Monthly Wrap! (September)

Monthly Wraps are blogs that are up on the last Sunday of the month which include:

  1. Blogs of the month
  2. Book recommendations 
  3. What did I curate? Resources I’m binging on – of course, I’ll be choosing the major ones. Just a brim of how much I curate!
  4. Reminders & Reflections to ponder – Of various of my reflections of the month, I’ll choose one or a few. And some re-realized reminders!
  5. My writing journey/ my book updates 

Here’s September’s “Monthly Wrap!”

Blogs I wrote this month:

  1. Blog 71: Legacy?
  2. Blog 72: Scrap your Book
  3. Blog 73: Lifestyle

Book Recommendations:

This month I could read only 2 books:

  1. The Fifth Agreement by Don Miguel Ruiz is a good book, unlike how it is popularized. It basically tries to convey Advaita as the deepest insight, but in very simple terms and hence feels too surface level.
  2. 21 Lessons for the 21st Century by Yuval Noah Harari is a decent book. Like his other books, Sapiens and Homodeus, this book is also very thought-provoking, but sometimes I feel, he veers his opinion a little too scattered in this book. And he has to study and try to understand the history of Bharath, Sanathana Dharma, before he speaks of it, compares it to something, or leaves it out of context and declares something is the only great thing. How is comparing Vedas to the bible or Quran even rational? And who said Hindutva is a religion to compare it with other cults? Hindutva existed before there were any religions. He knows about the varna system. But fails to understand this simple concept. He accepts the effects vipassana meditation had on him, but I fail to understand why he attributes that to Buddhism.

What I curated:

Movies:

  1. HIT:The first case
  2. Cuttputti
  3. Cadaver
  4. Flubber
  5. Heaven
  6. Pinnochio 2022 (Hats off to PIXAR!)
  7. The one and only Ivan (must watch for animal lovers)
  8. The Lost City

Series:

  1. Big hero 6
  2. Cars on the road

Apps used this month

  1. Ayurrythm – I didn’t like it. It claims it can assess our body archetype, to put in precise words, it claims to report our predominant doshas and gunas. But it did not do well for me. My observation and even as per my doctor’s observation, my body is predominantly vata type. However, the app concluded it to be ‘kalpha’. Uninstalled the app immediately after that. But I really like the idea of an app based on ayurveda and tracking our health based on it. That’s why I installed that app in the first place. But right now, it needs a lot of work.

2. Wonder – An AI app that can create images based on the keywords you give to it. Same as the starryai app I mentioned in the last month’s monthly wrap. This is good, you have more options to choose from. Many variations from abstract painting type to photorealism.

3. Fi – Basically, a digital bank. You don’t have to worry about its authenticity, when you make an account, you’re actually making an account in the Federal bank. And the founder is non other than, the founder of Tez ( now known as Google Pay). I’ve made an account, have set an auto-save fund too. It has great UI, unique looking debit card, great service as of now.

 

Reminders & reflections to ponder:

  • Courage is the power to exercise freedom
  • The difference between learning a skill and an art is that while the former has a definite time period (point A to point B), whereas the latter is an infinite journey!
  • Personal Mastery or you can say Life in general is like gardening. It’s never done. You must keep weeding, watering, etc.
  • If Y needs X, that does not mean Y is all about X. Ex: We need money to lead a happy life. But happy life is not about money. The same goes for intelligence and music. Intelligence is required to make music, but music is not about that.
  • The difference between a multi-talented and a polymath is the work. A polymath has tangible works whereas just a multi-talented, does not have much to inspire after he’s gone.
  • If you see someone as a leader, follow his path, and his principles. If not, be one. Most people do neither. They just criticize everyone who walks by.
  • Wherever and whenever there is power, there is a power play, i.e, politics
  • When there’s truth on both sides, you have to pause and deeply reflect on the issue at hand until you reach a righteous conclusion, and that helps you avoid confirmation bias.
  • You can either say “no choice” because you chose not to make a choice someday or you can say “no choice” because you chose it someday, the choice is yours

Thank You,

Yours Loving,

Sanath Kumar Naibhi

Lifestyle

If you haven’t realized yet, since I wrote Blog 68: The Biggest Problem for Humanity, I’ve been writing about what one should consider thinking about. Hence all of this month’s blogs are around that.

In my book – The Flower of Fulfillment, I mention Lifestyle as the second element in the petal of health. I’ve addressed the same in a practical way in the book, as that’s a key accent of that book. However, in today’s blog, I’d like you to “think” about your lifestyle.

What is lifestyle? I think everyone knows what it means. Mainly, lifestyle is making space and time for the fulfilled life you want to live. We’ll be looking at lifestyle in a specific way in this blog to think about and bring changes in our day-to-day life.

The 5 senses:

1. Listen

“Bhadhram Karne Bhishrunuyaama Devaaha, Bhadhram Pashyema Kshabhiryajathraaha,” says the beginning of Atharva Sheersha. Simply translating “May we with ears hear good, may we see/visualize good with eyes”. Have you wondered why listening is mentioned first? There can be various explanations for that. I’ll leave that as homework for you to work on.

LESS DELUSIONAL

Anyway, I’m starting with listening first because, even though vision constitutes more brain space than the auditory department, I think audio is more promising and less delusional. And in fact, it might be due to the fact that our vision occupies a larger brain space that it tends towards delusion.

