Monday, June 27, 2016

Wheelchair Basketball - Exhibition Match for the More-Than-Abled Between India and Thailand

The Wheelchair Basketball Federation of India, led by the more-than-able Madhavi Latha, who is also a swimming champion in the paralympics category (amongst many other champion sides to her), staged a wonderful exhibition match between the Indian and Thailand Wheelchair Basketball teams yesterday afternoon. Wheelchair basketball requires far greater skill because the players have to use the wheelchair with great skill and also control the ball. One could get a glimpse of how far the mind can go, and take the body along in its search for excellence.
The Thailand team won by a huge margin. One knew by the very look of the Thailand team that they knew what they were doing. Lean and strong upper bodies, wheelchairs (very expensive sports wheelchairs as someone said) that moved like lightning and skill that was just too good - with the wheelchair, the ball and the tactical moves. They just steamrolled the Indian team which put up a gallant show in defeat, trying hard with every ounce of their strength. The score was some 30-80 or something in that region.
In the heat of the game

The technical camp initiative was to give coaches, participants and others exposure to the various nuances of the game, its rules, its challenges and was conducted over four days. It was well attended. On the final day they had this breathtaking match between the two sides - as good as any sport or even better. It made one's heart fill to see the manner in which a more-than-abled player from Thailand pulled up an Indian player who had lost his balance and fell off his wheelchair or the way another player joined the impromptu dance program that a small group had put up before the actual game.

Sports, as Madhavi Latha truly believes and lives (is there a connection between believing and living), gives a sense of purpose, celebration and joy, all of which are healthful. A person who may feel otherwise challenged - physically, mentally or in spirit - can pick up a game and find that sense of purpose and joy. It was on show here at The Kotla Vijay Bhaskar Reeddy stadium. Though Madhavi sounded a bit disheartened that they did not get the kind of coverage they could have got, or even support from sports personalities from Hyderabad, I feel they have done enough and more. It's an initiative that has far reaching consequences and opens doors for more-than-abled sportspersons in India to just celebrate life and go and express themselves through games.

The stadium was a poor showcase of what the government does to maintain its sports facilities - with its 1 hour power cut and no generator (a shame really), no air cooling system - this magnificent stadium that could serve so many in so many ways, is let down for the lack of a few amenities that should be standard fare.
Teams relaxing
But one look at the wheelchair bound athletes and you wonder at Madhavi's words on the first day - that there is no infrastructure to handle or support the needs of the more-than-abled even in the national capital, Delhi. One wonders as the athletes moved around with their wheelchairs about the facilities they need - ramps, toilets, transport, stay and all the related issues and one can see how many more-than-abled are staying at home probably because society has not created the spaces to give them. But you create spaces and they will come and give, far more I am sure, than many supposedly able people. You can sense it, you can feel it. The same principle that Dhirubhai Ambani used - creating capacities much larger than estimated demand and thus creating an additional demand (and not the other way round i.e. limiting supply based on demand) - was the principle on which Reliance grew at such phenomenal pace. Similarly, if we create the spaces for all sections of the society, we can create a world that explodes with joy, celebration and happiness.

Madhavi Latha, you are paving the steps for that. You may not realise it now, but this is the kind of work that will one day be seen as pioneering work that puts the focus where it has to be. For starters you got me using this word that I now believe is true - you are all more-than-abled in every way.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

The Paradoxes of Life - To Experience Life Deeply, Get Out of Its Way

To experience life deeply, get out of its way. Don't control it, prejudge it, second guess it.

Pic courtesy: Satish Nargundkar

Let it flow. Be open and receive.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Leadership Workshop - Cracking the Leadership Code, Building Ownership Muscle

The fifth of this leadership workshop series 'Cracking the Leadership Code - Building Ownership Muscle' was held today.

The program focussed on
1) leadership attributes to build
2) improving awareness and adaptability
3) taking leadership postiions
4) evolution of leaders
5) people skills and leadership fundamentals

Role play, stories, experiences, discussion and presentations were used to drive points home.

Some feedback
A wonderful session. I learnt a lot of things. - KKR

Improved my knowledge and skills for my future endeavours. - SD

Very informative and useful. Every word can be used in my personal and professional life. - RJ

Lots of insights. I am now confident of cracking the leadership code. -TP

Put concepts in an easily understandable way. Took care of all participants. Gentle, nurturing, atmosphere. You are living the starfish story - helping a few starfish everyday. - SS

Some measurement
We did a broad pre and post-program measurement on understanding of concepts.The results were as below for the group as a whole.

1) Understanding of the leadership process (+60%)
2) Confidence in handling leadership positions and taking higher responsibility (+58%)
3) Understanding of the evolution of the leader - from insecure to personal to secure leaders (+59%)
4) Action plans to develop leadership traits, ownership and performance enhancement (+55%)
5) People management, conflict and energy management, delegation (+60%)

Overall improvement of understanding across all categories was 60%.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

TED Talk by Madhavi Latha - Importance of Sports Among Disabled


Meeting Madhavi Latha
Swimming champ, AVP at Scope International, Car Rally Driver, Speaker, Supporter of paralympic sports Madhavi Latha is no ordinary person. Affected by polio when she was 7 years old Madhavi continued with her academics, graduated, got a bank job with SBH and worked for 15 years. Then she moved to Chennai. In 2007 her health deteriorated with muscular weakness. She was given a year to live - treatments suggested were a risky spinal surgery and / or hydrotherapy. Once in water Madhavi, who never swam before, felt liberated from her pain and constraints - she found she could do movements that she could not do on the ground.
Madhavi Latha at the inaugural

Waiting for the Chief Guest to throw the basketball
Madhavi learned to swim, got herself coaches. Today she has 22 gold medals in various national and state competitions in paralympics swimming. She is also the General Secretary of Paralympic swimming association of Tamil Nadu, President of Wheelchair Basketball Federation of India. She founded a movement and Charitable trust called 'Yes We Too Can' which enables differently abled persons to take to sports and improve their health and fitness. The never-say-die and immensely spirited Madhavi drives a hand operated, modified hatchback.
Wheelchair Basketball Athletes - Wonderful Spriit
Madhavi is in Hyderabad currently to organise a technical camp for the Wheelchair Basketball Federation of India (June 22-26, 2016), a first of its kind prestigious event offered by the International Wheelchair Basketball Federation. I witnessed the opening ceremony yesterday. Its incredible to see the energy and the spirit of the wheelchair basketball players. There were 80 players representing various states with coaches and officials.
Athletes practicing
I was introduced to Madhavi Latha by my friend Rajasekharan when the event was being planned and I shared what I could with her. It was great meeting her for a few minutes yesterday and hopefully I will be able to go and witness the Wheelchair Basketball match between India and Thailand on June 26, 2016 at the Kotla Vijay Bhaskar Reddy stadium, Yousufguda and the valedictory session.

