Wednesday, February 9, 2011

I will speak ill of no man, ... and speak all the good I know of everybody

While reading How to Win Friends and Influence People (by Dale Carnegie), I decided to write a post on the very topic touched by Dale Carnegie in the first chapter, which is, NEVER CRITICIZE PEOPLE.

In our lives, we seldom stop ourselves from criticizing others, we take it as our right to judge people, and never do we pause for a minute and think about what would we have done under similar circumstances.

But wait, we are almost always keen on saying "If it were me, I would never do this and this, instead I would have done that and that." But how many times, do we really think if "that and that" would actually be our action or not. Mostly, we just say this because "that and that" seems to be the best thing to do. We say this because we already know that "this and this" didn't result in any favorable situation, and so we think that it's safe to say "I would have done that and that".
What we fail to see is that you can never understand what the other person must be going through, you can never really know what must be going through someone's mind. Because every person's actions and decisions are guided by his experiences and the way that person's mind works. Every person's experience is different from that of the other person. We all carry a baggage of lessons learnt, and this is what makes us take the decisions we take.

Our religion, Islam, teaches us not to say ill about any person. "Geebat" (saying ill about others) is a condemnable sin and all muslims are asked to refrain from it. We all have forgotten what Allah and Prophet (PBUH) taught us and now we need self-help books to teach us what has already been made clear by Islam.

There can be several reasons of why you should not say ill about others or condemn people:

  1. No one likes being criticized. If you don't like being judged, why do you think someone else would be fine with it if you are the one giving the verdict.
  2. We all have our own flaws. No one's perfect.
  3. If everyone WAS in fact, perfect; life won't be any fun. :D

The next time you see yourself fit to judge others, just take a minute and think of all the times you were judged and how bad it made you feel.

Below I am putting some quotes from the book "How to Win Friends and Influence People" by Dale Carnegie:

Criticism is futile because it puts a person on the defensive and usually makes him strive to justify himself. Criticism is dangerous, because it wounds a person's precious pride, hurts his sense of importance, and arouses resentment.
I will speak ill of no man, ... and speak all the good I know of everybody.
~Benjamin Franklin
Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain - and most fools do. But it takes character and self-control to be understanding and forgiving.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The true meaning of happiness

Those who can laugh without cause have either found the true meaning of happiness or have gone start raving mad.
~Norm Papernick

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Don't lose your mind, lose your weight by Rujuta Diwekar - Book Review

The biggest buzz these days is related to losing weight. I was under the impression that only the fairer sex indulges in such complexities but was astonished to see guys nibling on green veges as well. With this being the case, no wonder we have so many diet books, websites giving advice on losing weight, supplements claiming to remove those extra pounds within 15 days and institutes bragging to do the undoable. I always rejected all these ideas with a shrug, wondering how people could put themselves through the ‘starvation ordeal’, but the book by Rujuta Diwekar, India’s sports science and nutrition expert, “Don’t lose your mind, lose your weight” caught my attention. And I don’t regret reading it.
Most of the people going through the so-called dieting process are keen on starving themselves, surviving only on fruits and uncooked/boiled/grilled vegetables. Running in the marathon we call “life”, we want everything to happen quickly, if ti’s weight we want to lose then we prefer throwing it off in a matter of 15 days or merely a month.
We want to see results quickly without putting in too much efforts. It’s equivalent to try passing a tough exam without studying. We don’t want to waste our precious little time exercising, we don’t want to give up on chai/coffee but amazingly are willing to skip any meal thinking that this would eventually lead to healthy body. In her book, Rujuta Diwekar puts an end to all these atrocities we commit ourselves to. The book starts with the discussion of different varieties of dieting people adopt, reading about which you will start realizing it’s nothing but stupid to torture yourself like this. Rujuta Diwekar explains the reality behind such diets and encourages people to not entertain anything without first understanding it.

Dieting according to Rujuta should be
“a representation of what you will be eating your entire life.”
Rujuta narrates stories of her clients who in trying to lose weight ended up becoming dull, losing not just the glow from their faces but also their positive attitude towards life and (unbelievably) increased cholesterol levels. Rujuta tries to explain that we need to change our life styles, bringing in routine exercise yet NOT showing the door to our favorite foods. She boldly states;
“All food is good.” (which by the way is a relive for me, for I, can’t even dream of living on fruits.)
Thus, putting to shambles all low carbs, high protein diets.
Fitness should be the goal rather than mere weight loss. The diet plan proposed, which is to be followed your entire life, may at first seem absurd and un-follow able, but will start making much more sense once you understand the reasoning behind the rules and read the success stories of celebrities who have taken up this diet.
Rujuta gives four basic principles to be followed in order to stay healthy;
1) Never wake up to tea or coffee: Don’t be scared or skeptic if you are an addict and think you can’t even begin to imagine a life without your morning dose of tea/coffee. With what Rujuta proposes, it won’t even remotely feel like giving up.
2) Eat every two hours: For all the people who have a ghastly expression on their face after reading this, again please don’t be skeptic. Let Rujuta explain, and for that you’ll have to read the book.
3) Eat more when you are more active and less when you are less active: Sounds sensible right? You’ll need energy when you are performing some physical activity or exercising your brain cells. And energy is what you get from food.
4) Finish your last meal at least two hours prior to sleeping: Again, sounds sensible and more importantly something we all already know.

All-in-all it’s a sensible small (just 279 pages, including appendix) book which is quite easy to read. It doesn’t give strict rules but gives real life examples on how to follow the rules. With a cheat sheet at the end of every chapter which can be referred to while trying to follow the diet plan. Tables on which food should be focused on and why and which food you should try to avoid is also be of great help. For all the people who are willing to do ANYTHING to shed those extra kilos, go ahead and try Rujuta’s style.
Happy ‘Dieting’!

The Power of Pen

The act of putting pen to paper encourages pause for thought, this in turn makes us think more deeply about life, which helps us regain our equilibrium.
~Norbet Platt

Wednesday, February 2, 2011