Thriving Mindfully

Category: Natural Learning (Page 1 of 2)

An Antidote to Depression- The Habit Loop

A state of mind that we all face at some point in our life. And sadly, it is something we dread accepting, and confronting the way it is.

I am not talking about clinical depression here. I speak about a general discontent and disillusionment towards life, that makes one feel inactive and despondent.

This feeling plagues us all at some point in our lives. While we cannot do away with it altogether, can we design a scheme that helps us swim out of the pool of passivity?

Today, I would like to suggest a method that has helped me overcome despondency and realign my focus in life.

It is a four step process called ‘The Habit Loop’.
The steps are as follows :

1) Acceptance

A couple of days ago, as I was sharing my somber state of mind with a friend, she told me something that changed my perspective towards the issues I was facing.
She told me that it is but human to feel the way I was feeling at some point in life. One cannot be motivated and enthusiastic all the time. In fact, would it even be desirable!

That insight gave me the courage to accept my state of mind as it was.
It is normal to feel despondent from time to time. It is best to avoid to whirlpool of ‘why me?’ and stay clear of self pity.

2) Resolution

The most important question you must answer in a despondent state of mind is :

Do I want to come out of this phase?

Only when you have made a deliberate decision that you want to come out of this phase can you move forward from where you stand.

The resolution to change things, a decision that comes from deep within, is paramount.

3) Confrontation

Now that you have accepted your state of mind and decided to bring about a change, what should be the next step?

In my experience, the most obvious symptom of depression is when one stops to confront himself.

There is a tendency to :

A) disrupt all systems one adhered to that brought a sense of structure to life

B) cave to desires of decadence, marked particularly by over-indulgence in consuming data, food, sex

C) not confront yourself, look into the mirror, or create art

We do all of this while being fully aware that it doesn’t serve us best.

The easiest way to come out of this state is by confronting yourself.

Here’s a few ways that might help one do that:

1) Take a sheet of paper and write down what you have been doing and why.

2) If writing is not your thing, make a voice note, speak what exactly what you’ve been up to and why

3) The most effective one, is to make a video, speak into the camera about your current state of mind and what you’ve been doing while you were stuck in the rut

This is the step that will truly test your resolution, whether you want to really get out a depressed state of mind or not.
But as soon you start doing this, you will realize that you have enough self respect to not bullshit yourself to no end. Within a few minutes, you will address matters that have been responsible for your despondency and find ways to come out of it.
It is self diagnosis, and it works better than anything else I’ve come across.

4) Repetition

Of course, you will need to repeat the whole process over and over and build your resilience.

With enough practice, you will be able to
face the vicissitudes of life with equanimity.

It might take a while to crawl out of a somber state, but the more you repeat the four step habit loop, the easier it will become along the way.

I hope my suggestion helps you in times of trouble.

Feel free to share your experiences, reflections and feedback in the comments below.

If you feel this article will help someone is need, please feel free to share it with them.

Good luck on the bumpy roller coaster ride of life!

The Power of Everyday (February-March 2019)

Spring time is here !
Isn’t it the perfect season for rejuvenation, realignment and realization of what we can truly achieve?

As it is the beginning of a new month, let me apprise you of my performance in my Power of Everyday challenge for February, what I learnt from it, and what challenge I am planning to undertake for the month of March.

The two challenges for February were :

1) Write and Publish a blog Everyday (9/28)

2) Write a page about an Object Everyday (17/28)

As evident from my blogging frequency, one could tell that I hadn’t been the most productive last month.
This has been my most dismal performance so far, with just a 33% success rate. However, on closer inspection, I realized why this isn’t that bad a record.

When I looked closer at the frequency of my posting, I realized that even though I was not showing up for many days at a stretch, I came back and tried to start again.
Had I posted blogs for 9 days in a row and then stopped altogether, even if the success percentage would still be 33% , It would have reflected that I had given up on the exercise after a point.

