Featured

10 Myths Uncovered About Meditation

Meditation is a practice where an individual uses a technique – such as mindfulness, or focusing the mind on a particular object, thought, or activity – to train attention and awareness, and achieve a mentally clear and emotionally calm and stable state.Meditation may significantly reduce stress, anxiety, depression, and pain and enhance peace, perception, self-conception and well-being.

As some have practiced meditation for years and have read a lot about meditation- both the “old school stuff” from Buddhist and Vedic traditions, as well as the modern mindfulness and new age movement- I still see a lot of misconceptions and myths people have about meditation.

Some of these myths are obvious stuff that nowadays is not so commonly believed anymore, like “meditation is only for religious people” and “meditation is fighting with the mind”. Others are more subtle and commonly believed to be true, such as: “meditation is effortless”, “meditation is all about calming the mind” and “meditation is supposed to make you feel good”. 

Following are some of the Myths about Meditation:

Meditation is a spiritual/religious practice

Meditation is a very old practice, and it was indeed discovered within religious contexts, with the purpose of achieving spiritual goals. However, for most techniques there is nothing essentially religious about them. In other words: you can practice meditation without needing to believe in anything and without any conflict with your own faith. Practicing meditation will not make you religious, just as doing stretches will not make you a yogi.

Many people practice meditation exclusively for health and mental well-being benefits.

People have a misconception that they need to follow certain rituals, wear certain clothes, burn incense, etc. This is just a myth. Those who practice it within a religious context may add these extra elements to it- they might find it helpful- but they are not essential for meditation, and can be distractions. These elements can help you create a different atmosphere for the mind, and improve focus. Yet, you don’t really need any special elements to meditate. You can meditate by sitting on a cushion wearing pyjamas too. 

People have a misconception, to meditate you need to go to a temple or a special place. This is just a myth. To sit and meditate all you need is a place where you will not be interrupted. Once you start meditating the noises around will not bother you, in-fact you will start to enjoy the inner silence because it gets contrasted to the outside noise.

Meditation takes years to get any benefit

Researchers show that meditation brings great physical and mental health benefits after even as little as 8 weeks of practice.

Of course, a Buddhist monk with 30 thousand hours of meditation will have reaped more benefits than a person who started doing 10 minutes of daily practice a month ago. Meditation has many levels of of benefits. If you want to attain enlightenment, or be in a fearless state beyond all suffering, then yes, it will take a while. But if all you want is better health, a bit more peace and balance in your life, you can start having that in a few weeks.

The practice itself is a benefit. You will usually feel better after all your meditation sessions- more relaxed, more focused, more rested. And it’s free; all it costs is your attention.

Meditation will make you want to abandon your life and become a monk

Having such a myth in mind is like going to gym will make you want to become a professional weightlifter. In the world there are probably more people who meditate and lead a “normal life” than those who meditate and live in a monastery or aashram.

Meditation is escapism/ running away from problems

Anyone that has done meditation for a decent length of time knows that it’s the other way around. Meditation makes all the stuff that you are trying to run away from- in your life and in yourself- painfully clear.

For escapism you need something that gives you either distraction (like TV, social media, games) or unconsciousness (like alcohol and drugs). Meditation removes all distractions and gives you heightened awareness, so it’s not really an escape plan. Everything that  you plan to escape from is right there, in your mind, waiting for you. It’s actually harder to escape from our own shadow once we are in meditation. That is the reason some people find meditation so hard, especially in the beginning; all the not so pretty stuff we are trying to hide or ignore surfaces up.

Meditation is just relaxation

Relaxation is one of the basic effects of meditation; also to a certain degree it is one of its conditions. Relaxation is realising the tensions on the body and calming the breath. Meditation uses relaxation coupled with regulation of attention(one-pointedness) and introspection(looking inside rather than outside) to drive you to a deeper state of consciousness.

Meditation is effortless

Most people want fast results, shortcuts and easy paths. So they are attached to an approach thats ays that meditation is easy and effortless. It’s the “new age” approach to meditation. It works as well, can be a great start- especially for people that are very stressed- but in the long-term the results are shallow.