CREATIVITY

I tell my students this:

“Music is all about listening. Listening to the music outside and inside you” Then, I realize, it’s not just music, it’s true to creativity, it’s true to life itself.

OPPORTUNITY TO INTROSPECT

When you’re speaking to someone else, listen not only to what the other person is saying but also listen to your words. You may discover various flaws, or even interests you have, by listening to what you speak. When you listen to yourself speak, what you are essentially doing is giving yourself an opportunity to introspect and contemplate.

Every word you utter is a word to yourself

2. See

Though the “see” metaphor is often used for awareness, it is rarely made a day-to-day practice.

WHAT YOU SEE

Who you are, at least your personality is simply the accumulation of memory. And since I already mentioned, our vision takes up a large part of our brain muscles, which means, it is given the highest preference. So what do these 2 facts teach us? You are what you see? Yes, but not exactly. In the right words, it would be – “You may be the accumulation of what you see”. So, be aware, be mindful of what you see.

HOW YOU SEE

I think just by reading the title you got to know the essence. How you see whatever you’re seeing also matters. And that calls for seeing yourself as though in a third-person camera perspective. Are you seeing someone’s success with your eyes of envy, criticism, and judgement? Are you looking at an exhausted person with your eyes of compassion or pity?

3. Taste

YOU’VE GOT TASTE?

Of course, you probably understood I’m talking metaphorically here. Because I’ve seen people who do not have their own taste. Own personalities. Sure, we are the amalgamation of various influences, but we should not be alike any of our influences, the amalgamation should yield something very unique.

TASTE TESTER

That happens when one hasn’t experienced life. So, what is the solution? Don’t come to conclusions before tasting a loaded variety of experiences in life. Essentially we are all like the “Taste experts” in large food companies who are there to test the batches of food or new flavors from the R&D department. The only way in which life is different is that it gives you the amount you have to eat to taste it, you can’t leave before finishing it. Anyway, be open to various experiences. And I must caution you, I’m not suggesting to be open to killing yourself with dangerous substances.

4. Smell

ENVIRONMENT MATTERS

This is not such a big issue for most people. But it is a valid concern if an individual is living in an unpleasant-smelling environment. I’ve seen rich people living in pungent rooms for the sake of their love for pets. I tell you, early humans were far cleaner, at least to what was “clean” then, because their olfactory senses were even stronger. We are gradually losing that great ability. Anyway, the point is this, the odor of your environment is affecting you without you even knowing it. Just light an incense stick or a scented candle of your favorite scent and observe the changes within.

“I SMELL….”

Don’t know why, probably it was from when we had animal-level olfactory capabilities, that we got that phrase. Our vision helps us do the majority of the work in analyzing the behavior and assuming the other person’s mental or emotional state within a fraction of a second. So, we are talking metaphorically here. Sense the situation you are dealing with. You’ll get a hint on what’s happening, most of the time. It might be even on a phone call, it might be a call for a new project or a new client. Observe if that’s a “Full-body YES” or not. If it’s not, that project or client, may not worth taking.

5. Feel

DO YOU KNOW?

This is like the taste tester we talked about, but here I want to emphasize deep experiences. How you feel is a deeper experience than just sensing something right? So that’s the difference. Do you know what it feels like to meditate in nature? Do you know what it feels like to wander alone within and across cities? Do you know what it feels like to be in a state of flow, making art? Do you know how great it feels when you teach, donate, listen to and help the needy? Do you know what it feels like to go on an artist date[A date with yourself]? Do you know what it feels like to connect the dots of various books you’ve read and make a chest of wisdom out of it? Do you know how great it feels like to wake up at 5 AM? Do you know how it feels to consistently exercise? Do you know how it feels, to tell the truth even under hard circumstances? Do you know how it feels to question your life choices and have the courage to change course?

WITHIN

Observe how you feel within, in all situations. Get more mindful. Every activity is an opportunity to observe how you feel.

Keeping all these in mind, sit calmly, and reflect on your current lifestyle. And then re-design it.

Thank You

Sanath Kumar Naibhi

Scrap your Book

By book, I’m not referring to that book we used to use in our school days which consisted of thick papers on which we were instructed to paste collages of images related to a specific theme. But, of course, you can perceive your life to be a scrapbook too. That will be more creative, than the lines of words.

A Fresh Start

Ok, the main focus here is the verb “Scarp”. I mean, discard your book. Discard your storyline so far. How you see yourself, how others see you, how you think others see you, discard all that. As
mentioned earlier, imagine your life to be a book. Scrap/discard all the pages that have been filled till now.

And I’m not suggesting something random here. Doing this may change your life. And this is exactly what led me to write my first book – The Flower of Fulfillment. And in this blog, I share the benefits and a few pointers to keep in mind while rethinking & redesigning your life.

Accountability

Of course, there’ll be some things you cannot change, like your parents, genetically inherited traits, and mainly, the actions you took till now also have a huge influence on you. But nonetheless, the whole point of this exercise is to give yourself the full authority from now on, to make choices you truly want. When you discard everything from the past and look forward to starting your life fresh from scratch, what’s happening is that you’re not only given full authority, but it also means, you’re taking full responsibility for whatever happens to your life from now on. In simple words, you are making yourself totally accountable for your life.

