The graphic art of Batman

Batman is one of the most popular, enigmatic  and interesting superheroes. Being mortal and battling his own inner demons, Batman has over the years found a legion of followers and fans, first of the comic and then of the film.   The character has spawned so many art styles and has been depicted by so […]

The magical rule of “Also And” and why it can change your way of thinking

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All my life I have been making choices. Always coming to forks where I have been taught to choose between options. Either this or that, you can’t do both, which way will it be, flip a coin, how will you choose, what will you do now and a million other conversations which lead to choosing. Mostly choice means you have to let go of another option, sacrifice a possibility or eliminate one or the other.

A hundred internal conversations have ended with a clear choice where I had to take one road at a fork and wonder where the other may have taken me had I gone down that path. I have heard similar conversations like mine amongst peers, friends and relatives “I need to spend time with kids but I have to work hard”, “I want to go to the gym, but I need to relax more”, “Since I am a creative person, I cant understand business”, “I want to grow my business, but the quality of work will dip”, “If I read my email on a holiday, its not really a holiday”, “I have to choose whether I do fun projects or large projects”, “Should I stay employed and ruin my life or take a risk and do business”. I have engaged in these conversations and have heard this from everyone. Conversations where we need to go one way or the other, decide one versus the other and follow one path.

 

Then something miraculous happened and I understood the Also And Rule. This is where you don’t choose, where you choose not to choose and become greedy and say I want both choices and they will coexist together. Its amazing how life changed after that. Suddenly I decided that I can work really hard, be a business man and choose also a great work life balance. I figured I could choose to be an enterprising business man and also be playful. I figured that I could choose to be healthy, have time for exercise and be a workaholic. I found out that I can look at creativity from a business aspect and yet be creative, that I could feel for the client and be his best friend and still do really creative work. It dawned on me that I could choose being boutique and creative and also attempt to become a multinational.

 

Suddenly, I could read, paint, draw, play, doodle, do gaming, day dream and also be a strategic entrepreneur. I could be an extrovert and an introvert, I could have a desire for wealth and yet be pure to my craft and my higher calling, I could embrace joy and pursue excellence together.  The possibilities were endless. I realised that choice and boundaries and stereotypes were self imposed by ourselves and as easily we could break down these walls.

 

As I shared this idea in discussions with friends and brainstormed on their choices and broke down the walls, the idea was infectious. It worked any where:  reactions streamed in one after the other “I can be trustful and when needed I can be wary”, “who said if I am an artist that I can’t be understanding finance”  “Thank you, I don’t need to choose between large scale projects and say no to smaller projects any more” and so on and so forth. It kept breaking and shattering shackles of rules we have built up over decades ever so easily!

 

If we choose not to choose and realise that many boundaries and stereotypes are set by ourselves. Instead if we say “I am also this, and I also am that” then a new world open up, a world of opportunities we have hitherto closed down. Engage in the Also And concept, choose not to choose and let opportunities and seeming contrasts coexist in harmony with each other!

 

I am loving what the Also And philosophy has showered into my world!

 

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25 Habits Of People Who Are Happy, Healthy & Successful

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A beautiful article a friend shared with me today. Such simple truths to follow, wanted to share this with as many people. Written by Kristy Rao on http://www.mindbodygreen.com

Who among us doesn’t want to be a happy, healthy and successful human being? Still, it can be easy to lose your way, which is why I’ve compiled a list of habits you can use to help reach your goals.

So what is it about happy people that makes them the way they are? Below are just some of the ways they separate themselves from the rest of the crowd.

1. They don’t hold grudges.

2. They think outside of the box.

3. They go by a routine and make exercise a part of it. It takes practice to develop healthy habits and stick with them. Once you do, your internal foundation will be strong.

4. They have a supportive tribe, thereby not wasting time with negative or toxic people.

5. They don’t care about what other people think. Does a tiger lose sleep over the opinion of sheep?

6. They don’t people please.

7. They see difficult and challenging situations as opportunities for personal growth.

8. They consider handling rejection a skill and are resilient.

9. They make time for themselves. Whether it’s getting eight hours of sleep every night, finding 15 minutes to read the newspaper in peace or an hour to go to the gym, they make it a priority — just like everything else. When you take care of yourself, you have a bigger impact on others.

10. They are spiritual. This doesn’t necessarily mean religious. It could mean setting aside time for reflection through yoga or meditation.

11. They practice deep breathing.

12. They know there isn’t such a thing as “having it all,” and they’re happy about that. Wouldn’t the world be a boring place for them otherwise?

13. Fear doesn’t hold them back. They’re ready to take risks.

14. They know how to say “NO,” and don’t hold back. These people have learned to set boundaries. Plenty of them.

15. They learned a great deal from other people whom they admire. Either they had a great mentor, or they took note of how those they aspired to be like handled various situations.

16. They follow their inner guidance. Not only do they have a vision, but they follow it.

17. They give without expecting anything in return.

18. They aren’t pretentious or conceited.

19. Passion is what drives them. They authentically believe in what they’re doing.

20. They don’t complain.

21. They live by their core values in both their professional and personal lives.

22. They’re happy to swim against the tide.

23. They finish what they start.

24. They don’t compare themselves to other people.

25. They want you to succeed, too.

BY KRISTY RAO

Learning to network from Ivan Misner

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I was at an event today Organised by Right selection in Dubai. The modern guru of networking, Ivan Misner was more than amazing. He shared such simple but effective methods of networking and the importance it has in modern business. He is truly the father of modern networking, he is also a best selling author and the founder of the world’s largest networking Organisation BNI.