Meditation is one thing; daily life is another

Meditation practice may feel like taking a break from your routine, like time off for the mind. But meditation will also empower your daily life and must continue after you rise from your cushion/chair. How you carry yourself in daily life can also be either helpful or unhelpful for deepening your practice.

Both seated meditation and daily practice are needed. By time, the freedom, peace and joy you find in meditation start to permeate your whole life.

Meditation is hard

If you are attached to a romantic view about meditation, or you have a strong expectation, meditation will be hard for you. Meditation is not a thing; it’s a process. This process brings several benefits.

Learn to enjoy the process. Let go off self-criticism, comparison and expectations, as soon as they arise. Like this meditation won’t be hard- nor easy- but simply an enjoyable and wholesome process.

Is your goal to enjoy better health, more focus, and less stress? Meditation won’t be hard. Is it to discover your true self and bring about deep transformation? Then let motivation take root, develop perseverance, and widen your time-frame.

In order to meditate you need a quite mind

People have a misconception, that, to meditate they need a quite mind. This is like saying that being fit is a requirement for going to the gym. 

Having a “calm mind” is definitely not a requirement to do meditation. Anybody can meditate. Therefore, don’t think that you cannot meditate because your mind is very restless. If your mind is agitated, there is even more reason for you yo meditate.

Besides when you meditate for a while, you may see that, generally speaking, nobody has a “calm mind”. Everybody needs some meditation.

Meditation is about feeling good

This is another dangerous misconception. While it’s true that generally meditation will make you feel great, sometimes it may actually make you see painful things that you were previously ignoring. As your mind gets more quite, and your looking more clear, you may see parts of yourself that are not pretty and that need to be attended. This will empower you to change what needs to be changed; or to just allow stale energies inside your being to evaporate.

As meditation enters the mainstream, it’s unavoidable that many misconceptions will arise. Some of them will prevent people from starting meditation, while others will prevent them from going deeper into it. 

Featured

Self-Compassion

Having compassion for oneself is really no different than having compassion for others. Think about what the experience of compassion feels like. First, to have compassion for others you must notice that they are suffering. If you ignore that homeless person on the street, you can’t feel compassion for how difficult his or her experience is. Second, compassion involves feeling moved by others’ suffering so that your heart responds to their pain (the word compassion literally means to “suffer with”). When this occurs, you feel warmth, caring, and the desire to help the suffering person in some way. Having compassion also means that you offer understanding and kindness to others when they fail or make mistakes, rather than judging them harshly. Finally, when you feel compassion for another (rather than mere pity), it means that you realise that suffering, failure, and imperfection is part of the shared human experience. “There but for fortune go I.”

Self-compassion involves acting the same way towards yourself when you are having a difficult time, fail, or notice something you don’t like about yourself. Instead of just ignoring your pain with a “stiff upper lip” mentality, you stop to tell yourself “this is really difficult right now,” how can I comfort and care for myself in this moment?

Instead of mercilessly judging and criticising yourself for various inadequacies or shortcomings, self-compassion means you are kind and understanding when confronted with personal failings.

You may try to change in ways that allow you to be more healthy and happy, but this is done because you care about yourself, not because you are worthless or unacceptable as you are. Perhaps most importantly, having compassion for yourself means that you honour and accept your humanness. Things will not always go the way you want them to. You will encounter frustrations, losses will occur, you will make mistakes, bump up against your limitations, fall short of your ideals. This is the human condition, a reality shared by all of us. The more you open your heart to this reality instead of constantly fighting against it, the more you will be able to feel compassion for yourself and all your fellow humans in the experience of life.