But this month, I tried posting even after I took long breaks in between. Post dates ( Feb 1, 2 , 3, 4, 6, 16, 18, 19, 25)

Even for the second task, while I had a 60% success rate, I tried to keep up the consistency, and not get demoralized after a few days of inactivity.
Dates when I succeeded in writing a page about an object a day ( Feb 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 ,8, 9, 11, 13, 17, 18, 19, 20, 22 ,23, 24, 26)

So, even though I want not successful at completing either of the task, I learned that I still wanted to come back and try again.

I realized that just as much as consistency matters in cultivating a habit, so does resilience.
The act of showing up again, even after a few days of lull, is still a valuable sign.

For the second activity, I have written about objects as diverse as a blackboard, a microphone, a wallet, a table, a toothbrush, a pressure cooker, a football, a blanket, a curtain, a bulb, bricks, airplanes, televisions, a zipper, a cup, shoes, a pen….

As mundane as these objects seemed to me, once I started to write about them, I realized how alive they actually are!
The exercise enlivened my imagination to an extent and helped find new metaphors to relate with these objects.

A brick, red, as if it has borrowed the color from the fire in the kiln…

A blanket hibernates in the summers…

A wallet, a safe, that manages to contain a person’s worth and identity…

A wineglass lends the wine much of its panache…


These are just a few metaphors I could come up with while writing about objects. I might not have come up with these had I not taken up the Power of Everyday project.

The beauty of the Power of Everyday project is that it is a self defined, self monitored activity. The nature and magnitude of the challenge can be chosen as it suits an individual.

This month, my Power of Everyday challenge is about confronting a fear that I have had for a long time.

Facing a Camera.

This month, every single day, I am going to record a five minute video of myself speaking on camera.

I will keep you posted about my progress every weekend.

I hope you find enough value in my proposal and choose a power of everyday challenge for yourself.

It’s always fun to do this with other friends who share the same vision of self evolution.

I hope to hear about your challenges and progress along the way.

Until I write again,
I wish you great month ahead.



A sermon from my 5 year old teacher

I’d come to visit the reforestation community I had volunteered at for much of last two years.
Incidentally, since it was also the place where I had started my bicycle trip, I felt the need to visit again to get a sense of closure to this incredible journey I’d been on.

One of the special aspects about this community is the concept of Unschooling or ‘Nature led learning’.

The kids as well as adults seek to learn and grow by interacting with the environment around them, guided by the compass of their curiosity.

While I was volunteering here, the most profound lessons I learned came from the kids in the community.
It was always such a joy to gain perspective from children who were just being, learning, growing and evolving as a function of their environment.

So yesterday, when I sat down to have breakfast in the morning with all our community members, I got a wonderful surprise snuggled up in another volunteer’s lap.
It was one my little teachers, Rahaphaello. A five year old bundle of joy we all kindly called Rafi.

I was happy to know that he had stayed through my eight month absence in the community.

At first, he gingerly observed me from a distance, as if trying to place me in his mind. It had been a while since I was away after all.

Slowly he walked towards me to get a closer look. With each onward step, his memory jogged him to fond memories and soon enough he came close and held me in an affectionate embrace.

He had grown taller and heavier in these eight months. His eyes shone as brightly as I have always know.

His eyes were gazing deeply into mine, as if casting a spell that needed cooperation from both of us.

‘You know what I see in your eyes?’ he asked.

‘You tell me Rafi, what do you see in my eyes?’

‘In your eyes….
It’s …it’s…round the earth,
I can see the whole world in your eyes!’

Still in my arms, with a gaze transfixed,
And with all the love that could ever be found, he looked at the world he saw in my eyes.

‘You know what I see in your eyes Rafi?’


‘It is a big star, very very big….
And it’s shining bright…
Maybe it’s many stars..
Could it be a galaxy of stars?
Or could it be the whole universe?’

‘The whole universe?’

‘Yes, yes , the whole universe, right when it all began, with a beautiful big bang.’

‘Oh really? I want to see my eyes then ! ‘ he said excitedly and ran towards a mirror.