Wishing Madhavi all the best of things to come.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Finding Dory - Movie Review

It's about a small fish named Dory who keeps forgetting things. We must not forget however that she was there in the 'Finding Nemo' movie - though I don't remember her much. What Dory does well is that she gets caught up in the moment and forgets what she was to do in the first place. In one such moment she forgets her home and loses her parents.

Now Dory is big and wants to find her parents. Marlin and Nemo are with her. They go to a Marine Institute which has Sigourney Weaver's voice welcoming guests. The parents are inside the institute so help has to be taken from all quarters like birds, octopuses, whales, seals and such to get in and then get out because they are now out. In the end Dory finds her parents who have been laying a path of shells for her to get back.

It's too cute for my liking. But there was once scene (which I forget) where Anjali laughed in that full throated way of hers and that was fun.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Anjali - Learning to Bicycle

Two things just click in your head - 1) the balance while riding a bicycle that you find as you fight the panic that you will fall and 2) the moment in the pool when you know you will float when everything tells you that you will drown. The bicycle is an area I can handle so Anjali and I did a lot of bicycling when we went to a resort last year (she needed to be held and there were those side wheels and I was in bad shape and wondered if it would trigger off cardiac emergencies). But we put in good effort and I enjoyed running all over with her and her bike.
An old pic with the training wheels on
After we returned from the resort we bought a bicycle - a pretty one but not as functional as some others but little miss likes pretty. so. The idea was to learn how to ride a bicycle soon. A couple of attempts, and it did not go too great. The side wheels kept getting in the way and I seriously considered hiring someone else to run alongside and help her learn. The last deadline was the summer vacation that ended last week. As the deadline passed, I reset the deadline and said we must do it now.

So we had the side wheels removed. Burning the ships so to say. Now we learn fast or we fall. But we learn. No more comfort of side wheels.
Happiness is freedom - On Your Own

Then we set off on the road. After a few rounds of hectic running around beside her, I could see that she was getting the hang of it. I told her to focus on balancing, to slow down and to focus on avoiding obstacles instead of thinking she will crash into them and to use the brake to stop. 'Don't panic and try to stay up,' I said noticing that she was panicking early and giving up on finding a way.

Anyway, after a half hour of strenuous running beside her (I was drenched in sweat - what was that article saying about sweating too much?), she told me.

'Give me a start Nanna and I will manage.'

She looked confident so I did. And off she went, overcoming her panic and at the same time discovering and enjoying the freedom of flying, riding on your own for the first time. The captain of your own ship so to speak. I remember the first time when I found that freedom of balance in Kurnool as an eight year old or something, I got carried away and crashed into a gate and messed up my sister's new bicycle. Anjali was smarter and did not crash into any gate. She slowed down and got off the bike securely.

The first time I gave her a start and let her take off was special. It was nice watching her take off, overcoming her panic, finding a new freedom. The wings, I can see, are growing stronger.

Not a bad gift for us both on Father's Day. A milestone accomplished.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Nice Link - How To Be Alone

Nice Link - 12 Laws of Karma

Nice Link - On How to Do A TED Talk

Thought for the Day - The Wisdom of Life

The wisdom of life then - as I remember from an old quote from Reader's Digest (which is singularly the largest contributor to my peek into great minds through their quotes) was - "the elimination of non-essentials.'

Probably extends to everything - he who uses his time and energy well will be rewarded. He who is careless with both, will suffer.

One should also perhaps know when to engage and when not to, when to speak and when not to. One should know what helps one and what debilitates one.

The answer lies perhaps in caring deeply about oneself. If we do care deeply about ourselves we will care about our time and energy.

Nice Link - Joe Girard Greatest Salesman of All

Thought for the Day - Be Present, Reduce

Being present was a concept that I was first introduced to when I read Hugh Prather's book with a long title - The Earth and something. I remember wondering why I never thought of life like that - being grounded in the present which is all there is - and giving up the past and the future, for a taste of heaven on earth. It was during my late twenties that I happened upon this book. But sadly by then I had practiced being in the past and the future so well that I found it difficult to extricate myself.

However I believe that its a practice that makes for a wonderful life. The stress of the past, the worry of the future, both useless and debilitating burdens, can be simply slipped off the back. Fresh and free from worry and drama we can live the present, one wondrous moment at a time.

If we can actually make the moment unconditional, even better. A life that just moved into a higher frequency, a higher gear.

Ah. To stay grounded to the now.

Talk at St. Ann's Degree College, Mehdipatnam - Entrepreneurship Development

St. Ann's Degree College, Mehdipatnam, has this laudable drive aimed at empowering girl students to think proactively in terms of building enterprises / careers. Led by Principal Dr. Anuradha, who actively encourages such programs - seminars and workshops focused around Entrepreneurship Development - the institution, I am certain, would contribute in no mean terms to the number of students it has empowered over the years. I do think they should do a study, a before and after five years study, to measure the difference they made in producing women entrepreneurs.

Apart from being exposed to the idea of business and enterprise at a young age, the girl students also meet many external speakers with varied experiences and hear from them, their stories. I was fortunate enough to speak at one such meet a few months ago and was glad to hear from Dr. Anuradha again. So on the afternoon of the 15th of June I was invited to speak about Entrepreneurship Development to a group of 40 students who had signed up for the course.

The gist of the talk:
After a brief introduction, and trying to get my tongue around the world 'entrepreneurship', I asked the girls if any of them had experimented with entrepreneurship before. No, said they.

What is it about enterprise or entrepreneurship that is good for them, I asked. Let's see why we have to surmount this mountain instead of taking up a simple job and settling for a monthly salary. The girls replied - Financial reward, Financial independence, Creative freedom, Being useful to society by creating employment and contributing to the economy, Satisfaction of creating something, Reputation in society etc. Good replies. All seemingly good outcomes for taking this plunge into the unknown.

I made the point about Risk and Reward and how they are proportionate. High risk and high reward. At their age they should take high risk, because they have the energy to back the risk with active work that ensures success. Of course we also discussed how high risk does not mean investing in schemes that simply promise crazy returns with no business model. The entrepreneur should first be able to see what is really of value and what is not.