Following are three basic elements of self- compassion:

  1. Self-kindness Vs. Self-judgment: Self-compassion entails being warm and understanding toward ourselves when we suffer, fail, or feel inadequate, rather than ignoring our pain or flagellating ourselves with self-criticism.  Self-compassionate people recognise that being imperfect, failing, and experiencing life difficulties is inevitable, so they tend to be gentle with themselves when confronted with painful experiences rather than getting angry when life falls short of set ideals. People cannot always be or get exactly what they want. When this reality is denied or fought against suffering increases in the form of stress, frustration and self-criticism.  When this reality is accepted with sympathy and kindness, greater emotional equanimity is experienced.
  2. Common humanity Vs. Isolation: Frustration at not having things exactly as we want is often accompanied by an irrational but pervasive sense of isolation – as if “I” were the only person suffering or making mistakes.  All humans suffer. The very definition of being “human” means that one is mortal, vulnerable and imperfect.  Therefore, self-compassion involves recognising that suffering and personal inadequacy is part of the shared human experience – something that we all go through rather than being something that happens to “me” alone.
  3. Mindfulness Vs. Over-identification: Self-compassion also requires taking a balanced approach to our negative emotions so that feelings are neither suppressed nor exaggerated.  This equilibrated stance stems from the process of relating personal experiences to those of others who are also suffering, thus putting our own situation into a larger perspective. It also stems from the willingness to observe our negative thoughts and emotions with openness and clarity, so that they are held in mindful awareness. Mindfulness is a non-judgmental, receptive mind state in which one observes thoughts and feelings as they are, without trying to suppress or deny them. We cannot ignore our pain and feel compassion for it at the same time.  At the same time, mindfulness requires that we not be “over-identified” with thoughts and feelings, so that we are caught up and swept away by negative reactivity.
Featured

7 Optimistic Thoughts During COVID-19

The sever pandemic created by the novel coronavirus has drastically changed peoples lives. There have been many setbacks created due to the pandemic. 

Who had ever thought of such a time when complete lockdown will be effective in the whole country?

Who had ever thought that a virus could be so devastating and contagious?

Who had thought of such a “New Normal”?

Optimism is the biggest way to get through all the difficult times. Optimism gives us the strength to move ahead.

During this difficult time of COVID-19 I had a few optimistic thoughts that crossed my mind. 

  • Change in environment: Prior to the lockdown there was a major issue about the air quality that was getting bad to worse in the Capital, New Delhi. This soon became a problem of many other states too. Even after trying various ways to alter the the problem of air quality, there was hardly any difference seen. But soon after the lockdown when everything came to a stand still , the environment changed drastically. The air quality across the country became healthy. We even experienced a slight change in the temperature. Thanks to lockdown, as we got an opportunity to witness various kinds of species of migratory birds. The whole ecosystem seemed to be blooming. The morning chirps of birds have also returned which we never got to witness earlier due to the changing environment.
  • Daily household chores done by the men: Most of the families are dependent on the domestic helpers for the daily chores. But due to lockdown the helpers were not able to come and do their duties. This was the time when everyone was at home. So life was easy when everyone including the men of the family were helping in the daily chores. The men were always busy in their work so they could never help in the daily chores. But during lockdown they had no bounds of work and lent a helping hand in household work. 
  • Spending time with family: In our normal course of life we didn’t get time to spend with our family . We had various engagements due to which family time was negligible. The lockdown gave us the opportunity to spend time with family. During lockdown we played various indoor games such as, ludo, snakes and ladders, monopoly, cards, antakshari, etc. We also did some indoor setups for exercises and other activities. The whole family sat together and saw various movies and series on Netflix, Amazon prime videos, Hotstart and many such platforms. All this was possible only because of lockdown. Lockdown has given us moments to cherish which we will always have saved deep into our hearts.
  • Experiencing Masterchef: Had you ever thought that you would be trying the various dynamic cuisines which you have not even thought of trying them when you went to a restaurant? Had you thought that you would be baking breads, buns, pizza base, etc. at your home? People took full advantage of the free time and technology and tried out various such things that one would have never thought of making at home. The enthusiasm for this was pumped up when all these dishes were being shared by people on social media platforms. Even the kids had an awesome time in putting their hands on non-fire recipes. Lockdown helped us find the Masterchef within us. 
  • Living with limited: Lockdown has given us a very good lesson about living with limited. Due to lockdown availability of things was scarce, yet people moved on. Earlier when you wanted to buy something and didn’t get that at one place you would run about places looking for it but in lockdown you had limited options and limited things available, yet we were satisfied. The power of togetherness was a major factor for the feeling of satisfaction.
  • Reduced Expenses: As everything was shut down and we didn’t have any obligations, there was a remarkable reduction in expenses. Overtime we went out of home we would end up picking various unnecessary things too. But now since there are no occasions and obligations left to be fulfilled, things have become easier.
  • Becoming technology driven: Had you ever thought that you would meet your friends virtually whom you tend to meet almost daily or maybe once a week ? Had you thought of celebrating your birthdays and anniversary on a virtual call? Had you ever thought that kids won’t be going to school and studying online through virtual meetings? Lockdown has made all this possible. This is what is called the “New Normal”. For every little thing we needed we would rush to various shops, but now everything you want you order online. The online shopping forums were there earlier too but people had non- satisfied mindset for it. Lockdown got a major shift in the mindset of people to go virtual. 
Featured

