Rama Navami – My Thoughts

The occasion of Rama Navami reminded me to flip back the pages of Valmiki’s Ramayan translated into Hindi. Such amazing history and literature, and so much to learn from.

Go through my markings with patience and you will find so many self-help books in just two pages.

– Initiate conversation
-Learn from people, both senior and junior to you
-Always be compassionate towards subjects/ colleagues
-Be happy while working
-Don’t listen to unethical people
-Study across subjects and domains
-Actions should be taken at the right time
-Keep secrets, do not reveal everything
-Use emotions as a tool
-Know what to keep and what to discard
-Know the bad qualities of your circle and outsiders
-Never be Lazy
-Be a good speaker
-Presentability and personality is important
-Literature and sports – try to be all rounded
-You earn respect through your personality
-Consume & increase your lifestyle in the right proportion
-Do Not indulge but do not be a miser either
-Avoid feelings of jealousy and anger
Do not have contempt for anyone


The Art of Managing Energy

Want to learn how to be productive or ultra-productive in the workplace or in studies?

Managing time is not as important as managing energy is. This can be achieved by mastering the 4 pillars of energy management:

First, physical energy. Get 7 hours of sleep, exercise for 40 minutes everyday (if you target everyday, you will end up working out 5 times a week), eat wholesome food. Be mindful of what you are eating – start reading nutrition labels. Listen to a podcast or soul-music while walking/running. It is just that simple.

Second, emotional energy. Empathy, sensitivity and EQ are massively underrated.Try to be a better version of yourself daily. Learn to let go of things that you cannot change instead of sitting and cribbing, be happy in others’ success and be more emotionally competent. Maintain a journal and write down your thoughts and emotions, it helps a lot as it makes your problem seem tackable and helps to find solutions for the same.

Third, mental energy. Stop waking up to alarm clocks grudgingly and wake up to gratitude. Don’t touch your mobile phone for the first 30 minutes. Practice meditation to help you to become more creative and widen your perspective and to help you think from a larger point of view. Reading the right content will help shape your mental well being. Surround yourself with people who push you forward instead of negative people. You are going to be the total of books you read and people you are with, so be extra careful while choosing both.

Fourth, spiritual energy. Organize and de-clutter your mind and where you work, eventually, your productivity will increase. A happy person is efficient and highly productive.

For a detailed description please find the video below!


Decoding my favourite shloka


“करम करो फल की चिंता मत करो”~भगवद् गीता

This shloka is applicable in every aspect of our life.

Staying calm and composed emotionally and doing what we are meant to do everyday as a practice, the results will become immaterial one day.

Like in golf- if even for a millisecond you deviate, you miss the target, similarly while studying if you allow distractions even for a fraction of time, you distract yourself from achieving the desired goal.

The aim is to work hard and focus, and not worry about the outcome.


Takeaways from “Peaks and Valleys”

‘Peaks and Valleys: Making Good And Bad Times Work For You–At Work And In Life’ is a book written by Dr. Spencer Johnson. It is a short and relevant read when you are feeling very low or when you are at the peak of your life.

First of all, we need to understand that life can not be a flat or an upward sloping graph, it is undulating. Life is full of highs and lows. The ideal curve is when you don’t go down too much but you trace up too high; that is when you’re going to be scaling up your life.

We tend to feel sorry for ourselves when we hit the valley but that is the time to appreciate the opportunities coming our way, working hard, and learning from our mistakes. Now, if you are wondering as to why people face crashes after reaching the zenith, it is because they feel invincible and are consumed in arrogance.

Change your perspective, work relentlessly and never forget to Invest In Yourself. Keep climbing until you reach the mountain peak. Imagine the view from there!


How can you retain what you have studied?

Finding it difficult to retain the details of the topics you covered last week? You are not alone! With so many distractions around, one tends to lose focus and ends up forgetting what they studied.