And like many of the lessons he taught me without knowing, it ended at the threshold of his attention span.
It was a habit of his,
Of leaving you in deep thought as he jumped away to another context he fancied in his surroundings in that moment.


Nihilistic thoughts often flirt in our mind.
‘What is the point of it all ?’ one often wonders.
‘We are just a speck of startdust in the grand scheme of things and nothing really matters.’

But it takes the wisdom of a child to make one realise that even in the speck of an eye, in the speck of an insignificant being one is,
Dwells the blueprint of the whole universe,
Of creation itself.

Even in such a momentary happenstance of our existence in the grand sceme of the cosmos,
There are the answers, to all the mysetry, all the magic there is.

How easily did Rafi teach us all,
That the secret to an ever fansinated consciousness, like that of a child’s, is accessible to us all if we choose to find magic in what we relegate as mundane !

That maybe the meaning of life,
After all,
Is to realize that the universe is undeniably,
within you.

The secret to finding sweet fruit

It was my last evening in Thimpu, Bhutan. Wandering through the market, I wondered what I should get as a souvenir from Bhutan for memory.
After wandering about in the little marketplace, I found a few shops selling fruits.
I had read that most of Bhutan’s agricultural produce is organic. I wondered how fruit in this country would taste like. My love for fruit steered me into one of these shops.

The fruit was nearly arranged in wooden cartons. I didn’t have a lot to choose from the local fruit since much of it was imported from India. On asking the shopkeeper, I got to know that only the Apples and Plums were the locally grown fruit in the shop.
The plums were smaller and much rosier than the ones grown in India.
I decided to get a bagful for myself as an edible souvenir.

At night after dinner, I chose to eat one of the plums as dessert.
However, much unlike a sweet tasting dessert, it had a strong tart flavor. I ate another one to try my luck, but it tasted the same as the one earlier. I packed away the rest of the plums in a bag.
Maybe they need to ripen more, I wondered.

The next day, I was on a shared taxi ride to Phuentsholing, a bordering town one has to cross to enter India. The ride on the highway was pleasant for a couple of hours.
But then, the driver decided to take a short cut to save time.

Within ten minutes of hitting that bumpy shortcut road, we hit a gridlock. A huge lorry had gotten stuck on the narrow road blocking the entire path.
We had to alight and wait for a JCB truck to arrive and pull out the truck stuck on the way.
All my fellow passengers were local Bhutanese. There was a little boy in tow of a mother, two farmer women, and a couple of youth along with us on the ride.

I could sense that the little boy was thristy. I looked around to find a Buddhist temple not very far away from where our car was.
I walked upto the temple and asked one of the novice monks if I could get some water. He happily agreed and guided me to a source of water.

I wondered how I could express my gratitude to the monk.
I remembered I had a bag of plums with me !
I opened my bag and offered a few to him. That was all I had that I could share with him.
He happily accepted it and waved me goodbye.

The road was still blocked.
I reached our taxi and offered water to the mother. Incidentally everyone in the car was thirsty. They all had their share of water and passed it around.
I still had a lot of plums left with me.
I offered two to each of the passengers.
The little boy was delighted at the sight of the fruit.
He savoured each nibble with complete involvement.

Looking at him enjoy the plum so much, I wondered if it was an acquired taste or was he hungry or had the plum ripened overnight?

I looked into my bag to find a solitary piece of fruit left inside. I took it in my hand and bit into it with hope.

Quite unlike last night’s tart flavour, my taste buds were engulfed by pulpy sweetness of that plum.
It was the dessert I was wanting to taste last night!

All my fellow passengers enjoyed the fruit just as much.

I wondered what made the fruit taste so sweet overnight.

Maybe it was the spirit of sharing.

What I learnt by taking up the ‘Power of Everyday’ Project

“We are what we repeatedly do.”
“Each day is a day of decision.”
“He is rich who owns the day.”
“Each new day is a blank page in the diary of your life.”