What are our biggest fears then about entrepreneurship, I asked. They replied - Fear of making losses, fear of failure, of losing reputation and money, of not knowing how to go about it. Honest and clear replies again.

Firstly then, we discussed the aspect of failing. I told them that failure is not a bad thing. It's good actually. No one does everything perfectly right all the time. We didn't walk without falling, We didn't learn to cycle without falling, We failed at all the things we tried for the first time. Then why do we want to be perfect here? All successful people and entrepreneurs tell us how many times they failed - that for every success there are many failures. So then - do not not try things because you are afraid to fail. Not trying only means not growing.

The key is to try and self-correct failures as fast as we can. Failure is final only when we accept it and give up. But if we change our course and find another way it becomes a temporary setback. If one has to remember one thing, it is that we make mistakes, but let's not repeat them. The faster we learn from our mistakes the less costly it will be. So make new mistakes, not the same old ones.

Now, that the failure aspect has been dealt with and we are all okay with failing, and knowing that we need to be aware to self correct, we looked at a way where we could minimize uncertainty. How can we minimize the uncertainty in anything, business included?

So we touched upon the most basic of management principles - that to reduce uncertainty we need to get information / knowledge. We analyze the information available and make our decisions based on that. Any grey area, any uncertainty only means that there is not enough information yet. One has to go back and get more information, look at all possibilities and eliminate uncertainty. That is one way to handle uncertainty while planning. There will still be corrections required at implementation stage but one must go on looking for the solutions - and not for excuses to give up.

Next we looked at how one goes about choosing what to start a business in? We looked at the importance of how the greatest entrepreneurs always fulfilled an unmet need. All the girls had to do was to look to fulfill an unmet need and satisfy that. They could either do that with the resources and talents they have or they could hire out resources and talent. Needs could be as basic as food (as Dosa King or any hotel chain does), Uber or Ola, Oyo Rooms or something like a technological product like a Google or an Apple. We discussed how a concept like Sulabh Toilets which was started with a purely social motive now has a turnover of over 130 crores, of Goonj and its way of converting urban waste into help for the needy, solar lighting by Selco to the poorest of the poor.

Primarily the girls had an option to choose form the widest spectrum of unmet needs, take any unmet need to a higher level, use technology to overcome the need for capital, use alternative ways of raising capital. I gave them the example of starting an idli joint and how Dosa King made hundreds of crores through an idli-dosa joint.

The girls participated wholeheartedly and listened attentively. Hopefully they will think of an unmet need, draw up a plan. start in a small way and practise entrepreneurship through setting up stalls in the college, developing apps, organizing events and actioning so many more ideas. Hopefully, all of them will turn into successful entrepreneurs and find the confidence of being financially independent and of being active, and powered memberes of the society.

Thank you Dr. Anuradha. Hope to visit the college soon.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

African Queen - Movie Review

Again, a movie at breakneck speed with some big names - John Huston directed this movie with Humphrey Bogart and Katharine Hepburn. From the word go, the movie grabs you and that's what good movies and books should do.

So the first scene has this missionary brother and sister conducting a sermon in a small church in German East Africa keeping their flock together. Their efforts are disturbed by the arrival of 'The African Queen' a boat that delivers mail and supplies, manned by the coarse Canadain captain Charlie Allnut (Bogart). Bogart, informs the duo that war has broken out between the Germans and English. Before the brother and sister can act, German soldiers arrive and burn the village, capture the natives and wound the brother, who dies.

Charlie returns, helps the sister bury the brother, and tells her to escape with him on the 'African Queen'. On the boat, the resilient spinster hatches a plan and coaxes Allnut to use the 'African Queen' as a torpedo boat and sink the lone German ship which is the main impediment for British armies to cross over and help. Many obstacles later - fearsome rapids, German forts, reeds. mosquitoes, leeches - they sight the German boat on the lake and head for it full steam. But before they succeed in their heroic effort, they find the African Queen overturning in the storm. The Germans capture them and are about to hang them when Bogart requests the captain to marry them before they die. Quite the hero! In the meanwhile, the boat hits the overturned African Queen which does its job and blows up the German boat. The happy couple swin away to safety.

Delightful tale. Its based on a novel of the same name by C.S. Forester. A lingering love story between Bogart and Hepburn in all its dignity, the lady's complete dedication to sinking the German ship against all odds and the gentleman's reluctant but total submission to her will, makes the 'African Queen' a great watch. It's interesting to read about John Huston the director and the many wonderful movies he made and acted in, his persona. They were people with gumption and character, intelligence and action. Perfect role models. Look at what we have today.

The Paradoxes of Our Lives -We Resent Those Who Give, We Cannot Resent Those Who Don't

Perhaps one of the greatest learnings. We resent, get angry and expect more only with those who give us something. Family, friends, employers, society, country - the more one gives, the bigger the villain she or he becomes. Those who do not give us, we cannot resent or get angry or expect.

With those who give, we always feel we are geting shortchanged. We want more. Instead of feeling gratitude for what we are getting already. Or what we got.

So our anger today is directed at those who we perceive as the ones who must give and give and give and more and more and more. Any lowering of our expectations, even perceptively, will cause much anger.

At the same time we almost grovel before those who give us nothing. The fact that they deigned to even spare a look makes us eternally grateful to them.

To be grateful for what we got, in whatever measure, from all those who gave. right or wrong, and helped us in our journey, could dissipate the anger. Could lead to better possibilities - not necessarily with the old and resented ground - but with the newer grounds. 

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Red Cliff - Movie Review

It's an epic war film directed by John Woo. So the scale looks grand from the first shot. An evil Prime Minister pushes a young Emperor into war with two Southern countries rather unnecessarily. We know later that he covets the wife of the Viceroy of one of those countries. Based on a true story, the movie is huge in scale and has many interesting characters.

The two small countries, led by a kind hearted king and one who is considered a coward, decide to fight the large and formidable armies of the Prime Minister. They use guile and knowledge of the terrain and nature and inflict damages on the larger army and finally win. The movie moves at an incredible pace and its difficult to stay away as one scene rushes into another. The action scenes are marvellously shot. Must have been a spectacle on the big screen.

Kapoor & Sons - Movie Review

It's nice and cosy and warm. Like a family. Or to be more precise, like knowing that you have one. Of course you always have problems with what you have - you cannot have problems with what you don't have. So the Kapoor family has problems within itself and everyone goes 'Hey it's like any family.' But this one is no ordinary one - this one is packed with stuff and some more.

