Category Archives: self help

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Deep Listening- a way of Life


At times, I really wonder how some people enter our lives and stay on forever, while others leave in a short time. There are also cases when we’ve known someone for really long but never quite shared our personal spaces with’em due to lack of trust or simply difference in their’s and our respective wavelengths.

What’s so special about our Best Friends/Confidants? They’re just like many others around you. So, what is it that makes them stand out? It could well be because they’re always there for us or we probably share the same kind of interests with’em and so on.

But, the thing that draws the line between our Confidants and Acquaintances is the listening  aspect. There are some people who listen to you better than most. That mere quality of listening can make a world of difference and instill trust and improve rapport between 2 individuals.

Deep Listening was the topic for the in-house Learning session held at office, last Saturday. We went about deconstructing it and arrived at some very interesting inferences.

First, we shared each other’s individual experiences when it came to deep listening and observed what difference it had made in that particular context. It’s sincere application made a positive impact while its non-application tended to made things worse.

When we have one-on-one conversations with our peers, family members and others, we often are put into situations where we have to do the listening part or to put it in simpler words- hear out somebody’s story. At this point of time, we often find ourselves getting distracted due to some random reason or unable to pay concentration to what the other person has to say. Deep Listening is the approach we’ve gotta take!

On further discussion on the topic, we arrived at few insightful inferences :


    • For Deep Listening to be successful, we’ve got to ask questions to get clarifications and get more info.
    • We’ve got to pay utmost attention to Facts in the story, Feelings at every level and the Intent of the speaker in that context
    • There is also a need to give feedback/acknowledgement, the most critical element of effective communication, so that the other person feels ‘being listening to’. This gives him/her the ability to proceed further with their story in an uncomplicated manner
    • Deep listening more often than not results in progress/positive change or shift from the previous state
    • We need to listen to the other person without any preconceived notions and an empty mind.
    • This will help us to analyze the other person’s situation better
    • While deep listening, we’ve also got to make sure that we are non-judgmental and don’t come to any conclusions during the conversation
    • At no point of time should the speaker be sympathized with, the listener’s job is to empathize with them
    • Also, we should remember that deep listening is really about understanding the context of the speaker’s story and not about coming to an agreement with it
  • And lastly, deep listening is all about patience and willingness to hold in the heart
Post the deep listening phase comes action time, when we need to reply to the speaker and express what we feel about the whole thing. Here is what we simply need to do, in order:
  1. Rephrase the account and narrate it to the speaker.
  2. Name that Feeling.
  3. State the Intention


“The choice to listen, is the choice to love!”Kiran Gulrajani

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Giving a Direction to your Thought Process

There’s a distinct activity carried out by humans at all times, at all places and it never really ceases to end. I’m talking about Thinking. The human tends to think, think and think all the time. At any given time, there are multiple thoughts playing on in the mind of an individual. It’s really important to channelize the thoughts that are relevant to the present situation, filter out the irrelevant ones and act on the pertaining thoughts, hence turning it into an Effective Thinking process.
(and here comes the But!)
But, it’s really hard to do so, ain’t it?? Probably because we don’t really pay much attention to its detail or even its direction.
It so happens that all of a sudden we lose flow of our thoughts in an ongoing conversation. The best possible way to get back on track is go back to its origin and see how it has evolved over time and context.
(Yes, Thinking is also a Process! The sooner you understand, the better it’ll be for you :))
Let’s have a look at what Martin Heidegger said about Thinking- 
“What is most thought-provoking in these thought-provoking times, is that we are still not thinking” 

I recently came across this really intriguing concept, which I’ll call – the SoulMind and Body triumvirate. Following this process diligently is bound to give a direction to your thought process.

In our daily lives, we try to solve every problem standing at its periphery, rather than understanding its real essence. We are more focused on the yield and pay little or no attention about the actual purpose and the process to obtain that output.
According to this concept, the Soul or the Spirit refers to the actual ‘Purpose’. The Mind refers to the ‘constraints’ and the ‘final output’ is referred to by the Body.