Most of us have read similar lines at some point in our lives, gotten motivated for a while only to gradually slip back into inaction.

When Sreenath started his ‘Power of Everyday‘ project, I had been through this cycle a hundred times over- to the point where instead of leaving me inspired, every variation of these aphorisms was reduced to a feel-good bromide.

However, long before Sreenath formally announced the project, I had seen him reap benefits of maintaining self-discipline. So it was inevitable that when he invited his readers to join him, I would be among the first guys to respond.

I am guilty of being slightly disorganized and sloppy about certain areas of life. A full-time job has made me gradually fall in the trap of living day-to-day, rather than maximizing each day to make progress toward interests that are closer to my heart.

I don’t think I am alone in feeling dazed and unplanned on certain days. Life is busy. Breaking out of the uni-dimensional routine of our days is a perennial struggle. My willingness to play a part in Sreenath’s project is a result of my optimism that we’d all benefit from staying mutually accountable to each other about the way we live our days.

For my first month of this challenge, I decided to choose three fairly simple and realistic everyday tasks-

1. Wake up before sunrise

Success rate- 19/30

In my college years, I had identified waking up early as one of the keystone habits– a habit that is precursor to the
development of other good habits. However, I have had a long history of failed experiments of waking up early for more than two weeks consecutively.

In order to sustain this habit, it was important for me not to have this seem like a mental and physical ordeal. So, I decided to make this a fun exercise by taking up an implicit, one-sided, and undeniably juvenile competition with the Sun.

2. Do the 7-minute-workout

Success rate- 21/30

At the start of the year, I resolved to run five half-marathons by the end of the year. My second half-marathon of the year was scheduled on June 24 and I was terribly unprepared. Working for long hours on some days of the month made it harder for me to run as frequently as I should have. The 7-minute workout was a significantly less time-intensive exercise routine to maintain my stamina. While nothing could replace a good morning run, this was a decent substitute and it helped ensure that I completed what could arguably be one of the toughest terrains on the Indian marathon circuit with marginal unease.

3. Compose a simple melody everyday (14/30)

Success rate- 14/30

Practicing technique and scales has always been one of my major aversions. To resume practicing more efficiently, I needed to go back to the reason why I picked up my first guitar- to play tunes. Those dreaded arpeggio patterns and the ghastly chord voicings took a back seat, and I started focussing on humming simple melodies over various chord progressions everyday. I failed more often than I succeeded in this endeavour, but this was the most rewarding activity of my day.

Where I failed, and what I learnt?

It’s pretty evident from the numbers that I was wildly inconsistent.

I learnt that developing a habit is mainly about momentum.

Momentum is created or destroyed every day with the first few decisions I make. For example, I went on a 10-day streak on all three tasks, but once I missed waking up early a few days in succession, I couldn’t create a respectable streak.

The biggest problem I encountered was when I woke up late or started my day off wrong, which put me on a downward spiral for the rest of the day.

Most of all recognized that my willpower works pretty much like a muscle. On days where I was exhausted after utilizing my will-power in responding to a plethora of e-mails and answering to unnecessary phone calls, it was harder for me to come back home and sit with my instrument to come up with a melody. On those agonizing work days, I found myself noodling mindlessly on my guitar instead of engaging myself in a focussed practice session.

With all the down sides, I had the opportunity to learn a lot about myself in the process.

This month, I am expecting some stressful days at my workplace and also planning to initiate a side project which would take up most of my time. Thus, keeping with the idea of setting realistic goals, I am deliberately not over-exerting myself and taking up any new goals for this month.

While I wasn’t as successful as I had hoped to be, I am taking solace from the fact that at least I have put in place a system of tracking my progress and keeping myself accountable here.

This is a wonderful project and doing this experiment has reinforced the idea that all I need to do stay happy is become very, very good at living each day. I would like to extend Sreenath’s invitation to his readers in choosing a simple task that you’d like to do every single day and experience the progress first hand, just like I did.