Essentials For Virtual Training

Virtual training is fast gaining foothold in the corporate world as it allows employee to offer their teams many of the benefits of a live classroom session without the associated cost. 

Of course, preparing for a virtual audience is quite different than planning or in-person, face to face participants. For virtual training events to be effective, greater engagement and interaction must be incorporated into the experience.

If you are planning to go virtual with your training events, then you will clearly want to guarantee that your audience is not only listening to your training materials (and not just checking their emails or doing secondary work), but enjoying them, learning from them and most importantly retaining them. 

Below are a few effective strategies that you can implement to properly plan and execute your virtual training sessions.

Step 1: Invest in Stable, Reliable Virtual Technology:

The most important consideration when adopting virtual training in researching and commissioning a reliable and robust platform on which to run your event. 

If you are going to take the advantage of the capability, convenience and cost effectiveness of virtual training, it only makes sense to invest in a reliable and versatile virtual platform.

There are several feature rich online meeting platforms such as MastroConference, GoToWebinar, WebEx and more. Many of these services allow users to teach multi-session online classes in a seamless manner.

There are several factors to be considered before deciding on a platform, such as:-

Whether the session is for a small group or large audience.

• Whether the session requires live demonstrations or will it be monthly pre recorded content.

• There are multiple ways to access webinar(mobile, streaming, downloads, etc.) and not just via PC.

• Whether the platform allows the facilitator to upload shareable content to a secure location.

• Whether the platform allows the user to share the files securely. 

• The availability of tools that allow all the participants to send messages, answer questions their screen or address their instructor about their lessons. 

Before you decide to go on a platform or next strictly based on features and reviews and select two or three services, schedule product demos and then take them for a test drive with their free trials. Doing this will allow you to see how each service stacks up against the others. 

Make sure to choose the right technology before you start with the content delivery. Take the time to look at different feature sets, go over reviews and intelligently determine which software is perfect for you. 

Step 2: Seek Energetic and Skilled Facilitators:

A skilled and seasonal facilitator should be able to grab and hold the attention of the listeners, encourage participants and build connections. The facilitator must be able to facilitate the overall audience experience and skilfully tree the session in the right direction. Therefore, it is important that the facilitator not only has the correct degree of knowledge and experience in subject area, but also knows how to encourage a remote audience and keep participants hooked to the screen.

This requires a few specific traits:

• Jut as for in person conferences, if the speaker is dull, the audience get bored, its a similar case for virtual events. It is just important to be energetic, passionate and provide great content and conversation.

• Typing quickly and being able to communicate succinctly.

• Being witty.

• Multitasking (including managing group chats).

• Being patient. You will need to build in pause time to allow the people to connect to the session, type in their answers, etc.

Step 3: Find a Co-Facilitator:

In a webinar there are always two facilitators. This is for several practical reasons. While one iOS speaking or leading, the other can monitor the chats, provide feedback and address questions that arise. 

Moreover, it is helpful for participants to hear two perspectives and two voices as it improves the event’s flow. Importantly, ensure each person compliments the others skills and is likely to be good match for a successful team. This is especially true if the topic is complex or a large group is attending the session.

Step 4: Build Interest With Pre-Session Activities:

A good way to build interest around the event is to get in touch with participants several times in the week leading up to date.