Think Again

And once you’ve decided to start thinking about and living your life from scratch, it’s not just full authority over your life that you get to enjoy, starting from scratch also means you are getting a second chance at designing your life. And that means you’re creating an opportunity to think about your life again. Think about all of your life choices, everything from your career, and your purpose, to your ideal relationship status.

Think about all of those again. What would be your ideal work? Why do you think it is your ideal work? Is it because it makes a lot of money or that your parents want you to become that? If it is just because of money, there are million different ways to make money. And remember, you have full authority. You are not obligated to any of your past pseudo-goals, nor to your parents, friends, cousins, etc. Think about everything from scratch.

Play the long game

Thinking all of it again also means you get to make choices like a player who’s playing the long game. We’ve already discussed this in my blog- Play the Long Game. We must see life in both ways. We must accept that we might have died yesterday or can die now or tomorrow. And at the same time, we must also see life as a long journey. Hence, when you’re rethinking all of your life choices again, think about what kind of health you wish to have when you’re 60. What amount of financial freedom do you wish to have at the age of 30? Think about what you would love to work on, till your last breath. Think about how you’ll be serving humanity till your last breath. Think about sustainability.

Now or Never

I must admit, “Now or Never” is slightly an exaggeration. I’m not discarding that someone can turn over their life completely when they wish to. But it is mostly true to most people that if you’re not able to choose and be happy now, and if you think you’ll be happy some other day far in the future, it’s not hope, it’s a delusion. Because most probably you won’t be happy. Happiness is in the now. We’ve heard this too many times that it sounds cliche now. But that’s true and we must design our daily life for happiness. And that’s why we need habits.

Habits

After you’ve thought about your life in the broadest and long view, it’s time to think about and implement habits that are essential to living the life you just imagined. For example, if you said you want to be in great health at 60, you have to ask yourselves this. Have you implemented exercising daily as your habit? Do you eat “healthy”? Do you get sound sleep every night? Have you adopted yoga as ‘the’ lifestyle? If you said no to any of these questions, then you probably cannot live the life you just dreamed of, right? If your work/career or anything is obstructing that ideal life, then it is time to rethink even that(work/career).

Awareness

And then there’s awareness, at the core of everything. To do all these, you must have awareness. You must have an awareness of life and of yourself. If you don’t know what aspects of life if at all it does, contribute how much to the fulfillment in life, how can you invest in them in your daily life? To even know what habits to inculcate and stick to, you must have awareness. And I think, my book – The Flower of Fulfillment can definitely help you here.

I’ll conclude this blog by insisting again to “Scrap your Book”. I urge you again to rethink and redesign your life keeping these pointers in your mind.

Thank you
Sanath Kumar Naibhi

Related posts:

The Habit that changed my Life!

Play the Long Game

You’re a Multi-passionate?

Are you a cog in the machine?

Not thinking is a Crime too!

The biggest problem for Humanity

Legacy?

Before we discuss whether you should work for your legacy, or not, we must define what is legacy, especially, in the context we’re talking about today.

So, let’s begin with “what” is legacy. In simple words, it’s what you leave for your future generations, i.e, what will stay after you die that can be useful to the future generations.

Have you thought about it? Have you thought about what or if at all you want to leave anything for the world after you’re gone? So, there are two sides to this story. On one side, some people insist that we should think about our legacy. And at the other, people argue that one should not worry about legacy. They ask questions like, why do you care for what happens after you’re dead, it doesn’t change anything for you, does it? We must be here now, and not worry about the future, etc.

So here’s my take, Legacy may not matter to you, but it matters to society.

It’s not about how you feel about it, it’s not about what you get after you’re dead. It’s not about you wanting to make people think about you in a certain way, it’s about making people feel and think in a great way after you’re gone. It’s not about YOU. It’s not self-centered or a selfish act. Legacy is a selfless act! Legacy is about serving! Legacy is about serving and gifting people what you can through your skill, experience, and wisdom.

ASK WHAT

That’s why, I want you to ask yourself, what do you want to leave for humanity?

We talked about death in the first blog and then in the blog: A life compass, and we’re talking about death again. If you die now, will the world notice? And if it does, does it have something valuable to hold on to that you’ve left behind apart from the memories? Something that only you could gift to and in this entire humanity. What do you want people to ponder about and work towards after you’re gone?

ASK HOW

Then ask yourself how are you going to leave a particular impression or make people think about any particular aspect of life you wish they work on.

With this question, you’ll not only have to ponder about what you’d like to convey to people but also, you’ll have to ponder about what skill you are good at. How you can, through your work, convey whatever that you want to convey?

ASK WHY

Forget about legacy, if you’re not clear about anything, start by asking yourselves this powerful question – Why are you doing what you’re doing? [We asked this same question in the blog – WHY DO YOU CREATE WHAT YOU CREATE?]

Legacy is the bridge between the stages of PASSION and PURPOSE. Passion is only directed to yourself and purpose is completely directed outwards. Thinking about legacy helps you to think about your purpose.

[Truly and honestly, there isn’t any fixed purpose to anyone’s life. And ‘purpose’ is not just an easy topic to just leave it half said here. So, I’ll definitely be writing deeply about ‘purpose’ in a different blog.]

