“And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.”
― Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath
I got interested in coaching many years ago as a mother to my young son. I was keenly aware of my responsibility to help him discover and optimize his natural talents in a fulfilling way. And I needed help!
I have since sought guidance from friends, family, books, Ted talks, sports coaches and animal trainers to understand what works, from ancient times to the present.
Coaching Circa 3076 BCE
A fine example is how Krishna coaches Arjuna in the ancient Indian epic, 'The Mahabharata'.
In my work as a coach, I have noticed the important influence of role models in shaping people’s lives, including their work ethic. Parents are usually the key role models, or it could be a favorite teacher, uncle or a grandmother.
Role models influence our attitude towards work, what values we hold dear, how we make decisions, or resolve conflict. I also observed, that people are unconsciously and powerfully influenced by their role models, often more than expert advice from other sources.
I was on a holiday with my family in Salzburg, Austria recently. On one of the evenings, my son was insistent on a boat ride in the Salzach river. Being a tourist season, we had to wait in a queue to get in. Standing just next to us were two young Tamil-speaking couples. I say young, because they looked recently married and did not have any children with them.
What makes people happy?
Success, money, power and love. What else?
Happiness is now a well-established topic in the scientific and social research community. Some of the research is investigating the ancient traditions of wellbeing.
A lot has been found about happiness. The best news from researchers is that happiness can be ‘cultivated’. Here are some ways to live happier, as suggested by research and traditional wisdom.
At 33, V.R. Ferose became one of the youngest and the first non-German Managing Director of German multinational’s SAP Labs, India. He is currently SVP and Head of Globalization Service for SAP based in the Bay Area. Ferose wrote ‘Gifted’ along with author Sudha Menon, to tell the stories of inspiring people he has met ‘so that many more people’s lives can be impacted for the better’. Proceeds go towards Enable India, an NGO that works for people with disabilities.
Back in the day when I didn’t need to make final decisions about my life, I could declare to the world “I want to be a doctor” and change that to “I want to be a dancer” the next year; I wanted to become many people - journalist, teacher, writer, designer, researcher, RJ… God knows how many more.
You are a gender-sensitive Indian male who believes in equality for women and treats women with dignity and respect. You are progressive. You assert vehemently (and mean it) that you do not view women as chattel, that you would never beat your wife, that you participate in childcare and household chores, that you are supportive of the girl child, of a woman's right to voice her opinions freely. And you walk the talk. You are better than your father, because unlike men of his generation, you treat women as your equals.
About 80% of the world learns the difference between left and right in the age of 5 or 6. But then there is another 20% inclusive of me, who can’t tell their left from right. Well, to start with, I am a medical researcher and have had an excellent formal education since schooling. Like any other weird and strange person on this planet, I perform tasks like anyone else and have certain set of qualities that makes me stand apart. Time and again, I have proved myself that I don’t know left from right.
With International Women’s Day around the corner, I decided to explore why women authors used male pseudonyms. This was prevalent in the 18th and 19th centuries, where many women felt the need to mask their true identities so that they would be taken seriously. From Louisa May Alcott, best known for her literary marvel “Little Women”(which thankfully was published under her real name) to the Bronte Sisters, who knew that the literary world was strongly prejudiced against female writers, many found freedom of expression cloaked in a man’s identity.