It starts with the grandfather Rishi Kapoor pretending to die in an attempt to get some attention. Too many times of 'Wolf, wolf' and you know he will land up where he wants to go. His son, Rajat Kapoor, failed businessman and currently in a failed affair with an ex-colleague, and his daughter in law, Ratna Pathak, trying to set up a business, call their two sons who are in different parts of the globe. One a successful novelist in England, Fawad Khan, and another a failed novelist in New York, Siddharth Malhotra. Everyone comes down to picturesque Coonoor. We find an orphaned but rich Alia Bhatt in her bungalow that she wants to let out to someone hot like Fawad Khan (older, successful novelist). Her parents died in a plane crash and she was mean to them the last time she spoke. Fawad Khan has some skeletons in his closet. Siddharth Malhotra is an open failure with a grouse against his older brother. Rajat Kapoor can't keep away from his old (literally) lover. Ratna Pathak can't stop messing up everything. Rishi Kapoor's dream of a family picture almost comes true. I'll leave out the suspense so you can enjoy it when you see.

It's a nice and fun film. Coonoor looks lovely. Nice performances by all the actors - Alia stands out as always. It goes into the shelf with the 'Piku' kind of movies - stuff you want to watch peacefully on a rainy day all alone.

Anjali's blog - How cricket caught me

Cricket , one of the most known games in India. As a four-year old, i hated cricket I my classmates ( the girls) told me not to play. And i didnt . Cricket matches, shouting yelling just did not fit me. My BFF Harsh Fozdar loves it. i asked 'How do ya hold one of this things?' Thats where it all started. i picked up the bat and hit. I thought i'd lose my friends but i loved it now thats why leaving my passion did not make any sense. When i told my friends they said ' I guess you like it its fine'. So I asked Dad ' what is a NRR? WHAT IS A RUn rate? So i started balling , fielding and batting. Learning a lesson on every ball.

David Warner

2016 champions!

 One day Dad asked' What is your favourite team?'. 

I didn't know what to say. I hadnt thought about it. I watched IPL 2014 , and declared it Punjab. IPL 2016 had begun, I didn't choose yet. i saw a match. GL Vs SRH. I knew SRH would lose. To my surprise SRH won! So it was final . SRH it was and will be. But i had some opponents. Mumbai and Bangalore

David WARNER my idol. supporting him and his team we won!

My wish  _     meet David Warner and the team and coach if its the last thing I do!



Tuesday, June 14, 2016

The Paradoxes of our Lives - To be Secure, Embrace Insecurity

To be truly secure, we must embrace insecurity. Uncertainty.

Once we are okay with uncertainty, we are truly secure.

Anjali - The Dog Moved, That Man Did Not

We were navigating the car on a narrow road on the way to school. A dog was sitting peacefully on the road. two young men were walking in the middle of the road - plump, overfed specimens, wearing shorts. You know the type that moves laboriously, with great effort, dragging their bodies ahead.

As we neared them I honked.
The dog got up and moved aside. But the young men walked on, or rather shuffled on, oblivious to the honking, unable perhaps to move their girth. Or more likely, they just did not care. They were intensely conversing with one another.

So I honked again. This time they moved an inch. One of them looked back to see who was honking and disturbing the peace. If he could move faster maybe he would have said something but his reflexes stopped him from any quick repartee.

I squeezed my way past them - they gave in only so much reluctantly. It was like I was claiming some territory they owned.

I chance upon many such everyday so I do not bother too much. While I was going past them, Anjali observed.

'The dog moved. That man did not.'

Anjali - I Will Publish It

I was rummaging through my old papers and discovered a file full of rejection slips from publishers and agents for my early works of literature - 'The Misfit' followed by 'The Men Within' and then 'The Tryst' and a collection of short stories. It was a nice file, full of various comments on why the proposal was not good enough - 'not enough narrative energy' said one, 'too many cliches' said another, 'falls into young adult fiction' said another - and on and on. I found two or three names of sub editors and editors on rejection slips - the same people were moving about from one publishing house to another - but what they did consistently was reject my proposals. Of course my proposals themselves were fun to read, amateurish, full of myself, all over the place. But honest, and full of hope.

It was interesting to see the file - and for a moment thought I would throw it away. What was the point of keeping these rejection slips? Then I decided to keep it to remind me of  my journey.

Anjali came by and I showed her the first manuscript of 'The Misfit' my first ever attempt at fiction and the file full of rejection slips.

'Wow!' she said, looking at the old manuscript. 'Don't throw it away.'
I had been junking much of the old stuff so she must have thought I would junk this one too.
'I am not,' I said. 'But what do you want to do with it?'

She came around and gave me a hug.
'I will publish it,' she said in all seriousness.

Somehow she sensed, despite my matter-of-fact demeanour, that much work had gone in. And for an eight year old who has no real idea what it means to publish a book, it was a very nice thing to say to her old man. We joked that we might end up publishing it and being the only two people to read it, but it was a moment that left its mark on me for the sheer spontaneity. Somehow, after this, it will not matter to me if it does not get published ever by anyone else.

Anjali went a step further.

Yesterday, she showed me her cricket bat and told me - 'The next publisher who will reject 'The Misfit' will get one from me like this.' And she proceeded to give the sofa one meaty blow.

I must remember to keep that file of rejection slips away from Anjali in the interests of the publishers. But secretly, I always craved to have support like this.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Thought For The Day - The Difficulties We Face

There are times when we feel that there are too many obstacles in our path. These obstacles are either self-imposed or put there by circumstance.

Self-imposed Obstacles - Be Tough With Them
Self-imposed obstacles are those when we start mentally littering our path with our thoughts and beliefs and making it a minefield. If you have to go to the gym everyday, or put in a few hours more at work, our mind will create enough excuses including health issues, likely problems, what others said or thought etc etc. We make up enough to stop ourselves from starting or enough to give up. These obstacles are in fact not obstacles - and one must sail though them by telling the mind that there is no escape and work must be done period.
You must beat the mind here and discipline it.

Circumstantial Obstacles -Be Grateful to Them
Obstacles that come through circumstance are wonderful stuff because they come with the express purpose of growing you. They will test you, push you and make you learn all that you need to learn. One must be grateful to these obstacles and find ways to grow enough to handle them. These are obstacles put there before us by god or the universe or the higher power to push you to the next level. Its the exam we must take to pass to the next level. It is best that we view it as that and handle it accordingly.

The first lot of obstacles do not really grow you but they help in training the mind to do the work without escaping. The second lot grows you in many ways.

Nice Link - Viral Videos That Broke the Internet

Nice Link - Jana Gana Mana

The Paradoxes of Our Lives - Pleasure and Pain

Pleasure and pain belong to the same continuum. They are at either end.

