Ambal’s Work Life

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On Plethora of Choices

“Choice Theory explains that, for all practical purposes, we choose everything we do.”  ― William Glasser

Sheena S. Iyengar is one of the world’s experts on choice. Her research focuses on: why people want choice, what affects how and what we choose, and how we can improve our decision-making outcomes.

Check out TED videos by Sheena S. Iyengar on The art of choosingHow to make choosing easier

The Ten Axioms of Choice Theory from William Glasser

1. The only person whose behavior we can control is our own.
2. All we can give another person is information.
3. All long-lasting psychological problems are relationship problems.
4. The problem relationship is always part of our present life.
5. What happened in the past has everything to do with what we are today, but we can only satisfy our basic needs right now and plan to continue satisfying them in the future.
6. We can only satisfy our needs by satisfying the pictures in our Quality World.
7. All we do is behave.
8. All behavior is Total Behavior and is made up of four components: acting, thinking, feeling and physiology
9. All Total Behavior is chosen, but we only have direct control over the acting and thinking components. We can only control our feeling and physiology indirectly through how we choose to act and think.
10. All Total Behavior is designated by verbs and named by the part that is the most recognizable.

The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go. – Dr. Seuss

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On Moments that become Meaningless

Sometimes, you wait for a moment to arrive.
You work so hard for it.
So hard.

You move.
You move heaven and earth.

You rock.
You rock even hell.

You try.
You try everything possible.

And, then, finally, the moment arrives.
But, alas, it is completely meaningless.
Because, the one, the one that has to be there with you for the moment to be fulfilled is a 1000 miles away.

Hence, you let the moment slide.
Because, it has become completely meaningless.

So, you stand in the beautiful sunny day enjoying the warm rays.
Then, you take a long nap in the afternoon and just let the day pass you by.

Because, after all, it is just another day.

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On Coffee

Starbucks represents something beyond a cup of coffee. –  Howard Schultz

I wake up some mornings and sit and have my coffee and look out at my beautiful garden, and I go, ‘Remember how good this is. Because you can lose it. – Jim Carrey

I am tired. You can tell from my eyes.

I had almost forgotten how much peace lies in the corner of a Starbucks coffee shop and how much of my spirit I can replenish with just half a cup of coffee.

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On Turning Points

In any case, while it is all very well to talk of ‘turning points’, one can surely only recognise such moments in retrospect. Naturally, when one looks back to such instances today, they may indeed take the appearance of being crucial, precious moments in one’s life; but of course, at the time, this was not the impression one had. Rather, it was as though one had available a never-ending number of days, months, years in which to sort out the vagaries of one’s relationship with Miss Kenton; an infinite number of further opportunities in which to remedy the effect of this or that misunderstanding. There was surely nothing to indicate at the time that such evidently small incidents would render whole dreams forever irredeemable.

– Kazuo Ishiguro, The Remains of the Day

Sometimes the course of our lives depends on what we do or don’t do in a few seconds, a heartbeat, when we either seize the opportunity, or just miss it. Miss the moment and you never get a chance again.

– Aidan Chambers, Dying to Know You

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On Showing the Ropes

Amma was just the nagger.
Appa was always the one.

He didn’t expect me to do anything he didn’t do himself.

I vividly remember this one science test (on the topic of bonding and cement) where I had to get up early in the morning to study. Amma was sleeping to glory.

In the wee hours of the morning, Appa woke up, then woke me up, made coffee for me and sat down on the sofa.
I poured over the books. Appa’s head started bobbing and he was nodding off to sleep.
I begged him. “Appa, please, you need some rest. Why don’t you lie down on the bed or alteast the sofa.”
He wouldn’t lie down. He just sat there, bobbing his head to show his unwavering support for me.

It is not like I made a conscious decision saying “I am going to be there for the kids. I am not going to expect them to do anything that I couldn’t or wouldn’t do myself.”

I think Appa imbibed it in me without him or me consciously realizing it.

I am quite surprised when parents expect for the kids to do things they have never done or wouldn’t dare to do for themselves. Don’t be one of those.

Show them the ropes…literally and figuratively.

And, speaking of bonding and cement, Appa showed and made me mix cement, sand and water in the right quantity to use for construction.

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