/critics thought as irrational and still in the end coming out victorious and more satisfied in their goals. So people might go on and on about why Federer should retire and stand no chance, I believe the only person that should take this decision is Roger Federer himself and no one else.

The question that we need to ask ourselves is can future be really predicted? No, it can never be but what is more important is that people should follow their own passion and what they believe in. Even in your own lives, people will come and tell you that it is not possible and it is foolish to continue this path. More often than not, it is not about how many people think you can do it, in the end it is only you who is more than enough to make your dream become a reality.

The same is true with Roger Federer. It's his belief that matters at this stage.  Why? Because

"The thing always happens that you really believe in; and the belief in a thing makes it happen."

This is what the great champion had to say in an interview when people inquired about his retirement ( courtesy a friend who pointed out this to me)


When i was starting my career, lot of people doubted me. They saw the talent but werent sure if i will win any. But he believed in myself. I am almost in a similar place now but i believe that i can win and so i will keep playing and keep trying.



 If Ken Rosewall could have won  grand slams at an age of 35, 36 and 37, I see no reason why Roger Federer cannot go on and win his 18th Grand Slam at 32. 

PS: Yes, people will talk about his failures and disappointments of past year as reasons for his retirement, in my next post, I will address this age old question as to why failures should never be considered as a sign to quit. Stay tuned:).

 

If you have any questions, you can contact me via twitter or facebook or my e-mail: apekshaha@gmail.com

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Frustrated or Disappointed - The Only Way Out?

Imagine if you are or have been in any of the following situations in life?

  1. You have had a bad day at office and your colleague or boss has just given you a negative feedback when you expected a positive one or in simple words back stabbed you with office politics.
  2. You just had a terrible fight with your spouse or boyfriend because he/she didn’t do what you had expected..
  3. You just broke up with your boyfriend.
  4. You are having a tough time managing your finances and you know that you will have a tough time paying rent the next month..
  5. You have failed in your goals because of somebody's else's faults ( It's always the other person fault right?)

 

Or basically you are right now in a situation where you can see no way out and perhaps it's not your fault at all but still you are in a deep deep hole…

 

So what will you do or have probably done in the past?

 

There are four options: Cry or burst in tears, share your frustration with your friend, throw a fit in front of your spouse or go to the bar and drink it out..

 

More often than not, I would myself opt for option 2, though occasionally I have opted for other options too.

 

I recently finished reading a book  on Nadia Comaneci ( for people who don't know her, she is probably the greatest gymnast ever and the first person to score a perfect 10 in 1976 Olympics). She mentioned very beautifully that she had always been a quick learner throughout her life. Even at a young age, she would never cry and listen carefully to what her parents would want her to do in order for her to go to a zoo or get another treat rather than crying or bursting in a fit ( Oh how I wish every child could be like that;) )

 

 

The reason she has depicted very beautifully:

 

"It's very important to channel your frustration or anger in your performance instead of wasting in on less productive feelings. Friend, No one ever accomplishes your dreams for you, regardless of tears, fits or any other ways of manipulation. They can give us support, ideas, directions , but in the end, the reality is that you have to do it alone. You must figure out your own destination and the best route to get there because no one else knows the way."

 

This line got me thinking and as I reflected back upon my past, in whatever limited cases I was able to follow the above, I was able to accomplish my goals.

 

Gossiping, crying, bursting in fits, drinking alcohol are just temporary solutions to make you happy for a second and but if you have to really feel happy at the end of the day, it is very important to know that only you can make a difference to your current situation and no one else.

 

So if your boss did something wrong, go ahead and work on that dream business of yours on weekend or make a resume for another job instead of sitting in a bar. If your boyfriend broke up, go ahead and take the long awaited dream trip to your favorite country - you have every reason to pamper yourself. If you just had a fight with your spouse, go ahead and go the spa or golf club that you always wanted, as it is your spouse wouldn't want to talk to you for the next few hours. Give yourself a chance to calm yourself. Or maybe if you are in a deep hole, find a way to get out of it rather than getting stuck there and wishfully thinking about your prince charming.

 

Always remember, there is no better friend than yourself in times of need and you a have two choices in your life, either to cry like a baby or man up to face the situation like a true champion.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

I wish I had known this.....

As Jack looked back , he had regrets in life in many areas - Life, Career, Family…

It was the last day of his life and all he could say was " I wish I had known this long back"

His thoughts went back to the times when he graduated from the top MBA school and had one of the highest paying jobs in the world.  He had always lived a life of prosperity, succeeding from one step to another to finally end up being the CEO of the company he started working for.

Still looking back, he was sad and unhappy. During his youth, he thought having the biggest mansion and car was ultimate sign of happiness.

All he wanted today was one more chance to pursue his dream life: to become a photographer and travel all around the world.  One of his friends did advise him to take the risk and plunge into his passion, but he waived him off saying that he wanted job security and he will pursue his passion once he has enough money.

Later never came and year after year, he chased after money, wealth and fame. But he had no chance now and all he had was memories and his fear of failure which stopped him to do what he wanted? Does the story sound familiar to you?


How many times in our life, now when we look back and wish in our lives that we had the courage to take risks earlier. I was listening to a senior executive in Google who graduated from Stanford and his biggest advice to the graduates was to take risks early in their career and be open to new ideas/thoughts. How he wished, he could have taken risks and joined Google when it was 6 person company?

Don't we all have our goals and are bogged down by the norms of society and big corporate names when it comes to finding a job or sticking to the societal norms and then later in our life, we wish we could have been daring and open to new ideas.  We wish we had this daring and bold attitude  which will  not succumb to people's expectations. But why don't we convert our wish to a truth…There is only one answer:

FEAR OF FAILURE.