I hope to see you guys again at the end of July.

Aalap Vyas


The Power of Everyday (June-July)

Every month, I take up a few activities that I feel passionate about and decide to do them every single day of that month.

This is part of ‘The Power of Everyday’ project where I investigate the value of focussed and deliberate practice on the mind , body and soul.
Last month, I had the following activities that I promised to do every single day of the month-

1) Practice Yoga Every single day (19/30)

2) Daydream and Journal about it (19/30)

3) Practice Ear training for 10 mins everyday (6/30)

4) Write and Publish a Blog everyday (14/30)

5) Celibate (30/30)

As you can see in the brackets above, apart from staying celibate, I had quite an abysmal record with the other activities. Much of it can be attributed to bicycling in a challenging part of the world. I could not blog for 8 days straight because there was no internet connectivity in the Laddakh Region. And on most days, I bicycled for 10-11 hours a day in the mountains leaving me completely exhausted to do anything more.

But I learnt a lesson in the process.
There is grace in confronting your own failures.
By writing about where I failed and why, I am reflecting on how I could avoid the situation in future.
Even if three people read this blog entry, I am accountable to them after all !

But what gives me happiness is the fact is that I am excited to start the new month with the next edition of ‘The Power of Everyday.’ I have the company of a few friends who have chosen to take up this consistency challenge and commit to doing a few activities close to their heart every single day of July 2018.

Now, without further ado, I must share my daily goals for this month.

July 2018 Goals

1) Wake up before sunrise and write a Haiku (succinct poetry) about it every single day

2) Write and Publish a blog post everyday

3) Refrain from anything that comes with packaging and collect all the plastic that you produce in the month

4) Practise Yoga Everyday

5) Celibate

6) Be acutely aware of your posture and correct yourself as you realise there’s scope for betterment

I have chosen the goals for the month mindfully this time around.

Three of the goals (celibacy, posture correction , packaging free existence)
Are awareness based goals. I don’t need to do anything new to accomplish this. Just a mindful existence will ensure I comply to these goals.

The other three goals (Yoga, Blog writing , Haiku at sunrise) are creation based goals. I will have to invest time into doing these things every single day.

This month I have a good balance between the awareness based and creation based goals.

It has always been a wish that more people take up this experiment with me. If you have a habit in mind that you’d like to form, take it up as a daily goal in ‘The Power of Everyday’ project.
I’ve had friends take up a few projects of their choice last month and they have learnt a lot about themselves and the process of cultivating habits in the process.

Would you like to join us?

Leave a comment below with your goals for the month in July 2018’s Power of everyday experiment.

I promise you,
There’s great learning in the exercise.

I’ll share my progress on the 11th and 21st of July and have a concluding post on 1st August where I share what I learnt from the experience and announce the goals for ‘The Power of Everyday’ project for August 2018.

Looking forward to hear about your goals for July 2018.






On engaging your mind

We have a perception that going uphill is difficult. Trekking up a hill is always challenging isn’t it?
We have to expend a lot of energy to gain elevation.

And we think, going downhill is easy. Gravity works for us. We just have to lunge our way forward and find the ground waiting for us to land on it.

It is similar when it comes to bicyling. Going uphill is a challenge.
And going downhill is easy,
If you have good brakes !

Today, I’d prepared myself mentally for an easy downhill ride. Things were going pretty smoothly and I didn’t even have to pedal to move onward.
But over time, the brakes seemed to be getting less and less efficient.
At one point, they were barely able to contain my speed downhill.

It was a matter of concern. I stopped and started again, trying to impede my pace by brushing my feet on the ground as required.    At one point, the slope was too steep for me to contain my speed.

I chose to stop and started walking with my bicycle in tow.

I thought to myself,
‘Maybe I should check a video online about how to tighten brakes.’
I switched on my phone but there was no network in the hills.

Then I wondered,
‘Maybe, I should look for a bicycle shop on the way. Until then I can push my bicycle.’