Here are a few tips you can use to retain what you study:

  • WRITE– Develop the habit of writing and making short notes as you study
  • FORGETTING CURVE– Re-visit or revise a chapter with an interval of 45 days, it helps the brain to retain the information
  • FEYNMAN TECHNIQUE– Explain the topic to yourself like you would explain it to a 6th- grade student
  • VISUALISE– Strip the topic down to its bare basics and try visualising it as study
  • ONE SOURCE– Try avoiding multiple sources for information
  • FOCUS– Study at a stretch for 3-4 hours at least, to develop your energies to focus on one thing
  • LIFESTYLE– Follow a more routined and disciplined lifestyle to make the days even more productive

A detailed note is available in your ‘Class App’!


Biography of E. Sreedharan- The lessons I learnt from the Karmayogi.

Karmayogi is the inspiring story of E. Sreedharan, the much-admired engineer and technocrat who was instrumental in the construction of the Delhi and Calcutta metro. E. Sreedharan had 25 transfers in 15 years of his career, and yet he was unaffected by it. He was a man of principles with a strong value system, always calm, composed and consistent.

The main takeaway from reading the biography is his life experiences, what difficulties he went through, how he tackled every situation, and what the outcome of all those situations was.

The book explains to its reader five golden principles- integrity, professional competence, making quick decisions, staying healthy, and being punctual. It also talks about workplace conduct and listening to your superiors as they have more experience.

According to an IIM Ahmedabad study, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) attributes its success to organisational values imbibed in the workforce, their impeccable technical expertise, their unflinching social commitment and their keenness to learn from their mistakes.

The DMRC was not built overnight likewise, one should not expect immediate results and should instead focus on the long term. Stand up for yourself and adhere to your value system.


How to get into the Habit of Reading

It’s great that many people have adopted the practice of reading because of my constant pestering.

In this blog, I’ll quickly cover

  • Why it’s essential to read,
  • Why summaries are not equal to reading a book (or watching the movie adaptation)
  • How to choose a book and push yourself to read
  • How to study a book.

Why should you read?

If you browse through any blog or article about the habits of successful people, you will see that ‘reading’ always tops the list.

You will begin gaining multiple perspectives from the books you read. For instance, reading Winning by Jack Welch, who has 41 years of experience as the CEO of General Electric, will provide you with an insight into his experiences and mistakes, and guide you in your ways of life.

Learning from others’ mistakes will steepen your learning curve; revving up your pace, as maybe your fifth mistake would be their first.

Coming to

How do you choose the right book?

If you are just starting, choose relevant books to ensure that it is engaging and not preachy.

For example, I will not be going for Robin Sharma books when I start because that would be a little too heavy or something I wouldn’t enjoy initially. Instead, I would prefer a compilation of business stories or interesting biographies on personalities I find intriguing.

I specialize in Finance, but would like to read and understand different genres. Keeping variety in mind, I have picked up the Blue Ocean Strategy for management; Winning by Jack Welch for productivity; Four-hour work week and Richest Man in Babylon  for personal finance.

Evidently, I keep switching between genres and varieties to help me stay stimulated.

I have a habit of reading two or three books at a time, and that is a very personal choice.

However, when it comes to fiction, I would rather watch it instead of picking up a book on it as I believe reading anything should add value to my life and career.

You can select a book depending on the career you are in. For example, if you are in the field of investment or marketing, go through multiple online listicles that suggest books, surf through them, notice which names emerge multiple times, go through its description and if you like it, start! This is exactly how you zero in on a book to read.

Now, how should you read a book?

When you are reading a book, it is important to make notes and underline the key points because once you complete it, you won’t be able to retain everything laid out in those many pages. Write action points so that even after a year or two, you can easily refer to the points and put them into your action plan.

I feel the traditional way of reading (hard copies) is better because it is convenient.

Also, reading should be done at a stretch and not for short spans. If you are taking frequent breaks, it won’t be worth it because you’ll always have to retrace to connect the dots. So, if I’m reading a chapter on leadership, I’ll complete that before taking a break.

How can you make it a habit?