They cannot exist without the other. To choose one over the other consciously will certainly bring the other into focus. 

Nice Link - 5 Sure Fire Ways to Get a Promotion by Lazlo Block

Beware Adults - It Will Come Back




The children will learn from this. It will all come back when you're old and they rule the world. Be aware of what you teach them.

Link - Motivation Tips for Writers

Happy writing!

Writing is intangible, unpaid and misunderstood says the writer. But you got to do it.

1) Take responsibility - only you can write your stuff so the more you write the more you will have written
2) Create deadlines - stick to them. What would you write if you had one month to live?
3) Commit - first thing everyday.
4) Remove all distractions - the prince of all advices
5) Keep posting progress - maybe even publicly to keep the pressure on
6) Try co-motivation - challenge other writers on the journey

Nice Link - Movies That Inspired Steven Spielberg

Nice Link - A Peep Into Muhammad Ali's Life

The Paradoxes of Our Lives - When We Don't Take Ourselves Seriously, Others Do

I met a couple of people who have 'arrived' in life recently. I am surrounded by those - its almost like they all took the train, went and came back and I am still here, Anyway, I was intrigued by the one life lesson that they seemed to have imbibed right on top - 'I don't take myself seriously' (which is not the same as I don't take my work seriously!)

The paradox is that when we don't take ourselves too seriously others do. When we take ourselves too seriously, others don't take us seriously.

It's human nature perhaps to think that a person who is showing you his palms actually has something more hidden away someplace else. Hence we stay with this mysterious, intriguing and interesting person, wanting to sort out the mystery. But the mystery is that there is none - as in Kung Fu Panda. There is no secret sauce. You just believe that you have it.

The flip side then is what happens to most strivers and tryers - the rest of us on the platform - we try too hard to please. We take ourselves too seriously and it infects the air. It suffocates the others. Its like calling out to everyone and saying, look how hard I am trying. Notice me.

Don't. Because they won't notice you. Actually what you must communicate is that you don't give  damn if they notice you or not. Because you're too good anyway.

The difference is subtle. When we don't take ourselves too seriously it shows an innate security about ourselves, our work. It puts the other person at ease and they want to know what makes you so secure. They are drawn to you. You don't have to try to be anything else - anything extra. You have to be simple, transparent and not take yourself too seriously.

On the other hand we are trying too hard and that makes the other person insecure. Like they say the best salespeople hardly speak about the product or the sale. They are selling themselves - building the trust, the interest.

Easy on you. Easy on others. Adds the X factor.

Life is easy. 

Fantastic Speech by Rabbi Michael Lerner t Ali's Memorial - How to be Muhammad Ali

...stand up for the beliefs he had...take that kind of a risk to lose everything you have ...moral integrity...

Rabbi Lerner speaks for the other side, for equality. Muhammad Ali would have been proud.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Amar's Pensieve - A Dedicated Training Facilitation Venue

I first met Amar Chegu who is Amar to me, Organisational Development (OD) expert, Management Consultant, Thinker, Philosopher, Ideator and Facilitator among other parts, in the later part of 2007. He called me over the phone and asked me if I could help with the content on his website. He was a flourishing management consultant and the President of the Hyderabad Management Association then. Now, anyone who speaks to Amar cannot go away without being impressed by the presence and attention he brings to the moment, along with a highly charming, articulate and intelligent persona. It helps also that he has a constant sparkle in his eye, a ready smile and a welcoming and approachable nature. I was pretty impressed by his demeanour on the telephone itself, and said I would certainly like to look at the content he wanted me to develop for his website.
Amar outside his office in his new venture - 'Amar's Pensieve'

Out First Interactions
I met him at his home-office. Amar looks, sounds and is, the consummate professional .When I looked at his website content, I realised that it was far better than anything I could conceive or create. It was clear, sharp, transparent and well thought out. It brought out all facets of the person and his work - including his interests in reading, writing, work. I confessed as much and told him that I could not better what he already had. He appreciated the fact that I was plain enough to tell him so.
Amar ensconced in 'The Enterprise'
When he heard that my first book had just been published he bought (Amar had this wonderful quality all through - he always bought every single book of mine) 'The Men Within' and gave me fine feedback. As he was an established professional in the Organisational Development area, it mattered to me that he could see the management facet to the rather simplistic story of a cricket team trying to win an improbable tournament.
An aerial view of 'Amar's Pensieve'
Since then, Amar, I am happy and proud to say, is the single largest buyer of 'The Men Within', buying dozens and dozens of the book and gifting it to his friends and associates in that very giving nature of his. He likes something, he shares is whole heartedly. My estimate is that he must have bought over 300 copies over the years. I think I signed every single one of them because he is also thoughtful enough to get the copies signed for the person intended. It gave me much needed solace and happiness to see this management aspect of the book being appreciated in such an actionable way by a practitioner. People can praise you to the skies but when they buy your book, it shows their appreciation. This is the kind of an appreciation that a writer craves for.
A view of the Obstacle Route

The Public Speaking Route
That he was the single largest buyer of that book in itself would have been good enough for me to be grateful to Amar. But Amar did more. He is also the sole reason why I got into two allied revenue streams that I never dreamt of. Amar invited me one fine day in his capacity as the President of the Hyderabad Management Association. He said 'Hari, we would like you to give a talk on 'Leadership and Team Building through Cricket' at the HMA. The audience would include practicing professionals and academics and students. The venue - British Library.'
The central lawn and the offices around it

Public speaking?? No way!!

I tried every trick I knew to get out of that talk. The few public speeches I had given till then were the ones I had given at book launches of 'The Men Within' - stressful, sweat drenched fifteen minute efforts to a small and encouraging group of friends and family. But to stand up like an authority and speak of such subjects before a knowledgeable audience was a formidable task. But he would not take a no. Trapped, I prepared, as I advocated in the book. I wrote and rewrote my draft for some 10-15 times. I stood before the mirror and read it aloud until I knew which line was coming when - maybe 10-15 times again. The speech was to be a two hour affair. It went on for 3 hours and pretty well too. Thus was born a speaker, thanks to Amar. Ever since, I have given over 100 speeches perhaps including one at a TEDx event recently - which reminded  me of the HMA speech all over again. Amar, was pretty much the reason for me to get into the speaking circuit and for adding the 'motivational speaker' tag to my resume.
Solutions Camp - Conference Room that Houses 100

