A Need To Win ?  #FridayReflections

A Need To Win ? #FridayReflections

I’m not someone with a need to win. I’ve written about my non-competitive outlook before. Now, I’m not saying that this is necessarily a good thing. No, there are certain areas in my life that I should work on more and be more pushy about.

But today’s post is really not about me.

It’s about people who want to win at any cost.

There’s this guy I know who has such a need to win that he doesn’t mind stamping over everyone that gets in the way of what he wants. So old people, young people (even harmless puppies) are thrown by the wayside (not literally, but almost) while he pursues what he wants, even if it’s something petty. There’s a Latin phrase that describes such behaviour. It goes Inter arma enim silent legēs  which is popularly rendered as “in times of war, the law falls silent.

Pretty hard to relate to someone like that. You never know when you’ll be thrown under the bus.

Then there’s this woman. A brownie point scorer extraordinaire. At first, I thought she didn’t realize what she was doing. But then I began to see that this was such a part of her nature, so though not necessarily deliberate, her actions were harmful all the same.

Sample this. She brings an aged couple to a party. Four hours later, the couple looks all set to go home. You offer to drop them home, but Ms Brownie Point, insists she brought them, so she’ll take them back. You later find out that they had to find their way home on their own because Brownie and her husband (incidentally, the guy I described before) decided to stay on late.  Who were the winners in this case? I have no clue.

Together this seemingly charming couple, can be rude, mean and selfish without even realizing it. Whatever they buy is supposedly the best. Any decision they make is unparalleled in wisdom. And best of all, they’re never wrong, just misguided (by some poor soul now thrown under the bus!).

I could go on. But I’ll stop here to share this with you and hope that you’ll share your thoughts with me.

When an archer is shooting for nothing he has all his skill. If he shoots for a brass buckle he is already nervous. If he shoots for a prize of gold he goes blind or sees two targets— he is out of his mind!

His skill has not changed. But the prize divides him. He cares. He thinks more of winning than of shooting— and the need to win drains him of power.

~Thomas Merton, The Way of Chuang Tzu


It’s Friday today and although Sanchie Vee and I had decided to take a break from #FridayReflections through April, I decided to it slightly differently. I’m putting up a linky – and asking you to write on any of the older prompts that you may have liked and missed. I’ll have the same linky up all month through, just on fresh posts. Also, I’m asking for a link back to my blog in your post to prevent people who are writing ‘off prompt’ from adding their links.

If you want to know more about #FridayReflections and find prompts to write on, I’ve created a page with the ‘rules’ and the prompts. So go ahead and have a ball. Remember, to link up here so we can all enjoy your writing.

This post is in response to the prompt from 2 December 2016:  Write about something or someone you can’t get over.

Also linking into Finish The Sentence Friday.

Image of ‘successful’ man via Shutterstock

Leading A Meaningful Life #MondayMusings

Leading A Meaningful Life #MondayMusings

There are times when you wonder about life. What does leading a meaningful life require of you? Who defines what is meaningful? What is meaningful to one person, might be meaningless to another.

What does leading a meaningful life consist of?

I’ve often heard people say at the death of someone else, ‘What a waste of a life!’ I’ve said it myself a couple of times until I stopped and asked myself, how could I say that? How do I know that the person didn’t add meaning and purpose to another life. Perhaps I don’t know if even through her bad choices, her life and the fact that she was loved, added meaning to the lives of people who loved her. There is no way for me to really know if his life, confusing though it seems to me, made a difference to another life. Even if her living, made just one person’s life better, wasn’t it a meaningful life she lived? Didn’t the fact that his life challenged another person to forgive, to reach out more, to be more loving, make it a meaningful life?

We put too much emphasis on doing as a way of being meaningful. We have bucket lists and goal-setting. We are challenged to do more and achieve more. To fulfill our potential. Not that any of this is wrong. No. But if we emphasize achievements, are we saying that children and adults living with cognitive disabilities are not living meaningful lives? I’m sure any parent of a child with special needs will tell you, that despite how difficult it is, this child adds so much meaning to their lives.

The time has come for me (and you, perhaps) to challenge ourselves – to look within our lives and find the meaning in them and then to realize that it is by our ‘being’ that we make more of a difference than by our ‘doing’.

Most of us lead far more meaningful lives than we know. Often finding meaning is not about doing things differently; it is about seeing familiar things in new ways. When we find new eyes, the unsuspected blessing in work we have done for many years may take us completely by surprise. We can see life in many ways: with the eye, with the mind, with the intuition. But perhaps it is only those who speak the language of meaning, who have remembered how to see with the heart, that life is ever deeply known or served.
Rachel Naomi Remen

Would you like to take part in #MondayMusings?

Here’s how it works:

  • Write a post sharing your thoughts with us – happy, sad, philosophical, ‘silly’ even. Make it as personal as possible.
  • Use the hashtag #MondayMusings.
  • Add your link to the linky below
  • Use our #MondayMusings badge to encourage other bloggers join in too.
  • Visit and comment on the posts of other bloggers linked here.
  • Share the love.