But after walking for ten minutes I thought,
‘Why can I not try to fix it myself ? Even if I go wrong, I will learn in the process. It must not be that difficult to understand the mechanism.’

I stopped walking and rested my bicycle against a wall.
After tinkering with the disc brakes for five minutes, I was able to do something that made it work.
Now, I had to learn what I did that made it work !
So I did it all over again.
Once I understood the mechanism, I did the same for the other pair of brakes.

In ten minutes, I had a bicycle with perfectly functional brakes.
The two hour walk to the city was reduced to a half an hour breeze of a ride downhill !

On the way, I tried to understand my own thought process.

First, I tried to look online, to learn how to do something virtually. (Looking outwards)

Then, when that didn’t work, I looked for someone who could do it for me, and learn by watching. (Looking around)

When that too didn’t work,
I chose to apply my own mind to it. And I learnt how to do it by experience. (Looking Inside)

I wondered,
What an upside down way of approaching a problem !
Internet has become such a convenience that we completely bypass our own mental faculty from the circuit of learning.
If we can’t learn it online, we try to learn from someone who knows it already.
All the while, the power of our seminal mind enfeebles.

Applying our own mind to a problem is the surest way to learn for life.
We need to cultivate the mindset of a pioneer, who chooses to experiment and learn form his own mistakes.
Eventually he does come up with a solution.

I feel that the best approach to learning something or finding a solution to a problem is

1) Look inward first (self -learning)
2) Then Look around (peer-learning)
3) Eventualy, Look outwards (virtual-learning)

We need to rebuilt trust with our mind’s abilities and not spoon-feed it with information.

Next time, before you search for something on google or try to learn something new online, grant yourself some time and try to understand and reason on your own.

Your mind will not fail you. It will come up with answers.
Trust your own mind.
It is a powerhouse.

On world environment day, where should you be planting a seed?

While bicycling up the hills, I saw a school girl standing at the side of the road with a placard. I squinted my eyes to read what was written on it. It had a message saying,

‘ Tress are life, Each one, plant one.’

I smiled and asked,
‘For world environment day?’

She nodded with a beautiful smile.

I was reminded of my school days when I saw her. We would rally around the locality with big sign post and placards about environment conservation, shouting slogans with all our might.
We always thought of planting trees as environmentalism.
This thought dwelled in me for many years.
I even chose to volunteer at a reforestation community for 20 months, hoping to do my bit to make our earth a better place. I had many friends from my generation join hands and we all did our best to make a difference.

But today, despite being an optimist, I have my reservations about trusting the future generations with environment conservation. The reason being the artificial environment that our kids are growing up in.
Water comes from the tap, fruits and vegetables from the supermarket. They are distracted by the advent of an ominous technology that keeps all their attention fixated in virtual ecosystems.

If one hasn’t plucked a fruit from a tree, it is unlikely he will rally to save trees. Conservation should not be a last resort measure steeped in selfishness to save our own race.
It should come from a holistic understanding of the interconnectedness of all beings.

As mentors of the younger generation, the most fitting service we can do to save the environment is by sowing a seed, harvesting a fruit and tending to a garden with our younger friends. In the process, we will sow a seed for the love of mother earth in their heart.

Only when the future generations experience the miracles of nature first hand, will the motivation to conserve the environment come from the right place,
From deep in their hearts,

For the sake of life,
That we only know to exist at one place in the entire known universe.

On our bountiful pale blue dot.



The Body’s Wisdom

It was a bright summer morning. With her baby in tow, my friend Laure walked slowly inside the community kitchen.

Since she looked a bit tired, I asked her,

‘Did you not sleep well? Your eyes look a bit groggy.’

‘Yes. It is because I never get an uninterrupted sleep at night. My baby wakes me up every night at 2 am sharp, asking to be breastfed.
It is a miracle how she wakes up at exactly 2 am everyday, no matter what!’

‘Well you have a natural alarm clock for 2 am !’ I quipped.

‘Yes, one that is beyond my control.’