MEMORY & INSPIRATION FADES

The ultimate legacy is how we live our life, we know that. If we live with great virtues and live a life of fulfillment, that’s the best legacy. But the problem with that is, one, nobody is watching/observing you. And two, if someone observes the great life of fulfillment you lived, memories and hence inspiration fades. So you’ll need to provide people with something that they can refer back to again and again, repeatedly so that they won’t lose track of those great virtues and they don’t have to reinvent great lessons that you had to learn the hard way.

PONDER

So all in all, through this blog I want to encourage you to think about your ‘Legacy’. In other words, the way you’ll continue to serve humanity even after you’re gone!

The ultimate intent is liberation. But we don’t know when that’ll happen, so meanwhile, your intent should be to serve people, as much as possible, in your own way. Find that way, and start serving!

Thank You,

Sanath Kumar Naibhi

Monthly Wrap! (August)

Monthly Wraps are blogs that are up on the last Sunday of the month which include::

  1. Blogs of the month
  2. Book recommendations 
  3. What did I curate? Resources I’m binging on – of course, I’ll be choosing the major ones. Just a brim of how much I curate!
  4. Reminders & Reflections to ponder – Of various of my reflections of the month, I’ll choose one or a few. And some re-realized reminders!
  5. My writing journey/ my book updates 

Here’s August’s “Monthly Wrap!”

Blogs I wrote this month:

  1. Blog 67: Namasthe!
  2. Blog 68: One thing that distinguishes excellent students
  3. Blog 69: The Biggest Problem to Humanity

Book Recommendations:

This month I could read 3 books:

  1. Effortless by Greg McKeown. Like his last book “Essentialism”, this book is also a great reminder! Once you’ve removed the non-essentials and once you’ve started to focus on only the essentials, there comes the point where you have to think about making that essential task as effortless as possible. That’s where this book comes into the picture. If not directly, in some way or the other, Greg’s book has helped me change the course of my life.
  2. 101 Essays that will change the way you think by Brianna Wiest – Like the title says, it’s multiple essays compiled into one book. So even though all that the author has conveyed is truth in it, it does not feel cohesive and it may even seem conflicting sometimes (even though it is not) and hard to digest if you’re a beginner. But it is definitely a great book.
  3. Think Again by Adam Grant – A great book. The author has clearly shown why we should rethink our belief systems, and how to create such an environment where rethinking is always welcomed. I liked the author’s humility. Even though he has first-hand experience working with NASA, Microsoft, etc, he purposefully delays acknowledging that and then blasts that truth onto our face as though it is not such a big deal.

What I curated:

Movies:

  1. Agatha Christie’s Crooked House
  2. Red Notice
  3. Escape Room: The Tournament of Champions
  4. Army Of Thieves [Good]
  5. Army of the Dead [Not good]
  6. Karthikeya

Series:

  1. Man vs Bee [Netflix]
  2. Manifest [Netflix]
  3. Instant Dream Home [Netflix]
  4. Future Of [Netflix]
  5. She-Hulk [Hotstar]
  1. Trailers:

Cars on the road

Few (must watch) YouTube videos:

  1. The 4 things it takes to be an expert
  2. Building a next-level camera

Apps used this month:

  1. Starryai – This app has AI which makes images representing the words you input to it. Just a fun app to see what an AI makes out of words.
  2. Refind – Though uninstalled this app on my phone, I’m still using its service on my desktop as a bookmark on chrome. Refind gives you 5 (or more as you choose) articles every day that you might find useful. The best part is, that the links to those articles are sent to your inbox, and you can wish to see the articles whose titles might be of interest to you.
  3. Vero – It’s Instagram without an algorithm. This might be useful if you want to stay away from the toxicity of the Instagram search feed. This app showcases only the posts of the people you follow. This might be a great platform for creators who are already famous, but that aspect is definitely a downside for someone looking for traction.
  4. Xtiles – A visual-based note-taking app. It’s more than just note-taking actually. It’s more useful for brainstorming. However, it still requires some work in terms of what the other note-taking apps already have. I think the super-note-taking and brainstorming app is that which merges all the great features of various note-taking apps. However, that’s too ideal and might never happen.

Reminders & reflections to ponder:

  • Not always, but sometimes, Dharma resides in our happiness
  • When even waiting long for your teacher does not guarantee that you’ll learn completely, I wonder what effect will await those students that make the teacher wait for him/her.
  • Making someone feel bad about themselves to try to make them do something or teach something is not a good way to do so. And this especially holds true if the person who’s trying to teach is himself/herself not a great personality.
  • If you intend to, you’ll see. If you’re not seeing, you don’t intend to.
  • Not knowing cannot be an excuse. If you do not know, know!
  • Just like you’ve heard, You may be born poor, but you must not die poor, you must realize and remember that You are born ignorant, but you must not die ignorant.
  • Being ignorant is also a Karma. It catches up with you.
  • If you’re passionate about something that’s harmful in any way, then it is not passion, it is addiction.

My Book Update:

  • I realized the delay in writing my second book is due to two reasons mainly. One, because writing a second book is hard because the first was your best. And the first book was your best because you took all the time until then in your life to write it. And the second reason is, to be honest, I’m actually working on multiple writing projects. I’m writing a short guidebook, and personal writing prompts, along with the second book.