The Management Consulting and Organisational Development Route
Another career stream also came to me thanks to Amar - my first formal OD consulting assignment. The Centre for Organisational Development, then led by our good friend Dr. Madhavi was looking to establish a winning culture. Amar suggested my name and the unconventional route taken by the team in 'The Men Within'. I had done a couple of workshops based on 'The Men Within', mainly to cricketers, but this was new. With Amar's support and encouragement, I brought the same workshop to the corporate area and I think did a fairly decent job for a novice. Of course, now I can see so many things that could have been done differently but then I only knew so much. From then on, Amar and I teamed up to conduct workshops and programs fairly regularly for several corporate teams based on the cricketing analogy of 'The Men Within' and its principles. We must have done some 25-30 together, if not more, to some prestigious names. To his credit, Amar, who is not too fond of cricket, did not hold it against the game, and chose to only look at how it would help the client. So the tag of workshop facilitator and management consultant that I carry, are also owed to Amar and his belief in my ideas. He believes in the creation of great champion teams and individuals just as I do.
Amar and his prized collection of books

My ideas, I must admit, are raw and not mapped on to any scientific theory - most of them come from my experience and understanding. Amar comes from a place of learning and exposure to scientific ideas and theories so in a way it kind of matched.

Amar's Pensieve - A Place for Organised Thought and Learning
Our friendship and association continued - and as professionals do we also drifted into different areas and streams. We did work together when the need arose. We still catch up over phone or a meal and discuss our ideas. So when the other day Amar told me that his dream of creating a space  for training and learning activities (which he had been sharing with me all along) had come true, I was thrilled and happy for him. He took me to his venture - aptly called 'Amar's Pensieve' - a name that introduces you to the man. It makes you think and ask. And the process of learning begins right there.

The Meaning of Pensieve - The Learning Begins
To quote Amar - ‘Pen-sieve’ is a magical vessel, referred to by J. K. Rowling in her ‘Harry Potter’ books. Thoughts can be placed in the ‘pen-sieve’ for looking at them dispassionately and taking decisions. The training centre: Amar’s Pensieve™, through its activity based emphasis seeks to be the pen-sieve for its visitors." The logo similarly has green grass and sunflowers and depicts "an eco-system which nurtures the evolution of meaningful thought and action".
The Enterprise
Dedicated Venue for Training and Learning
"Amar’s Pensieve" is a dedicated venue for facilitation and training though it has great potential as a lovely weekend getaway too, for the adventurous. It is located around 30 Kms (35- 40 min) from Gachibowli Circle -  # 6-46, Mothukupally Village, Moinabad Mandal, Ranga Reddy District - 501504, The place is spread over 3 acres in a lovely rural setting, not far from the Pragathi resorts. Amar envisaged it as a "secure activity-friendly Training Centre, a dedicated eco-system for trainers and trainees to engage in results-driven ‘learning-development-training-coaching-evolution’ activities and interventions, for competency development and organizational transformation". As you can see - I still don't touch much of Amar's copy - he does it so well.

Indoor and Outdoor Activity
Designed in such a fashion that it facilitates indoor, open-air and out-door activity - the focus being on activity. An impressive military style obstacle course stares you in the face and challenges you to your limits. Open-farm surroundings ensconce 20,000 square feet of training space. The training area consists of four buildings, grouped around a tennis court sized lawn (which can be used to play a short version of cricket for experientially learning team dynamics and leadership), providing a setting that is at once self-sufficient and convenient, for out-door, open-air and in-door training.
Amar and Me in the Pensieve
Enterprise, Solutions Camp etc
‘Enterprise’ - is the name of the administrative building which consists of work space, library and conference room. The Conference room can be used to hold meetings or training for up to 10 people. 'Solutions Camp’ is the closed-door training room that can seat 90-100 people in theatre style. It seats up to 60 people, in work-groups, around tables. All facilities like Wifi, LCD projectors, chairs, tables, boards, screens etc are available. A walk around the place, down the bucolic road, a shuffle through the obstacle course, a knock with a cricket bat and ball can all stimulate the creative juices.
Enroute to Amar's Pensieve

One can hire the Training Facility. The friendly and affable staff at 'Amar's Pensieve' will help with Transport and Food arrangements The training facility may be hired on a day or overnight (tent stay) basis by prior agreement. Transport through taxi or bus may be arranged as required. Set meals are provided as per requirement too.

For more information do visit or contact Amar Chegu at +91-9848007151 amar@betterenterprise.

As always, I wish Amar great success in making his dreams come true and hope to conduct a few programs there myself. Amar's own set of programs are filled with activities, fun and focused learning. Amar's Pensieve really is a place where our thoughts get organised. Well done Amar and wishing you great joy, happiness and success

Thursday, June 9, 2016

A Musical Evening With C. Sanjay

C. Sanjay is someone with whom I share a special bond. I met him in Engineering College, when he was a national level athlete running the 1500 m, a member of our basketball team, stylish rider of one of the few Yezdi's in the college, sharp of repartee and humour, quick of wit, high on intelligence and style and the only one who had a proper girlfriend then. So conscious of his style was he that he once famously picked up a pair of socks and then bought many other accessories including a shirt if I am not mistaken, to match the socks. Never a hair out of place, always nattily dressed, ready for a smile and a quick verbal match, C. Sanjay and I also shared two other passions - food and music.
Perhaps explaining the meaning of a ghazal - C. Sanjay, circa 1988! 
But before that, one must dwell slightly on days when he would drink in those college days. He knows no grey areas and when he gets going, he gets going. (Until he stops and then he won't touch it.) So with the booze. He'd drink and drink and then it would get difficult to handle him because he is difficult to handle even when he is not drunk. So we had run ins with the police, with other drunks, were scared out of our wits when we rode pillion as he 'showed' us how to ride a bike (and he was brilliant at that). He was the kind of a guy who exchanged his trousers with Uday Velu, another guy with similar temperament, on the spur of the moment, right behind the bus stop at Andhra Mahila Sabha. One moment they were gone and the next they were back with trousers exchanged. And on and on including some stuff that should not be mentioned.

Sanjay enjoys his food and I enjoy mine. So there were times when we drew money from his bank account and headed off to the cheap Chinese restaurant near Sangeet, went to Alex's Kitchen, explored the wonders of the biryani joints and so on and so forth just for the love of food. So much so that he'd make it a point to call me over home when he thought there was something that I liked to eat. Likewise I'd call him home on occasions when I suspected some special stuff might be made.

