Tuesday, November 6, 2018

PEACE of mind !


let’s buy peace of mind, the most expensive and sought for.  Any price is too small to pay for peace of mind. You may have to sometimes bow down, sometimes be bold and sometimes give it back. There cannot really be a one strategy fits all. You need to react depending upon the situation, person and the relationship. You also need to be ready to face the consequences. Can life really be black and white, or is it filled with shades of red rage, purple revenge and grey ignorance ?

 

Ability to tolerate, forgive and Ignore are all virtues of a healthy mind and body. We need to exercise them with precision to have a peaceful and happy state of mind. These virtues could very well shape your personality. None of these can be ignored, we need to assess the situation, relationship and use our experience to decide our reaction.

 

Life will teach you, and shape you for what’s in store for you. Trust the process and go with the flow. My experiences in life teach me to:
 
PIC source: Google

 

Forgive always!
Ignore sometimes!!
Tolerate never !!!

Monday, November 5, 2018

Do you know that feeling ?

The feeling!
The feeling that makes you,
 
Smile for no reason,
Cry out of joy,
Giggle without an itch,
Hum harmony in the wind,
Shiver of cold in summer,
Sweat in winters,
Fly with your feet firm on ground,
 
 
PIC source - Google

Most of all,
The feeling that’s,
 
Difficult to explain,
Beautiful to have,
Happens in a moment,
But lasts forever!!!

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

More power to your Presentations !

Image source - Google

Let’s begin with a question, what does PPT stand for? Yes, I know without context, it will be difficult to answer. But I still think the first thing that came to the mind of most of us is “Power Point Presentation”. When working in a corporate set-up this is a tool that is your best friend if used effectively. Using it effectively is very important, I have seen and attended epic failures. To be honest I also began the same way. You do a bad presentation and learn how to be better at it with time. But then there are better ways to learn, one of them is to imbibe certain unsaid rule, to be more effective.

I think I have set the context well, now let’s get to reality. So I basically had to present, to a varied and fairly unknown crowd. So techniques like, “know your audience” and their “expectations” didn’t work So I set out to find ways, that would help me be more impressive with my presentation deck and my overall presentation.

So began my research on tips and trick to enhance the overall experience of the presentation. I thought it would be a good idea to share the tips I learned to make my presentation better.
 

  • Focus on the 3Ps  “Plan” “Prepare” “Practice”.
  • Start With A Question – Works every time! Helps bring in interaction and also a good icebreaker.
  • Build a storyline, an interesting one! Weave statistics into your story, to make your stories more interesting and stats less boring!
  • Speak slow, it will help the audience to register the content better. Going too fast , will exhibit nervousness and also may cause you to miss important required details.
  • Keep your text at a minimum, you must sound & look full of information and not the slides. And for heaven sake “DO NOT READ FROM YOUR SLIDES”.
  • Break It Up With Humor, it helps break monotony and adds the much needed spunk!
  • Use bigger fonts when writing something, it must be visible from a distance.
  • Use easy to follow language, avoid heavy words. No one is judging your language skills, they are here for the content.
  • Add generous amounts of every day and personal examples. These help to connect better with the audience. 

And the best one tip is “PERFORM”, use your voice and body to add more elements and communicate your passion and energy to the audience.

Do let me know if these tips work for you. I have personally tried them out and have always good feedback. Let me know if there is something more than this that works for you and we can add that to the list.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Engineering culture and a working MOM !! - Part 2


 
As I look back, my journey as a mother has been phenomenal. I have been amazed at myself and my daughter. I have been through things that I didn’t ever feel I would be able to survive. One look at my daughter, I comprehend how rapidly kids learn. Even these tiny beings have an awareness of the surrounding and quickly camouflages itself from danger or uncertainty. This journey has made me more aware than ever, I today know how important it is to change and not all goes by as planned. The best way to plan for a better future is to be ready for a change at any given point of time.

As we all know kids grow and learn very fast, so they outgrow their toys and clothes very quickly. And I being a working mom, try and invest my time very wisely to make sure I can avoid repetitive visits to the shopping mall. As I know every visit brings along a lot of tantrums and unnecessary stuff home. So I started focusing on things that could be reused and upcycled with a  growing child. That is when it struck me how most things, that are my favorite are the ones that grow with my kid. The ones that are “built for change”. Be it a rocker that grows and very easily customizes itself for 3 month old to a 5 yrs. old. Her toys that start with teaching her to recognize colors and go about teaching alphabets, phonics and spellings. These toys have stuck with her for the longest time and she likes them, because they grow with her and keep her engaged and challenged with every growth milestone. 

That made me think about how I must plan and be ready for change at any given time. As I have a very demanding customer (read my daughter) with a very short span of attention and but expects me to be very prompt with my responses. I had my own learning curve with this. So I start cooking with a clear plan and at every stage of cooking I have to welcomes changes thanks to my ever evolving customer (read my daughter) needs. We start with milk and it could end up being anything from pancake to a cupcake. This attitude has made me much more flexible and outcome oriented. I may not do any customization and force feed my daughter. The nutritive value may not change…but I will lose on customer delight J. 

My daughter teaches me new lessons everyday…this was one of our encounters. Be hooked for more of my experiments with her!!

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Engineering culture and a working mom!