This month I’m changing the ‘rules’ a bit because of the A to Z challenge – I’m going to have one linky open right through the month – open only for #MondayMusings. You’ll need to add a link to Everyday Gyaan to add your link.



Images of flowers in graveyard via Shutterstock

Reading Changes Lives #LovetoRead

Reading Changes Lives #LovetoRead

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that today is World Book Day and it’s important to reiterate the fact that reading changes lives.

Reading Changes Lives

I’m a testament to this fact. I can’t begin to tell you how important reading has been to me. It has saved me from getting depressed. It has opened new worlds to me. It has allowed me to travel around the world across time, sitting in my quiet corner at home. It helped me to dream and grow.

Reading has challenged me, inspired me, comforted me more times than I can count.

To find charities you can donate to allow books to change more lives, please visit Love to Read on Amazon.com and on Amazon.in

My Love Affair With Books

If you know me already, you would know that a way to my heart is to present me with a great book. My husband found that out early. His first gift to me before we were married was a book. Thankfully he’s a book lover too.

I love to buy books, receive books, present books and generally to be surrounded by books. I read loads of books – over 150 a year, at least. My Kindle is my constant companion and my husband laughs at me when I sometimes walk around the house with it.

Our flat in Mumbai has lots of book shelves and that’s something we miss here. Our well-loved books are lying there waiting to find a new home.

As a blogger, I’m thrilled that I get loads of free books to review. I review books here and on my other site which almost entirely dedicated to books.

My childhood dream was to own a book store. This February, I was so happy to visit a book store owned by friends of mine in Goa. The Dogears Book Shop is such a wonderful space that I came back and started talking about making my dream come true. You never know, I just might!

I’d love to hear about your relationship with books.

Success With Stress

Success With Stress

Having showcased Jae Ellard’s The Five Truths about Work-Life Balance here, I was eager to look at her latest book, Success With Stress, and review it. Jae was kind enough to send me a hard copy of the book.

Book Description:

Believe it or not, stress isn’t all bad; in fact, it’s an important part of the natural world. Stress helps us survive as a species – because of that we want the ability to be stressed. That said, being able to manage stress with greater success is the difference between surviving and THRIVING. Success with Stress explores five simple ideas to spark your personal power to change the level, duration, and frequency of the stress in your life. With workplace stress being linked to quality of life, health, and workplace morale, this is a must-read for any team looking to improve morale and individuals looking to improve their quality of life.

Buy the Book:  Amazon

Add to Goodreads

Author’s Bio:

Jae Ellard is an author, speaker, and expert on developing the skill of awareness in the workplace. After years in senior communication roles crafting content for executives, Jae collapsed from stress-related adrenal fatigue. This life-altering experience propelled her to research human behavior, neuroscience, mindfulness, and organizational relationship systems. In 2008, Jae founded Simple Intentions and developed the Mindful Life™ Program to generate intentional conversations to disrupt patterns and create awareness, accountability and action at team and individual levels. Jae has taught the skill of awareness in more than 50 countries to thousands of employees at multinational corporations such as Microsoft, Amazon and Expedia.

Jae is a columnist on workplace awareness for Mindful Magazine, as well as the author of 7 books on the topic. She contributes to the Healthy Living section on Huffington Post as well as the Simple Intentions blog. In 2013, she founded Seattle Wisdom, a community organization working to create and support conscious conversations in professional spaces in the Pacific Northwest. Jae has a master’s degree in Communication Management from Colorado State University and a bachelor’s degree in Broadcast Communication from Metropolitan State College of Denver. She holds certificates in co-active coaching and organizational relationship systems coaching.

Connect with Jae:  Website ~ Twitter  ~  Facebook  ~ LinkedIn

My review: 4/5

I was pleasantly surprised with the workbook style book, with lots of white space for my thoughts and reflections.

The best part of the book for me was the clarity of thought of the author, expressed with so much simplicity, and how it strikes at the root of stress very early on. Sample this powerful statement:

Most stress can be traced to communication – or lack of it – back to the conversations we are not having or are too scared to have about what we value, and/or a lack of boundaries to protect those values.

It brought to mind a quote of George Bernard Shaw’s I came across for the first time the other day. He said, in his own inimitable style : The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.  And I found both this statement and the book resonating so strongly for me. Much of my stress used to come from dysfunctional relationships – the ones in which I assumed that the other would understand me. Now I’ve learned to communicate more clearly and it makes relating with people so much easier and less stressful.

The 5 strategies that Jae suggests we can beat stress with call for reflection on our values, invite us to be authentic and above all to honor ourselves. Since authenticity and honoring myself are areas that I have long being working on, I could see the value of this.

I am completely in agreement with Jae’s philosophy of succeeding with stress and would recommend this book to anyone struggling to reduce stress in their lives.

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the author. All opinions are my own.

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Win a print copy of Success With Stress with a companion notebook (open to USA & Canada – 10 winners total)

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