Thank You,

Yours Loving,

Sanath Kumar Naibhi

The Biggest Problem for Humanity

When we were in our childhood, we were taught by our parents, to TAKE the GOOD and LEAVE the BAD. Of course, that’s just an oversimplification of the culture our parents gifted us.

But now, people have completely forgotten that lesson, or to be accurate, they don’t give themselves the chance to decide what’s good and bad. Instead, they choose to follow the crowd. They choose to not think. They choose not to question their existing beliefs.

The biggest problem for humanity is ignorance! And the starting point of ignorance is, not thinking. Not thinking enough.

GATE vs GOAL

Most people do not think enough. Students decide to pursue engineering, medical, or whatever. But they do not think of what they’ll be doing or what they intend to do after they’ve got their degree. Because only if they think will they realize that a degree is just a GATE and not a GOAL. They decide to become a teacher, but they do not think about what they’ll be teaching for years together, they won’t think about whether what they’re teaching is practical, relevant, and meaningful to the students. They won’t think of whether they truly have the eligibility to teach. In other words, people won’t think about “Walk the Talk, Preach what you DO”.

WALK the TALK

That’s why we have Physics professors who are not working on physics anymore, Computer science professors who do not program/code anymore. That’s why we have history teachers who consider Epics such as Ramayana as Mythology, Mathematics professors who cannot think of making the subject relevant and interesting to the students, and of course, they aren’t working on anything new either.

I’ve already mentioned this in my blog: Burn your certificates, but I’ll say it again. In simple words, most teachers/professors are not working on their subjects after their PhDs. Physicists stop being physicists, mathematicians stop being mathematicians, and so on.

CHOOSE the GOOD

Forget about what they do, they don’t even think about any of their acts. That’s why some citizens of Bharath say “Hi” when greeted by Namasthe. That’s why people choose fame and money over true creativity and self-expression, in other words, they choose to be ‘Hacks’ rather than an Artist. That’s why people choose newspapers over books filled with great wisdom. People forget to choose GOOD.

Be HAPPY & INNOVATE

We might think, listening to Sadhguru, that if someone is not thinking he must be happy. It is true that people are in great trouble by overthinking or in other words not knowing how to think. When I say people are not thinking, the thinking I’m referring to is not just deep but it’s ‘lateral’. It’s only with great levels of practice of that right blend of deep and lateral thinking, can we start learning from every situation, everyone, and everything around us. It is productive thinking. It is thinking that provides a solution to problems, not creates one. And that same kind of thinking is what makes any kind of innovation possible.

GROW!

And when I say “THINK”, Reflection, self-interrogation, wondering, pondering, visualizing, whatever you may call it, I mean all of it.

And we can see that, to even have awareness of our knowledge, we need to think. That means, practicing virtues like humility and even curiosity requires us to THINK. And without those wonder couples (Humility & Curiosity), there’s no awareness. And that, in other words, means, no growth. As I explain the concept of awareness timeline in my book, to become aware is to grow.

THINK AGAIN!

I had to mention this title, as I recently read the book that addresses the concept of reminding ourselves to re-think our existing beliefs, assumptions, daily actions, and routines. “THINK!” is just Part one. How deep and how wide you think is the other. And you can choose how far you go in trying to master the art of thinking. And once you learn to think, how often you RETHINK is also a critical aspect to be remembered.

I would like to end this blog by reminding you again that the biggest problem for humanity is ignorance. And the starting point of ignorance is the choice every individual makes on a daily basis, to not think and not think enough. Hence I urge you to:

  1. Think!
  2. Think enough ( Both Deep & Lateral ) and
  3. Think Again ( Examine, destroy and rebuild your assumptions & beliefs )

Thank You,

Sanath Kumar Naibhi

Continue reading “The Biggest Problem for Humanity”

One thing that distinguishes Excellent Students!

Ok, before I tell you what is that one thing, I’d like to say this. This doesn’t apply to schools and colleges. Or to be more accurate – Even though the principles apply to mass education scenarios like schools and colleges, it doesn’t matter there. Because, One, the subject and topics discussed and taught there are not too deep, all are merely a scratch on the surface. And two, because even the relationship between the student and a teacher is merely held by the timeline of their education in that particular institution.

However, this axiom I’m about to share with you, which I’ve come to realize through years of observation both in my students and my classmates learning music along with me, is one that can be seen in the long term, i.e, life-long learning subjects and endless journeys. It can be seen at its best in pursuits of art, dance, music, sports, or even personal mastery.

The aspect, or in other words, the virtue I’m talking about here, is Devotion.

Yes, I’ve observed and have come to realize and believe that Devotion is that one thing that sets apart excellent students from the average and the others.

To be more precise, it’s the level of devotion towards the craft and towards the master that sets apart the excellent students!

Since a long time, I started observing how each student perceives music. Some see music as a skill, one as a post-retirement chill habit, and one sees it as another feature she/he can add to her marriage proposal. But the pattern I saw was that the best student of all was the one who had the most devotion towards music and the master. The more devoted they were, the more music they were able to grasp. And similarly, the opposite is also true. The worst student is one who does not have devotion towards music and towards the master. 

I realized that the lack of devotion is the reason why not many people are able to learn music.

And I have to highlight the dual aspects of that statement:

  1. Devotion toward the Craft
  2. Devotion towards the Master

Both of the aspects are crucial and are interdependent, and yet sometimes, people may believe that they can progress without any one of them.