The Soul can have different meanings in different contexts. In the most basic scenario, it refers to the meaning/ aim/ intention/ reason or simply the ‘Why‘ behind doing what one is doing.
It’s pretty much the same in case of the Mind as well as the Body. While the Mind, apart from constraints refers to limitations/ hindrances/ hurdles, the Body implies the output/ outcome/ yield.

This concept can be applied effectively in our day-to-day thought process and lend a direction to our thinking, hence making it effective and productive.
For example, let’s consider a startup firm. The main idea around the startup, the kind of services/products on its offering forms the Purpose. The hurdles it faces when it comes to building capacity, sustaining growth, managing manpower and finances, etc form the Constraints. And finally, the Output is the Growth or Profit that it makes after overcoming the above mentioned hurdles.
I’ve been following this technique for quite some time now and the results have been encouraging. Still not an ace at it but I, nevertheless keep trying every now and then. So, next time you put on your thinking caps, I recommend you all to do the same.
(Hope you’re wearing one now :P)
Good Luck! :)

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Out of my Comfort Zone

“How much do you possibly know about yourself, unless you’ve been in a fight?” 
– The Fight Club

In my relentless pursuit of Self-Discovery and Self-improvement, I stumbled upon another important characteristic. I realized that of late, I’ve formed a certain ‘Comfort Zone’ around myself and my mind simply refuses to come out of it. (I only do those things that I’m comfortable with and outrightly refuse to take part in any kind of taxing activity.) Be it waking up early, reducing the time spent on Facebook, learning about new stuff, et al. I don’t ‘push’ myself anymore. Even if I do, my efforts lack the kind of aggression and diligence needed to accomplish the task.

Many a time, we are happy in our own comfort/safe zones and are reluctant to explore options outside them. But, unless and until we go out of these zones, we’ll not learn and develop ourselves. We’ve to consistently reinvent ourselves and correct our past flaws for all you know, these flaws may bring about our downfall. 

My Uncle had once told me- “Entrepreneurship is not a trait of a true-blue Hyderabadi”. Simply due to the fact that Hyderabadis of the current generation have become too lackadaisical and keep procrastinating things time and again.  The ‘Lite lo’ attitude that has developed over the years has contaminated the air in the Hydro City.  A lot of hard-workers and go-getters have fallen prey to this incorrigible attitude and consider it to be the order of the day. They simply refuse to work beyond the official time or do not work or act according to the situation. 

This rigidity/stubbornness in our nature has gotten a beating more often than not, in terms of Punctuality, effective Communication, Multi tasking ability and the overall Efficiency.

When I was at School, I used to make sure that I completed my H.W.(Homework!) at any cost and submitted it on time. I used to stay up late at night (of course in those days, being up even till midnight was considered a crime!). And I was pretty Punctual. It wasn’t too different at junior college. But when I started off with my Engineering, I realized that my resolve had kinda dwindled. And I hardly paid much attention to it. I kept postponing things for the future and my punctuality had gone haywire. I often missed my classes in the morning coz I woke up late and simply kept piling my syllabus so that I could study on THAT ONE DAY/NIGHT before the exam.

All along, I knew something was wrong and I even tried to rectify that but I simply couldn’t. It did work at times but on most occasions, it fell flat.  It was only a couple of weeks ago, into my life as a Working professional that I realized that it was time. I kept delaying simple, uncomplicated work to the future- making calls to friends or reading books and even writing this blog! In short, I had become too laid-back. My resolve had started rusting and it was necessary to take immediate steps to galvanize it. I had to set myself free from those self-imposed constraints and preconceived notions and keep challenging myself, time and again.

Since then, I’ve been pushing myself like never before. At times, I win and at times, I don’t. However, I don’t give up and try to give it my best fight. I’ve set certain short term goals for myself and try to reach those goals in a fixed time frame. And, I’m confident that one day(hope it comes very soon!), I can get this ‘rust’ totally off myself.

Set yourself goals and try to achieve them, come what may!