There are several steps that can be taken:

Send out the expectations of the webinar well ahead of time: Create interest  in the session by posting information via e-mails, company newsletters, videos, etc. The content should inform participants about the sessions and how it is going to help them improve professionally and /or personally.

Ice- Breaker: Ice-breakers help to build a sense of community from first point of interaction. When you are about to start, get the session moving with an interesting ice-breaker. You can start with a game or something simple and unexpected. You can also ask questions and reaffirm what learning needs the session will address. 

Hold on a flipped session: Flipped session incorporates reverse instructions which has participants watching lesson material on their own before they view the main lesson. This is especially helpful because it gives the participants initial knowledge and understanding prior to the start of the training, thereby allowing more time for useful interactions.

Step 5:  Pique Interest With Content Previews:

The issue here is that attendees often spend valuable time pursuing the material before paying attention at the start of the presentation.

It’s not difficult to realise that if the attendees go into the session already loosely familiar with the content, then they will be prepared mentally for the content to follow and will likely stay engaged with the presenter from the outset.

A snapshot of information is easier to manage than a detailed resource, so create and distribute a condensed version of the training manual/ printouts ahead of time, as this will allow for:

• Participants to formulate specific questions before the event.

• The conversation would have already begun in the minds of the participants.

• Prevent participants from clicking between the windows during the presentations.

Still it is important to take care that you do not provide too much information or you will find hard to keep your attendee’s attention during the event. If they like they have already got the gist of the training materials, they are much more inclined to tune out once the facilitator starts talking.

Step 6: Create a Suitable and Comfortable Environment:

Everyone is not comfortable in this type of online learning environment. Not everyone is tech savvy and some people just don’t like change. To reduce initial resistance, strive to create a comfortable  environment with:

Timing and Practice Sessions: Invite people to join the webinar 10 minutes prior so they can get comfortable as well as “live check” their audio and visuals.

Practice: Allow everyone to play with the annotation tools, have them practice writing on the whiteboard or try out features they will use during the event.

Environment Design: In large organisations, environmental analysis is the foremost step in designing an interactive virtual classroom training.

Organisation must consider venue design carefully due to the large variation of people and cultures and the often large side of their training groups. In addition, virtual trainers need to liaison with the organisers on the ground to understand the environment and the expectations of the audience.

Step 7: Decide Between Live Vs. Pre-recorded Webinars:

Going live is simply the best route to an engaging training session. Attendees are naturally more attentive, more willing to complete activities and are often a tad more patient when technical difficulties arise during a live event.

However, pre-recorded webinars do offer certain benefits:

• Allow people to watch at flexible times.

• The training can be distributed in several ways.

• Lower logistics planning.

Trying to quickly host a live webinar can turn into a logical disaster. Problems that may crop up include:

• Limited bandwidth

• Unavailability of replacement PCs.

• Technical support overwhelm.

In many cases, people want to take the best of both the worlds by:

• Having a live facilitator moderate the pre-recorded session. He/ she can then oversee activities and the flow of the session as necessary.

• Having key team members attend the live session and them distribute the recorded version to others. Most webinar platforms offer replay distribution services.

Step 8: Leverage Interesting and Relevant Content:

If you bring your ;earners into a tech-y virtual environments and then talk at them with a bland PowerPoint deck for an hour, everyone will leave feeling cheated.

Instead, talk with your participants and bring them into the conversation by devising a simulation, doing some role playing or collaborative learning.

Create Interactive Learning Activities: Active employee participation is key to a successful virtual classroom training experience. Consider creating immersive activities such as scenarios and games.

Rich eLearning Presentations: Bland slides are outdated. Instead, use interactive and versatile presentation software that offer rich learning features such as animation and special effects.

Select Relevant Content: Engage the audience by challenging them to become active participants and learners by promoting them to think about how the subject matter relates to them, professionally or personally.

Leverage Outside Resources: Enhance employee engagement by downloading external resources and easily, instantly sharing your screen with the participants so that everyone can see the same thing at the same time. Make it easy for the audience to collaborate on and appreciate the content. 