  1. Devotion toward the Craft

This one’s the easy one. Almost everyone knows and believes that passion & dedication are required to progress in any craft. And yet there are so many cases of students dropping out of what once was their ‘passion’. It’s simply because, it was after all, not their passion, it was merely an interest, a curiosity, or not even that, it might have been a compulsion, by parents, friends, or any societal arrangement you can think of. However, resilience is not possible without passion. By the way, passion is not just a very high level of interest, it is almost love. And when one has passion, they don’t stop at passion, they’re automatically drawn to dedicate towards that pursuit or craft. In other words, they become devoted.

2. Devotion towards the Master

This one’s not that easily understood, instead, it’s the one aspect that’s easily overlooked. This is the reason why students try to manipulate the learning process in ways that need not be. It might be because they think they know better than their teacher, or not. In most cases it is not, It might simply be because the students aren’t aware of their level of ignorance. It may be because he/she hasn’t observed and absorbed the magic his/her master can produce. If they try to analyze and understand the magic, they’ll realize how many years of dedication to the craft the master has put into, to bring such magic into the world. Then, they’ll see the reason to see him devotionally. And hence there’ll be devotion.  

And, as I mentioned, these two are interdependent. If a student is devoted to the craft, he’ll definitely come to be devoted to the master. Or if he hates the master, he’ll soon start to hate the subject/craft.

Of course, there is the other side of the coin too. I’m not saying you must believe and devote yourself to someone blindly. The Blind Believer.

This graph can be used to position a student

It has been a known fact for ages, this disorder of seeing someone with miraculous abilities and seeing them too ‘highly’ that they forget to look into that person, look into his journey, look into his virtues, all the efforts and the pain he had to go through to become the person he is now.

And when someone is not seen like ourselves, we tend to disregard their qualities. If we see Rama as a god before we see him as a human and his virtues & actions as humane, we’ll not try to live like Rama. We’ll leave his case to be an outlier. We label it as divine, superpower, god, etc, but we don’t truly devote ourselves to that power. Do we?

We can devote ourselves to something that we understand is “Great”. And through that understanding, we believe, we love, and then, there is devotion. [ Simple question, would you devote yourselves to Rama if you did not know Ramayana?]

When something is done through devotion, it is the action done at its best! So when I say devote, that means, be all in. It means ‘Give your full’.

I’m sorry the topic got deviated a little, but I must say, devotion is such a topic. So I had to mention all that I have.

It might be your art teacher, dance teacher, or music or you may even have a mentor for life (which most great masters are), have devotion to him. And when I say devotion, as I’ve already mentioned, it’s about walking along with him towards the light, i.e, awareness. If you understand it correctly, Devotion is not a blindfold, it’s a means to awareness.

So, devote yourself to whatever that you’re pursuing and towards the master who’s guiding you and taking you along the journey you wish to travel.

Thank You

Sanath Kumar Naibhi

Namasthe!

This blog is mainly for the readers of Bharath! [ Bharath is not just a geographical area, it is an idea, a lifestyle, or in other words, Bharath is a culture!]. And I’m writing this because of what I’ve experienced when I say “Namasthe”. Some people say “Hi” even after they’ve heard what I’ve told [I don’t know, do they think it is religious?], and when I answer a call and say “Namasthe”, the other person acts as if my voice isn’t audible to them, as if there’s something wrong with the call connection when all they are is confused and second-guessing whether they’ve called the right person. Why so? Is “Namasthe” new? Is it strange?

Namasthe is not just a symbol, a gesture, a tradition, or a part of religion. Of course, it is all that but not just that. “Namasthe” is something beyond all that. Namasthe is a reminder!

Namasthe is not just merely about acknowledging someone’s presence. It should remind us of many aspects of life.

Humility

When we meet anyone and say ‘Namasthe’. We are bowing, at least figuratively, and embracing the fact that there is a possibility of knowledge you do not have residing in the person you just met. In simple words, you are acknowledging the possibility that the other person may be wiser than you. It is an opportunity for us to practice humility!

Oneness

The greatest philosophy of Bharath is oneness. You might call it “Advaitha” in the spiritual sense, “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” in a social sense, or say “we are earthlings” in a more general or biological sense. But essentially, in all those views, we all are one. That is, a yogi, in the Advaitic sense, acknowledges that all are one because the ultimate consciousness within is one. A socialist may see everyone belonging to one group, one family, one nation, one humanity, or one world. Or a scientist or a reformer might acknowledge that we all are essentially made up of the same materials and hence we are one. Essentially we are one. And every time we say “Namasthe” let us try to remind ourselves of this Oneness.

Compassion

When there is oneness, there’s no discrimination, there are no biases, no dislikes. One will be compassionate to all. Namasthe is an opportunity to be compassionate. Each time we say “Namasthe” we must try to remind ourselves this, to be compassionate.

Divinity

Each time we say “Namasthe”, we’re trying to see GOD (divinity) in the other person by bowing (at least figuratively) to him/her. So, where does that lead us to? To a culture that sees divinity in every individual!

Culture

Humility, oneness, compassion, divinity. Think about it. How great would a society be with all these qualities installed in every individual’s heart? And I’m not asking you to imagine something that I’ve cooked up. This has been our culture for more than hundreds of centuries. We’ve just forgotten, that’s it. Every time you say “Namasthe” (optimally before and after any conversation), you should be reminded of this great culture – Sanathana Dharma, and be proud to be a part of this great culture!