One other thing we both love even more, is listening to music together. We just enjoy the idea of listening to good music. I rate these relationships highly, along with those with who I can share a laugh uninhibitedly. So names like Sunil Jyothi and Naresh Raghvan come easily to mind and also Vidyuth when he listened to music more seriously. With Sunil it was always western music, with Naresh also the same but with Sanjay, it was Hindi music and more so, ghazals. Then the Pune gang of Milind, Parth, Raja and Satish with whom there is always a raucous time at the end of any evening. There is something that the music conveys that words cannot - I can feel my comfort with people from the kind of songs we like listening to, or even the way we listen to songs.

But back to C. Sanjay. Sanjay has this fine knowledge of ghazals - from Ghulam Ali to Mehdi Hassan, Jagjit Singh to whoever (he was critical of me when I first told him that my ghazal exposure was limited to Pankaj Udhas. Sanjay'd know the structure, the meaning, the subtler meaning and he would enjoy revealing the thought behind the well crafted and composed words with such enthusiasm and exuberance that many times we'd say wah, wah just for his performance. Sometimes it would take me more than once to get it but then, when I got it, I enjoyed ghazals thanks to Sanjay and his tireless initiation. Another favorite genre for us was Hindi music - Kishore Kumar, Rafi, Mukesh and the works.

There was this instance when on one rainy summer afternoon during those college days, we were cooped up inside the house due to the incessant rain. One whole afternoon we expended our energy singing songs lying on the floor and looking at the ceiling. When we finally emerged from the room, we realised there was an audience of my family members listening to our unabashed singing. Someone also said - you guys sing well. We exited rather sheepishly. Nothing subtle for us then you see.

But what set the tone for our once a year musical nights was this. Once, after we passed out of college and out of single status etc, I called him rather late at night and asked if he was in the mood to listen to music. He said he was and could I come over. I went to his place at Musheerabad at 11 in the night, a distance of 10 kms or more. We settled down and played cassette tapes from 11 to 3 in the morning after which I rode my scooter back home, a content man. Once again Hindi songs and ghazals were the staple diet but the quality of listening was what made it fun. It's an episode I won't forget for the sheer spontaneity and energy.

We do this late night musical stuff more often these days - about once a year is the average. Mostly it's just the two of us and the music. The other day was one such occassion. It was rainy outside. We started slowly at 10 pm but then the mood picked up and the songs came by thick and fast. Ghulam Ali, Mehdi Hassan, Jagjit Singh, Kishore Kumar, Rafi, Mukesh, Suresh Wadkar...the list of our favorite songs went on and on and on. Right up to 3 am again. 'Awargi', 'Jhuki jhuki si nazar', 'Diye jalte hain', 'Chingari koi', 'Kuch to log kahenge', 'Akele hain' and so many more.

Like always, it's an evening that somehow empties you of all the stuff you have inside and makes you feel nice. A bit like purging yourself. You listen, you enjoy, you sing, you smile. It's just amazing how the energy keeps increasing as we find more and more of those songs that we both like.

And just to add another small story, a couple of days later, V. Ramnarayan, first class cricketer, well known writer, editor of Sruti India's only magazine on classical dance and music, got talking about something quite random over the phone when he suddenly told me that he sang a bit. He sang one song (and he sings beautifully) and then another and before long he had sung pretty much close to 20 songs over the phone. Rafi and Mehdi Hassan mainly. It's one of those things that happens once in a lifetime. Spontaneous stuff. I totally enjoyed it. Must be how it is like when one is serenaded - though Ram for sure was serenading himself than me. I was just the excuse and a very lucky one at that.

Good to see music making its way back into my life like this. Nothing to beat a song in the heart. I met Sunil J (recently when we did a Prince retro but I could meet him again - however I need to connect with Naresh in the USA and close the loop. And while at that perhaps interest Vidyuth too - he and I shared much music as roommates in many of our tours together. And the Pune gang - Raja, Satish, Milind, Parth.

Most of my musical connections have a special song in my head - Sanjay (Awargi, Diye jalte hain), Sunil J aka Topper (Jetthrotull and Supertramp), Naresh (I just died in your arms), Vidyuth (Danger Zone, Tarzan Boy). Adnan Sami's 'Kabhi to nazar milao' has special significance as my mother would listen to it during her last days. 'Aise na mujhe tum dekho' for Shobhs, perhaps 'Tanha Dil' for Anjali who requested me to sing that today. I think I have one for everyone.

A big thanks is owed to Satish N, for gifting me that little Bose speaker that plays on bluetooth and Shobhs for lugging it back from USA. The days of lugging the entire system and setting it up are now gone. Not that I did not like it - I enjoyed those days as well. For a while it was in a confused space - cassettes went and with them the deck, CDs came and went, ipods came and I found a way to connect them to my system, now phones with their hollow sound. But this Bose thing is quite convenient and makes a nice sound.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Anjali - When You Do Your Own You Do It Better, Don't Copy

Anjali was away all day at her friend Mansi's house. These days it's all about playing games on X Box. Mansi is stronger, taller and athletic so it's always a challenge for Anjali to cope up in games real and virtual. But these days she seems to have figured things out a bit and wins a few. Like she said, 'I beat Mansi at athletics today. I was behind her till the hurdles and then I somehow got past her and I finished ahead of her.' On other days she comes back with some stuff she did on baseball and things like that where she got the better of her friend.
The Dancing Duo - Anjali and Mansi
Yesterday it was about dance. The figures on the screen move and these players have to dance in sync and they get some points or something like that. 'You know how good Mansi is at dance. She is the first choice for our dance teacher and all that,' said Anjali. 'But I got more points than her on the X Box.'

I listened.

'You know how? I figured out that computer. I used to lose to Mansi till the other day. Then I realised that I was copying the figures on the screen and was not doing my thing fully. So I started to do my job fully instead of focussing on copying the action on the screen. When I started completing my actions I started getting winning scores. You should do your own thing nanna and not copy blindly.'

Ah, that's a nifty lesson indeed. To see the fine difference between taking a cue and owning the show later and being spoonfed fully is subtle. It requires considerable awareness, an ability to adapt and a capacity to self-correct on the run. To use that lesson to get the better of a superior craftsman is quite commendable. And to wrap is all up and present it to your parent as a lesson is even more nicer.

Thanks Anjali. Don't copy, do your own thing fully is a fine lesson.

Anjali - Book review 'The Nancy drew series - Mystery of the brass bound trunk'

 Book review – the Nancy drew series
Mystery of the brass-bound trunk

Nancy is on a tour to New York on board of the Winschoten.  They have a sudden mystery. Nelda Detweiler Nancy, Bess and George ’s new roommate has been blamed for jewel theft!