Step 9: Endeavour To Keep Your Trainees Engaged:

Keeping the participants engaged is the first thumb rule for virtual events. Probably, you have

participated in webinars that were dearly and boring and those that were fascinating and buzzing with

activities.

Its all about creating engagement and being interactive- capturing and keeping attendees’ attention.

You want people to learn something important, something that they will appreciate. You want them to

be eager to apply what they have learned after completing the session.

Ask Interesting and Thought- Provoking Questions: Get to the heart of the matter by asking the questions that get people talking. Think of questions that will encourage participants to chime in with the answers casually and frequently, questions that bring out some really funny answers, and others that are just enjoyable to discuss. On the other hand, try to avoid philosophical questions that require extensive discussions.

Encourage Collaborative Learning: The whole purpose of asking questions is to encourage participants to respond in the chat. It can be frustrating for many people when presenters turn off the chat function or only allow questions to be posted to them. While you do want to limit cross-talk during your presentation, open the ‘chat floor’ and allow people to talk to each other during breakout sessions. If there is going to be a series of sessions with the same participants, this will encourage collaborative learning.

Use A Whiteboard: Educating you attendees through illustrations will only bring good results especially if you are trying to convey specific concepts.

Include mini activities: refrain from simply dumping information on your participants and instead spark interest with exciting mini activities.

Show a Simulation or Animation: Depending on the complexity of the topic, an animation or full blown simulation that explains the concept might be a good idea.

Conduct A Live Interview with a Guest Expert: Enthusiastic learners will always appreciate the chance to listen to and correspond with an expert in the field. The interview can be live or prerecorded, as long as it offers substantial values.

Step 10: Set up post-training success:

Even though virtual training has painted the board strokes for the participants, the trainer still needs to promote reinforcement and support learning transfer. As a tip, send out a transcript of the questions and answers post training, as well as, copies of any additional reading or resources that were discussed online. Providing a link to the recording, also will enable participants to revisit their learning and help them retain key concepts. 

Featured

IAD – Internet Addiction Disorder

The Internet age or we call it information age also known as the computer age or digital age.this internet has helped us in many ways but it has also given us many drawbacks one of which is very important to be taken care of that is, Internet Addiction Disorder.

The advancement in study of Internet Addiction Disorder has been negatively impacted by the lack of standardisation in this area. It has been generally accepted among researchers, however, that Internet Addiction is only a subset of technology addiction in general. As the name states, its concentration is on compilation with the Internet- as other areas of media addiction can be seen in television addiction, radio addiction and other types of media addiction. Due to the explosion of digital age, Internet Addiction Disorder has taken the reigns as the top culprit is technology addiction as of late. The troubling thing about this disorder is that if you are suffering from it, you are endlessly surrounded by technology. In the digital age, the Internet has taken over. Most of what we do, as a general population can be done on the Internet. Can’t find that shirt you want in the store? No worries- the Internet has it! Need to place an order for pizza? Why call? Order it online! Can’t call over a friend to play a video game at 3am when you are suffering from insomnia and can’t go back to sleep? I bet there is someone across the globe that is awake and ready to play! That’s in essence, why this disorder can be troubling- even treatment wise. It’s hard to live these days by getting rid of the Internet. We are always surrounded by it and for most of us, we use it daily.

Just because you use internet a lot – watch Youtube videos, shop online frequently or like to check social media does not mean that you suffer from Internet Addiction Disorder. The trouble comes when these activities start to interfere with your daily life. In general, Internet Addiction Disorder is subdivided into various categories. The most commonly identified category of Internet Addiction include gaming, social networking, email, blogging, online shopping and inappropriate Internet pornography use. Other researchers suggest that it is not the amount of time that you spent on the internet that is particularly troublesome- rather , it is how the internet is being used. That is, the riskiness of internet use can be just as important as the amount of time spent. Do you have a teenager using teen dating sites that could have child molesters lurking on the site? This is risk and one of the multidimensional aspect of Internet Addiction Disorder. Other identifies multidimensional aspects of Internet Addiction Disorder include physical impairments, social and functional impairments, emotional impairments, impulsive Internet use and dependence on the internet. 