Instead, what do we do? We say “hey”, “hello”, “hi”. Do these words have meaning? Does it instill (if at all) greater values than “Namasthe”?

I’m not saying this to joke about or downgrade other cultures. Sure, hey, hi, hello may be used to greet others. It’s their culture, they can surely follow that. But is it a wise choice to swap this culture for your own culture? Are those cultures worth overshadowing Bharath’s culture?

Are you ashamed of this great culture? Or, aren’t you courageous enough to be part of this culture in the public?

Do not be ashamed to say Namasthe instead of saying “Hi”, “hello”, or “hey”, do not be ashamed to join your palms instead of shaking hands. Initially, it may seem hard or it might even lead to some socially awkward situations, but continue to respect your culture by continuing to practice saying Namasthe. If you’d like to wish someone “Good morning, good afternoon, or good day” sure you may, but after “Namasthe”. You can WISH after you acknowledge all that “Namasthe” stand for.

Of course, I must admit my case too. I greet “Namasthe” most of the time, to my friends, colleagues, or relatives. But I still forget to say it sometimes. Like, when I say “hi” when the person greets me with a “hi” first [which I think is fine because by that you’re respecting the other person’s greet, but still..]. Or when I forget to say “Namasthe” while leaving, I tend to say the automatized reply “bye”. So, I’m also a work in progress, nevertheless, I’m continuously treading on the path that I just mentioned.

So, through this blog, I urge you to remember the great culture you are part of and try to live that culture, starting by installing “Namasthe” as your default way of greeting. Be it in a digital chat, or humane scenario. And every time you say “Namasthe”, try to remind yourself or reflect on the points I mentioned – humility, oneness, compassion, divinity, and our culture!

Thank You

Sanath Kumar Naibhi

Monthly Wrap! (July)

Monthly Wraps are blogs that are up on the last Sunday of the month which include:

  1. Blogs of the month
  2. Book recommendations 
  3. What did I curate? Resources I’m binging on – of course, I’ll be choosing the major ones. Just a brim of how much I curate!
  4. Reminders & Reflections to ponder – Of various of my reflections of the month, I’ll choose one or a few. And some re-realized reminders!
  5. My writing journey/ my book updates 

Here’s July’s “Monthly Wrap!”

Blogs I wrote this month:

  1. Blog 62: Worm & The Wise
  2. Blog 63: Live a little?
  3. Blog 64: Busy? Read this!
  4. Blog 65: CREATE = ART
  5. Blog 66: Monthly Wrap! (July)

Book Recommendations:

This month I could read 7 books:

  1. Ultralearning by Scott H Young is a good book. Though we don’t use this term, we all already know this methodology of ultra learning. We’ve been even using it without being aware of the workings of the process. The author however, makes you aware of that process. And hence this book might help you learn the art of learning more consciously from now on.
  2. The Art of Impossible by Steven Kotler is a great book! It gives clarity on high performance. And one of the key aspects that pushes us to embrace this book is that, this book has the latest scientific discoveries about the workings of our brain, it’s states, etc. And the author with extensive research of all those discoveries, has given a very practical guide for us to meddle with the art of impossible.
  3. The practicing mind by Thomas M Sterner is a good book. It reminds us that any form of pursuit, including life, is more about the journey. He says, process over product. The author being a musician and a professional piano constructor, rebuilder and repairer, he shares his experience in ‘flow’ and through it reminds us the importance of ‘flow’ that helps us stay in the present.
  4. Musicophilia by Oliver Sacks is a great book. If you are someone who is interested in music and/or neurology, you’ll love this book. By sharing case studies and his own experiences in dealing with various patients with neurological problems, the author brings us a great opportunity for us to understand the workings of brain more deeply.
  5. The millionaire next door by Thomas J Stanley is not a book I would recommend to anyone. All it conveys is to be frugal and plan your finances. Apart from that, there’s irrelevant data like which automobile to buy.
  6. The simple path to wealth by J L Collins is also not a good book on finance. I now understand why there’s hype around the book “Psychology of Money”, because there exists not many great books on personal finance. However, I still think “Psychology of money” is overhyped considering it unnecessary lengthy examples. But it is still a good book.
  7. The Brain by David Eagleman is a refreshing book. It gives us a mini tour around our brain and its working. It is not deep, it is more like an index and thought provoking.

What I curated:

Movies:
  1. Shang-Chi
  2. Central Intelligence
  3. Artemis Fowl
  4. Ralph Wrecked the Internet
  5. Death on the Nile
  6. The Odd story of Timothy Green
  7. Dead Poet’s Society
  8. RRR (Great movie)
  9. Rocketry : The Nambi Effect (I thought Kalam was great, then there’s “Nambi”)
Series:
  1. Man V. Viral
  2. Maggie
  3. Rehearsal (watching)
  4. Mahabharatha (re-watching)
Trailers:
Few (must watch) YouTube videos:

The Riddle That Seems Impossible Even If You Know The Answer

My New 1 Million Dollar Business

11 MUST HAVE Chrome Extensions for Productivity!

Nupur or Zubair? Single Handedly Responsible For Riots Across India

Reminders & reflections to ponder:

  • Genuine attempts at mimicking something (except the nature), doesn’t make it art. In other words, A genuine copy is still a copy, not art!
  • All that you’ve realized should impact your actions. If not, you’ve simply not realized.
  • Mere acknowledgement of a truth is not realization of the truth. When there is no experience, there is no realisation.
  • If your child does not have parts that you regret, then it’s not enjoying a fulfilling life.
  • We all see our future. We see it in our imagination. We need to believe in, and do what we can. And observe how the future unfolds rather than enforcing it to happen in any particular way.
  • Everyone is busy. All that matters is what they’re busy at. Living meaningful, balanced and hence fulfilled life, or merely existing, meaningless, unbalanced and hence unfulfilling loop of time.
  • If you are underprivileged, you are privileged
  • In any true art form, there does not exist the word ‘perfect’. The only word that exists is ‘ beautiful’.
  • When you’re young, exercise is a choice. When you’re old, it will be mandatory/ compulsory. Choose wisely.

My Book Update:

  • Have worked a little this month. Wrote the introduction to my next book.
  • Since I’ve realized that these ups and downs are a casual part of any creative journey, I’m not making it too hard on myself. Again, it’s the perfect balance between being cautious and calm.

Thank You,

Yours Loving,

Sanath Kumar Naibhi

CREATE = ART

In blog 4: Live to Inspire Creatives, we saw what I call the “Magic Cycle of Inspiration”. And through that we now know that to constantly be in the loop of inspiration, we need to CREATE and SHARE. In that blog, we discussed why those two elements are important. Continuing the discussion further, in my book ( I don’t know whether you’ve read my book yet) I mention, that’s how most people can choose to LOVE what they do and SERVE themselves and people at the same time.

However, in this blog, I’d like to dive even more into “CREATE” specifically. Even though CREATE is a simple and easily understood verb, However, many a time the meaning of it may veer off its meaning.

CREATE?
A process that involves creativity and self-expression in such a blend that both those elements contribute originality to the process as well as to the product, is called CREATION. When I say CREATE, I’m referring you to, being involved in such a process.

CREATE = CREATIVITY (Originality) + Self-expression (Originality)

Or you can also say CREATE: ORIGINALITY

Art is that which has these characteristics. It’s purely the process and the product of the process “CREATE”. I’m not just saying ART=CREATE, I’m saying, CREATE=ART. That is, if something is said to be CREATEd, it definitely must be ART and ART only. It might be even a new scientific invention, it is an art, because don’t you think that the inventor is trying to express himself through it? And of course, you’ll agree that an invention involves creativity and creativity that’s unique to the inventor’s life, don’t you think so? (By the way, please do not confuse “Discovering” with “inventing”).

Of course, to be real, there does not exist a creative work with self-expression that’s not original, if there’s no originality, it’s not purely creative work, nor is it truly self-expression. Does that make sense?

I’ve talked about this in one of my YouTube videos too. Self-expression comes from individual unique human experiences. Each individual’s unique experience itself is that acts as a breeding ground for Creativity too. Because unless there’s a particular unique need in the individual’s life, there’s no need for creativity (we’ve known this quote “Necessity is the mother of Invention”). And it need not even be mentioned that these experiences are what, that give us originality.

One cannot separate Creativity, Originality, and Self-expression in the process of “CREATE”. But still, there’s a lot of confusion among people, regarding this process called “CREATE”. They tend to express what’s already expressed that resonated with them, without no originality in terms of creativity used. I’ll ask you this: if you make something that is the same as and has the same impact as another piece of creative work, then, is your work really creative? Is your work truly unique self-expression?


Genuine attempts at mimicking something do not make it art. In other words, A genuine copy is still a copy, not art!

Of course, mimicking nature is an exception to this statement. Mimicking Nature is one of the purest forms of ART.

Or some tend to forget their originality and try to make something weird in hopes to make it, a creative work. Simply weird, is not ART. I repeat, Simply WEIRD is not ART! I think self-expression is what gives this distinction. It is truly his/her own self-expression that has the unique stroke of creativity, and that is ART!

I’d like to mention more quotes that I’ve written in the past related to this blog. All of them are true and I’ve already shared them before, but they are worth mentioning again. I hope they act as reminders!

An artist’s duty is to make his creative thoughts, emotions, memory, and any form of self-expression into a tangible piece of work – an artwork.

Art is not just a skill. Art is how one uses that skill.

An artist is someone who uses his creativity and imagination more than mere intelligence and memory. The latter are just accessories.

Creativity is a process where there’s something intangible created. And it is an artist’s duty to make that intangible into tangible, and who’s not an artist?

Create means art, art alone!

Everything that you create that’s one of its kind is an art! It can be copied but cannot be recreated. In other words, anything that you create that has its own essence (originality) is an art! And also, the word Create suits only that way, CREATE ART. If you said CREATE, it must be art, if not, it’s not CREATE, the word you are looking for is copied, imitation, or mimicked.

Well, It’s not bad to be a hack. But please, don’t pretend to be an artist!

Being called an artist is easy, being an artist is hard. But please choose the “hard”. Please be an artist in the world of hacks!

Artist is not a status quo. Being an artist is a responsibility! Summon enough courage to take that responsibility!

Thank You

Sanath Kumar Naibhi

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