‘At least you know how to turn it off’

‘That’s a consolation!’ she shared, staring at her baby dotingly.

It was fascinating to learn how a baby had such an accurate body clock.

This happened over an year ago. From then on, I made a conscious attempt to sense the time whenever I felt the need to know what time it was.
And gradually, I got pretty good at it.
I could guess the correct time within a ten minute window on most occasions.
Even right now, I guesed the time to be 5:21 am. I checked the watch and the time was 5:14 am. I only had the reference of my surroundings. The last I had looked at the watch was yesterday night. The only reference of passage of time was my own body’s sensation.

Since we all have access to the exact time in our watches or phones, we never think of sensing the time with our instincts. It almost seems impossible and bizarre to be doing that.
But ever since I developed the instinct of guessing the time first before checking it on my phone, I slowly came to realise that the body has a fairly accurate sense of passage of time.
We just have to learn to trust our body’s natural wisdom.

These days we have so many apps on our phones that help us keep track with our body’s mechanisms. But the convenience comes at the cost of our instinct.

One of my friends uses an app that helps him track how many hours of deep sleep he got at night. Every morning he checks these analytics in his phone.
But I felt, one can quite easily tell how well they slept by how they feel in the morning. We are outsourcing these simple tasks at the cost of our natural instinct.

There are apps that remind a person to drink water, to sleep, relax, to breathe…

If one has to be reminded of all these things, then one should definitely reconsider their lifestyle!

The human body has innate wisdom programmed into it. We just have to trust our natural instincts and with enough sentient practice, we will be much closer to the sensations of the body and our immediate surroundings.

My grandmother could tell the time from the phase and position of the moon, the call of a particular bird, the shadow of her house and sometimes, just by pure instinct.

Agreed that life wasn’t as time bound in my grandmother’s era as it is today, but the instinct of being in sync with our self and our immediate environment is worth cultivating.

The next time you have a need to know the time, try guessing it first before checking it in the clock.
Once you do it enough times, you will realise what a masterpiece the human body is !


How to find a good teacher

In my eyes, the most powerful group of people, who can make the maximum impact in the world are teachers.
A teacher is like a skillful potter, who can mould the the psyche of an entire generation. She can steer the course of thought of curious and aspiring minds.
What a gift it is to be a teacher !

I’ve had the fortune of having met teachers who have changed my life in profound ways. The way I have evolved in life is undeniably a function of the influence my teachers have had on me.

After a point in life we move out of the brick and mortar university. But we must not forgo the possibility of being an eternal student of life. In fact we should actively seek out teachers to learn from.
Even our friends are but teachers,
who we learn from constantly.

But how to find a good teacher?
In the pursuit of finding a teacher/mentor, strive to ask these two questions to them:

a) What more can I learn from you apart from what you promise to teach?

b) Do you consider yourself more a teacher or a student?

Citing an example, the way I play drums and approach music has been deeply influenced by my mentor. Not only by her playing which is spellbinding in itself, but also by her philosophy, worldview and personality.
While choosing a teacher, seek someone who has a worldview you find fascinating, a personality that you would like to integrate. For even if you want it or not, these things will seep into your being while you are learning from someone.
Better to choose someone who you admire deeply, both for their expertise and the way they lead their life.

Secondly, I firmly believe that,

‘The best teachers are eternal students.’

My mentor had such a curious spirit of learning that she would learn things from me if she found I was working on something new. My lessons with her always felt as if two students are learning at the same time, albeit at different stages in their lives. It made me confident about my creative energy as a musician. My discoveries were always received avidly with an intent to learn from it if she found value in it.
And while learning from her I also picked up this aspect of her personality that made me a better teacher and human being.

Learning will preserve your youth.

Find good friends, sincere mentors and curious students. Explore the possibility of being a student and teacher throughout your life.

And ask those two questions to all your teachers,
And be in a position to answer those two questions for all your students.

In the spirit of eternal learning,
Let’s aspire to design,
An Epic University Of Life!


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