To add to it a man spells in finger language BEWARE OF NANCY DREW AND NE. Who is ne? Why is the man saying beware of Nancy drew. Is he the jewel thief? is the trunk his?

And to complete it a mystery trunk with the initials N.D. was sent to room 130 but it isn’t Nancy’s nor Nelda’s. They find out the trunk has hidden jewels in it!

There are a line of suspects
The Stewart
The captain- Nelda’s uncle
The assistant purser- Rod Havelock
The man with the finger language- Mr Otto August
Otto August’s partner

Please write your comment

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Thought for the Day - How To Make Those Momentous 'Decisions' Work Each Time

My friend Suresh and I were discussing the issue of how certain things get 'done' and why certain things do not. There is a rare energy to those 'decisions' we make about certain things - stuff we commit to, with all that we have. Those are the things we achieve against all odds, our champion stuff. Those are our big Wow moments, performances. We also 'know' deep down that we would achieve those.
Intense Concentration of Thoughts
It's Already Done In the Mind's Eye
In those 'decisions' it's as if what we set out to achieve, however hard it may appear and however impossible, is already 'done' in the mind's eye. Whether it is climbing Mount Everest or scoring a huge hundred and winning the game or cracking a beautiful problem for the world, its already 'done'. After that decision, follows the process of clarity of goal, planning, implementation, monitoring, correction and achievement - the process seems intuitive. It's as if we have already seen the end result in our mind - and are walking back to check for any likely obstacles and removing them before we start the journey. We do not fail at those. No champion fails at those.

The question is, can we do that whenever we want?

We would like business to grow, people to fall in love with, fame, money in the bank...but somehow things are not happening. Then we wonder - how did that other thing happen the first time and how did this not happen? Why?

The First Time - Fuelled By Emotion
The stuff we want to achieve badly is stuff that somehow defines us. So we will step in and do it. The first time.

But can I repeat the same feat again tomorrow? In most cases we don't have the energy to repeat that great feat. Which is why the world stood up when Virat Kohli did it again and again and again and again in the IPL against the toughest of circumstances where even one error spelt an end to their campaign. How did Kohli achieve that? How did Sachin do it in the Desert Storm? Can we also achieve like that, if we want to, at will? A second time? A third?

Desire Burns Out - We Need a Process To Repeat That Performance a 2nd, 3rd time
Let's take desire out of the equation - simply because desire burns out at some point - we find we do not have focused energy. Until then, desire holds our energies together. But in a situation that's not life and death, when we already have achieved one big performance or two, what is it that we need to keep our performances at such high levels to achieve whatever we want?

More efficiently.

To do anything more efficiently, we need to practice it until it becomes second nature. Until it becomes our nature. Like Suresh says,, we slip into it and enjoy it.

The Key Ingredient - Concentrated Focus
The answer as I see it, is a practice of concentrated focus of our energies or our attentions. When we achieved it the first time, it was this intense focus that helped. An uncluttered focus. What we need to have, when we wish to repeat the same champion act, is the same focus that we took to that first act. That's the key ingredient.

Loss of Focus - Distractions
When we wish to repeat the act next time, we could distract ourselves in many ways. Doubt, fear, uncertainty, lowering of standards, taking the easy route out are all ways. We take our foot off the pedal. Whatever it is, to achieve something of that magnitude, we need 100% focus.

Measuring Where Our Focus Lies
A simple measure for to see where our focus lies is this - where are my thoughts directed right now? If over 80% - 100% are directed towards your goal, chances are high that you will achieve it - again. Simply because your mind is building momentum. But if your thoughts have slipped down to 40% or less and you are thinking of whether it will happen or not, why you are not focusing, of other things like facebook, blogs, phones etc you have lost focus, the plot. You are not bringing enough focus, enough concentration to the job.

There is simply not enough energy behind your goal so it will never take off.

The Process 
  • Be clear on what you want to achieve. It must be a clear goal that is measurable. 
  • Observe your thoughts. Put all your thoughts on how to achieve that goal. So much so that it should occupy 100% of your thoughts. You sleep, its the last thought, you wake up, its the first thought. It must consume you.
  • To get that kind of a focus you need to eliminate all thoughts and influences that are not aligned to your goal or purpose.  
  • Practice the awareness of knowing where your thoughts are. Then try and improve from 10 to 20 to 30 to 50 to 80%.
For starters it gives clarity. Then comes a rare energy from eliminating other dissipating thoughts. Keep your thoughts high in that 80%-100% state and you will find ways to achieve that goal. You will create a thing of beauty.

Virat Kohli - My Take
Virat Kohli does that I would think. He challenges himself moment to moment. He has trained himself to challenge every moment, and enjoy winning each fight, every moment. Those little moments are where he takes his 100% focus to, and that's why he is frighteningly intense. A catch, a stop, a wicket, a boundary...they are all little victories for him. He has practiced that level of concentration and its now second nature to him. For most others that kind of intense concentration comes only in rare moments - mainly because the focus gets diluted by other thoughts. Because it is tiring and hard work and discipline.

It's Not Hard, It's Actually Easy In the Longer Run If You Discipline Yourself
Though it may seem hard, it actually is easy in the long run. (Like running long distance may seem tough on day one but with practice, it becomes easy.) Mainly because you have built up emotional and mental muscle through discipline.

Let's say today my thoughts are 10% on my main goal and 10% on facebook, 10% on checking useless content, 10% on watching TV, 10% on hanging out with friends that dont align with my goal etc. Obviously no one act is receiving enough momentum to go anywhere. But instead if I start accumulating all my thoughts and directing them towards the one key goal, I will start finding ways to crack it. My thoughts around it go from 10% to 20% and then 30, 40, 50, 60. Obviously there will be a change in what's happening outside if we bring in that kind of focus. We are building up high energy in this activity and therefore we will attract similar high energies. Our mind does not strain after a while because we are used to that.

After Discipline. It Becomes Second Nature
In time, after the initial struggle of maintaining discipline, it becomes second nature. Now you start missing it, if you don't do it. From this discipline will emerge great work borne out of intense concentration. In time, you will become that act subconsciously.

Transition from the Chance One Performance to Consistent Performances NOW
Eliminate all other thoughts. Keep that one goal in mind. Draw all thoughts towards achieving it. Put all focus and energy behind it. I believe, nothing in the world can stop that force. The one thing that can stop it is us - and our interfering thoughts. As practice, start concentrating on the one thing that will make people go Wow and give it focus. Be aware of where your thoughts are. Focus, Refocus, Discipline. You got it.

What's that one thing you want to give your focus to right now?