Ok , so let's look at the times, when we were born, we always wanted to try new things. Remember your first fall as a kid when you tried to walk or bike, remember how we were carefree…Do we still embody that same spirit and as it has happened to us in our childhood, if we did, more often than not we will come out and succeeded. Why? Because when you take risks, you know that you will never regret in future.

What's the worst that can happen if you follow your passion:  You will fail and still emerge out happy and strong in the end, knowing that you tried. In fact failure is the best thing that can happen to you because when you will fail, you will know that there cannot be any worse situation than you will be in. From there, the only way is up.

Here are a few examples:



“You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have.

Remember if you will not try, we will end up being Jack in our lives. So what can you do now?

You are not living your last day, so remember this


"The future doesn't matter, the past is gone. There is only now. And Now is enough. It is more than enough. It is everything and that is why you run, you run and you run. And after that you run even more to reach your goals."

Every week I will share one inspiration nugget like this .If you like my page and want to join me on the journey of discovering our successes and failures, Don't hesitate to join me on the road to freedom....:)

You can always subscribe this blog Feed or join me on Twitter or Facebook or contact me directly on apekshaha@gmail.com

The ART Of Following your Dreams

"If you will not try, you will go to your grave with your song still inside you." -  Henry David Thoreau

I have just finished reading  The Art of Non Conformity book by Chris Gullibeau. This book is not meant for orthodox people who are not willing to change in their lives. If you are one of them, then I think you just landed on a wrong page.



But if you are willing to try and change with me, then you are most welcome to read on.

Are you one of those that sits in cubicles  for more than 50% of your day?

Are you one of those who does wishful dreaming of a perfect life doing what you have always wanted do?

Are you one of those who believe that life is tough but you can be tougher if you just had options?


Well if you are, then welcome to my world which has just been shattered to pieces by what I have read*.  There are many people who are not famous but still live the life that they have always dreamt of.  Not one, Not two, not hundred, there are thousands of people who are doing that.  Here are few of them:

  1. Leo Babuata who is the founder of Zen Habits , a website/blog with 260,000 subscribers and has six kids. Here is the catch, before this, he worked in a low level administrative job in GUAM ( ever heard of this place?)
  2. Chris Gullibeau himself was a volunteer worker in South Africa and did his masters from University of Washington. After that he decided to work for himself rather than going for a cubicle job. His website is one of the most famous ones ( The Art of Non Conformity) and has been featured in CNN and other top news channels in a span of 4 years. Oh By the way, he has also travelled 192 countries in the world in less than 50,000$ budget. He is just 35!
  3. The Excel Dude from India who started his website in 2009 and now earns almost $150,000 per year.

I can go on and on about the examples, but that's not the point here…The point is about thinking what we are doing, is it the right path or the wrong one..

This book has got me thinking that should I go for a cubicle job or should I go for doing something that I want irrespective of what the society thinks? All these examples are of people like you and me , yet they have carved out a way by which they are following their dreams. So why can't we?

Everyone dies but not everyone lives. The question is where are we going ?

Just another person in cubicle or someone who followed their dreams…. 



*The book that I have mentioned is one of the brilliant books that I have read and I would highly recommend to anyone who wants to follow his passion but is afraid of the so called society norms and pressures.

Every Friday I will share one inspirational nugget like this. If you like my page and want to join me on the journey of discovering our successes and failures, Don't hesitate...Let's walk together on the Road To Freedom...

You can always subscribe this blog Feed or join me on Twitter or Facebook or contact me directly on apekshaha@gmail.com


I wish I had known this.....


Sunday, November 24, 2013

Old Story with a Good Lesson



A mouse looked through the crack in the wall to see the farmer and his wife open a package... 

"What food might this contain?" The mouse wondered - he was devastated to discover it was a mousetrap. 



Retreating to the farmyard, the mouse proclaimed the warning.  "There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!"
The chicken clucked and scratched, raised her head and said,  "Mr. Mouse, I can tell this is a grave concern to you but it is of no consequence to me. I cannot be bothered by it."


The mouse turned to the goat and told him "There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!"  The goat sympathized, but said, "I am so very sorry, Mr. Mouse, but there is nothing I can do about it. "


The mouse turned to the cow and said, "There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!"  The cow said, "Wow, Mr. Mouse.  I'm sorry for you, but it's no skin off my nose. But wish you well; be assured you are in my prayers "


So, the mouse returned to the house, head down and dejected, to face the farmer's mousetrap-- alone.


That very night a sound was heard throughout the house -- like the sound  of a mousetrap catching its prey. The farmer's wife rushed to see what was  caught.   In the darkness, she did not see it was a venomous snake whose tail the trap had caught.  The snake bit the farmer's wife. 

The farmer rushed her to the hospital  and she returned home with a fever. Everyone knows you treat a fever with fresh chicken soup, so the farmer took his hatchet to the farmyard  for the soup's main ingredient.  But his wife's sickness continued, so friends and neighbors came to sit with her  around the clock. To feed them, the farmer  butchered the goat.  The farmer's wife did not get well; she died. 


So many people came for her funeral, the farmer had the cow slaughtered to provide enough meat  for all of them. The mouse looked upon it all from his crack in 
the wall with great sadness. 

So, the next time you hear someone is facing a problem and think it doesn't concern you, remember that when one of us is threatened, we are all at risk.  We are all involved in this journey called life. We must keep an eye out for one another and make an extra effort to encourage one another because directly or indirectly we might have to suffer!!!

If you have any questions, you can mail me at apekshaha@gmail.com