If you want to do something productive, you’ll have to gather all your energies and compel yourself to commit to it.

Second, the moment you’re done with a third of a book, especially fiction, you will be completely glued to it; the same with sitcoms.

This makes it pretty clear that one has to complete a specific chunk of a book to get hooked on it.

Third, if you read right, there is a long-term benefit; the knowledge you get and the life lessons learned are incomparable.  People pay millions to benefit from the wisdom of the likes of Warren Buffet, and here you are getting all of it from the confines of a book.

Fourth, it would help if you set a target. For example, one book a month and so on, and there’s no substitute for reading because you have to concentrate and read. In contrast, while watching television, you use your mobile phones several times and are easily distracted.

A good reading speed is also very essential, no matter what profession you are in. This can only be attained by making reading a practice and committing yourself to the task.

Why is reading the summary not the same as reading the book?

There is no shortcut to success; or anything else, to be honest!!

Let me throw some light on this. Consider the book ‘7 Habits of Highly Effective People’. Now, even if I jot down the seven habits for you, you won’t be able to implement them in the right way. On the other hand, the multiple instances and vivid illustrations by the author make it easier for you to adopt and implement the habits in a manner they should be.

The videos I make for the books are not summaries but more of a discussion regarding what the book is about, the key takeaways and the action points. These are intended to provide you with a teaser, so you are intrigued enough to pick up that book. If you want to grow and progress in a more planned way, keep reading and updating yourself, and gather knowledge through the first means – books!


How to Choose a Career

“You can connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backward. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in the future.” ~ Steve Jobs

Like Steve Jobs rightly said, you will have to trust the process and be okay if things do not work out for you. If one door closes, another will open, only if you put in the effort. Keep moving with the best alternative at hand.

You need to introspect and note down your career goal and plan. Think about where you want to be five years down the line and be flexible with it. Start understanding where your preferences lay in terms of subjects and fields. Research about a topic or talk to experienced people to know more about the subject to make a decision. Weigh out your options and think pragmatically. You may not like every aspect of a particular thing, be prepared for it. While taking decisions, consider the emotional quotient also. You will have to attempt and push yourself.

Draw a timeline every few months. Do not get discouraged with what people say, be determined and give it a start. Understand that there will always be a trade-off and make a conscious choice. Be realistic and evaluate yourself. In the end, it is your life so make the most of it.



The most common question asked to Aswini Bajaj, a trainer and consultant, is how he managed to clear CA, CS, CFA, FRM, CAIA, CIPM, CCRA, CIRA, CIIB, AIM in the first attempt.

Following are some of the factors that helped him reach where he is now.

Firstly, it is the intrinsic motivation that drives you towards your goal. Ask yourself the “why.” It will push you to put in the required effort. Imagine it to be like a fixed deposit where you keep on investing and the benefits of which you enjoy throughout your life. Look at the long term instead of the short term.

Second, the value system you are brought up with molds you. Moreover, your family and friends should understand the importance of education and be your support system. There is a lot of cumulative effort that is at stake. Respecting time, money, and the efforts of yourself as well the people around you is important.

Third, consistency, hard work, and long stretches of studying are other salient features that make you productive. Understand the concepts rather than mugging up. It will make your foundation strong. Communicate with your seniors to learn from their experiences.

Lastly, you cannot fall ill before your exams. So eat right and feel right, because positivity is necessary. Reward yourself when you achieve a target. The little things matter and help you to push the envelope.

Most importantly, Invest In Yourself because there is no substitute.


When Panic Strikes the Market

The lessons learnt from the 2020 pandemic.

This was a time when every country was facing its own challenges, be it in the field of economics or politics. For all generations who were witnessing a pandemic for the first time, it was a new culture of  ‘work from home’ that they were thrust into. The world was at a pause and that was your time to get a headstart.

The underlying message here is that we should make the most out of this new working culture as it gives us the advantage of a certain level of flexibility. We should also be more empathetic to other business providers as we realise various bottlenecks they are facing right now.

We can do virtually anything!

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