He explained that our social capital is the single most effective marketing tool in business. He further shared that in surveys conducted amongst businesses, 91.4% attributed networking to playing a key role in their success. He spoke of how this then needs to be the cornerstone of management education and the essential tool for any business.

Misner explained the blend between emotional quotient and intelligence and how contacts have to be converted into connections. He made a clear distinction between mindset and skill set and the role your ‘soft skills’ really play as a success catalyst.

I particulalry loved the analogy of The Butterfly Effect. He explained a scientific phenomenon where the constant flapping of a butterflies wings leads to a series of chain reaction which are unconnected and causes weather change. How a simple act can precipitate as an unknown domino effect into greater things. It was the serendipity concept taken to the next level.

He highlighted the concept with a story starting with him on necker island and meeting Richard Branson, then taking us through a flashback of related incidents which led to him to that moment.

He explained this further by explaining that we need to know out life mission and constantly evaluate the things we do against that as a beacon. When an opportunity arises, to question “Is this my mission” and say a resounding yes to any opportunity that arises towards that. “Follow the ripple” was a great catch phrase that summed that philosophy. See where the ripple leads you and see if its closer to your mission. It’s about weighing events and seeing if they are a distraction or an opportunity.

The referral process and networking he broke into a formula called VCP which stood for Visibility, Credibility and Profitability. They are a 3 step formula to convert contacts to connections and onwards to business. Through visibility you get people to know you and be familiar with you, Credibility is built as your reputation and enhances your image and trust by walking the talk , profitability comes after that through an ongoing reciprocal referral. He explained how its not a sales process but building connections and how our mindset should be to not just sell when we meet people, but also learn about them and a desire to buy their services.

These simple distinctions and analogies cleared a lot of misconceptions on what Networking is. It’s a process of farming and not hunting is what he gently reminded the room which was bursting at the seams with over 600 business leaders.

He shared insights on how men and women networked in different styles. This helped us understand the difference of being transactional versus relationship oriented. He shared ideas and techniques of networking which encompassed even simple methods of how we stand at events and how to have an open stance to invite visitors into the discussion.

He then explained a 12x12x12 rule where you are aware of the impression you make from 12 feet away. This is the way you dress, how professional you come across. Then from 12 inches away, which is what you say, how positive you are and then the first 12 words you say. This is also your elevator pitch, your USP. I loved the eyebrow test for your USP. He said when you say what you do, does the other persons eyebrows arch in excitement and do they “oh” or do you frown and wonder what the hell you are saying.

He explained then the stream of your influence and how many networks you have. This covered your casual contacts, professional associations and knowledge groups, your strong contacts (like BNI) and your online networks. What was wonderful was he explained how important the online contacts were even though he is the founder of BNI.

He ended explaining again the givers gain which is the same as the law of reciprocity and also “what goes around, comes around”. He egged everyone to help people out, build friendships and constantly build emotional intelligence.

The session was an eye opener with its simple fundamentals and for business like mine where references and word of mouth is our single largest marketing tool, today was a lesson for life!

I strongly recommend all his books!

I tried to capture the complete session through sketches and doodles. Hope this will help highlight the concept further for those reading.

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Say a big NO to procrastination now!!

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Procrastination is one the deadliest villains in the battle for success. Do it now! Pick the toughest and scary tasks in your job list and finish it right away! Every business book on excellence and self help books on brilliance wrestle with correcting the flaws of procrastination!!

Go ahead now and strike that job list off like its the last day of your life!!

Victory; philosophy for the day!

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Mohammed Ali said it so simply, and this philosophy is so apt to live life by! When success and victory are the only visual the mind can see, it’s usually what comes our way. When the cracks of self doubts erode this confidence, what comes our way is what we are afraid of.

We gift ourselves not just what we dream, we gift ourselves the dreams we truly and surely believe will come true!!

My zen moment today!

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Todays illustration has a little preamble to its evolution.

I was all day at a business coaching session. Rajesh, my coach who has inspired me over the last nine years worked with us today on an array of new business ideas.

As I sat in the class today alongside many inspiring CEOs, assimilating the insights and wisdom, I sensed the past nine years like it was yesterday again. The thirst for being reborn again and again everyday and surrendering the wisdom of the past allows me to discover myself truly.

Today, there was a brilliant distinction between goals and horizons. As I had set my goals and achieved them, I kept raising the bar, making them tougher and tougher to inspire me to rise higher. While this worked beautifully and had taken me to heights I could never have imagined, there’s another dimension to this process and its outcome.

As vision boards and dreams fuel the journey, there’s a fine line where the goals became obsessive. Suddenly, everything I had wasn’t that exciting because I didn’t have the projected future yet. Where I was today seemed so insignificant to the future I had envisioned and visualized!

As I grappled with this and suddenly let the goals free and realized they were but horizons, I could yet again embrace the beauty of the moment.

This illustration is something that I sketched as I listened during the session. I came back in the evening and toyed with the idea of creating a frame that captured this concept and embedded the beauty of the moment.

This is my zen moment which I will never let go of again.

(Maybe I should work with Rajesh to evolve a graphic novel with a parallel to business coaching principles!)