For a while now, the buzz word we hear all around us is “Engineering culture”. I recently had an exposure to it and it fascinated me a lot. It feels like we are back to basic and talking in terms of how we can help someone have a better experience at the most vulnerable times.

In the world of AI we are still depending on what my customer feels. But nevertheless, it in fact is a very powerful tool and the things it talks about are not bound under the boundary of software development. I felt a need to try and them at my only product and/or customer and that never shies away from giving me straight at my face feedback “My Kid”.
Pic courtesy - Google
 
It all started very gradually, with me firstly understanding how I had been focusing so much on making my daughter do what I felt was right. And that meant I had to reiterate myself all the time and to get things done. And this was my first encounter of “output vs outcome”. I was getting all that I wanted done from my daughter. But nor was she happy nor I. The output was there, but the outcome nope…. we were both dissatisfied and unhappy.
So, I took a step back and restarted. I started talking to my daughter to find out where we were going wrong:
Writing – She was always slow and disinterested. Would always bring back pending work from school. So, we would go about the same routine every day, me checking her book to find lots of half-filled pages. And then it would start again, force her, bribe her and if nothing works yell! At the end, pending work was completed. But we resented our time together. And she would hide from me as soon as I reached home.
This made me so sad, being a working mom, I get little time with her and didn’t want it to be spent like this. So, I decided to focus on outcomes and eliminate some waste. I evaluated why she didn’t like writing and very simple reasons came up. Also, I discovered that she is good at writing both memory wise and script wise. This was the first outcome I focused on, she was learning.
She would constantly complain about her hand paining, I replaced her smooth round pencil with a hexagonal pencil, that helped her with easy grip and she didn’t have to hold very tightly and thus came down the pain. Our first win!
Also, I offered her to do her writing on random things like, on the table with chalk, with her finger on her Ipad, with crayons on empty sheets and we would do these activities at various places, so that boredom didn’t creep in. Soon I saw her doing it all the time on her own, without me having to remind her. She would keep looking for opportunities. The other day, I saw her practice on a dusty car in the parking lot.
I was happy, she was enjoying study. She doesn’t have any more pending work, she completes it in school, so that she can write on other things at home. Recently we have also started writing on the concrete compound of our housing complex.
So now let me list the outputs, outcomes, impact:
 
Output
Outcome
Impact
1. No pending work.
  1. Better speed at writing.
  2. More interest in learning.
  3. She herself is now motivated to find new ways to continue her practice.
  1. More smiles and hugs.
  2. She greets me with a lot of love, when I am back home!
 
 
So with this my experiment doesn’t end…it just started. My daughter is my guinea pig for life, all my experiments be it new culinary skills or new concepts that I learn at work are all tested on her for me to better understand them. Stay tuned to know what I subject her to next!
 

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Women and income tax




The hardest thing to understand in the world is the income tax.
-- Albert Einstein.




That’s it, even the great Albert Einstein found it difficult to understand income tax and we poor women thought it was only us. Also, after this statement I believe even men like us sail in the same boat, but pretend to be know-it-all of the financial bandwagon. But all said and done, finances are indeed very important part of our daily life. To not try to understand is not only foolish but also very dangerous. We women very often proudly delegate all financial paperwork to our male counterparts and feel relaxed. However there is nothing wrong in doing this, it really helps that we keep ourselves up-to-date and aware.


 

What better time to do this, than at the start of a fresh financial year. Also in wake of the recent demonitization it is very important that we learn and equip ourselves with variuos digital ways to transact. Most of us who are empoyed, atleast are at speed with the digital wave that we are riding with respect to financial transactions. But I think it is equally inportant for the housewives, to be aware and fluent in these aspects. To begin with I will list a few must haves:

 

  • At least have one savings bank account on your name.

 

  • Hold a debit card and use it for your day to day expense transactions.

 

  • NEFT/IMPS, are the need of the day. Learn ebanking, it dependable. Gets work done from home and no time restrictions.

 

  • Get familar with atleast one of the many UPIs availabe today. They make money transfer easy and hassel free. Few that I can recommend will be BHIM, TEZ, PhonePe. All of us hold a smart phone today and have all the time in the world to use watsapp. Believe me these UPIs are also very easy to use and transact on.

 

So done with the basics, lets now talk about few ways in which you can save tax, while making good savings and protecting your health.

 

  • If you have a girl child under 10 years, you can benefit from the Sukanya Samridhi Yojna under Section 80C.

 

  • Section 80C also allows you to get tax benefits by investing in life insurance plans.

 

  • Section 80D of the Income tax act allows a tax deduction of up to 25,000 per year for paying health insurance premium with an additional deduction of 5000 for policies purchased by or for senior citizens.

 

  • Section 80E calls for a tax deduction for expenses done on disease and illness specified under 11DD

 

  • First time home owners can take tax benefit under Section 80EE

 

  • Section 24 gets tax dedcution for housign loans.

 

I really hope this information helps us get some foothold in the financial teritory, which for very log had been foreign for us.

 

Disclaimer: I am no financial expert. I unearthed all this information, while trying to familarise my self. Thought it may help more women if it was all collated and presented as a summary.

PEACE of mind !

let’s buy peace of mind, the most expensive and sought for.   Any price is too small to pay for peace of mind. You may have to sometimes...