Like most disorders, its not likely to pinpoint an exact cause of Internet Addiction Disorder. This disorder is characteristic of having multiple contributing factors. Some evidence suggest that if you are suffering from Internet Addiction Disorder your brain makeup is similar to those that are suffering from chemical dependency, such as drugs and alcohol. Interestingly some studies link Internet Addiction Disorder to physically changing the brain structure. signs and symptoms of Internet Addiction Disorder may present themselves in both physical and emotional manifestations. 

The first step to the treatment is the recognition that a problem exists. If you do not believe you have a problem, you are not likely to seek treatment. One of the overarching problems with the internet is that there is often no accountability and no limits. You are hidden behind the screen – and somethings that you may say or do online are things you would never do in person. 

Corrective behaviours include softwares that control the internet use and types of sites visited- with the majority of professionals in agreement that the total abstinence from the computer is not an effective method of correction. 

The increased digital age has propelled us into the Internet age and Internet addiction has become a truly real “thing”. However, many researchers are uncertain of whether Internet Addiction Disorder is a disorder in its own existence or rather a symptom of other underlying conditions. 

Creating an even more problematic interaction is the fact that everything is online nowadays. It’s hard to make a distinction between the online and offline worlds. Everything is internet based. From ordering food, interacting with friends, playing games and even watching TV. Adding own additional layers of confusion and distinction is that other digital technology is taking over the world as well- make access to computers even easier. Now we don’t have to be physically sitting in front of the computer- we do anything from anywhere with just our phone, tablets or other electronic devices.  

Featured

Budget may miss deficit target

Expectations from the Budget for 2020-21 were running high because of the background against which the Budget had to be prepared. There were three disturbing trends in the economy-

  • A perceptible slowdown in the growth
  • A steep fall n investment rate
  • A stressed financial system

The Budget was expected to address all these issues and also lay a foundation for a significantly faster economic growth. Otherwise, the $5 trillion economy will be only a distinct reality.

Overall the Budget is well intentioned, even though it does not use the word ‘slow down’ even once. It outlines at length the multiple objectives it seeks to achieve. While the expenditure programmes may show how demand will be revived, the revenue projection along with the fiscal deficit will indicate whether expenditure programmes are sustainable. It is to this scrutiny we turn our attention. 

The nominal GDP in 2019-20 is assumed to grow by 10%. This is realistic. The gross tax revenue is assumed to grow by 12%. Thus the buoyancy is greater than one which did not materialise in the current year. The reliance on disinvestment is high while there maybe special circumstances such as LIC disinvestment which maybe helpful. However, the disinvestment target has in the past not been fulfilled in any year.

The financial ministry have to monitor the revenue growth so that the expenditures must adjusted such that the fiscal deficit can be maintained. In fact, taking the expenditures as given, the possibility of the government exceeding the budget’s fiscal deficit is very much there. The escape clause should be seen as permitting the government to exceed the implicit mandate of 3% rather than over and above what is budgeted. It is hoped that the government would not by invoking the ‘escape clause’ ask the RBI to enter the primary market in government paper. 

Some of the changes in tax regime are significant. A major effort was made some months ago to cut the corporation tax rate. In this budget, some steps have been taken in the direction of simplifying personal income tax. The impact of this maybe very limited. In fact, the board principle of reducing the tax rate along with withdrawing exemptions must be taken to the logical end and must cover the entire gamut of personal income tax. We should move towards a single regime rather than give options. 

Several of the measures proposed may help to accelerate the inflow of funds from abroad. The withdrawal of Distribution Divided Tax is welcome, particularly on equity grounds. While relaxation in investment by non residents in government paper in rupee terms is acceptable, caution must be exercised. Easy access should not pave the way for larger borrowings. 

Bulk of the time was spent by the financial minister on explaining the various programmes in different sectors. Quite clearly, sector experts must examine how relevant these expenditures are. More importantly, much depends on how they are implemented. The overall expenditures show a rise of 12%. Within that capital expenditures are expected to increase 18%. However, the ratio of capital expenditure to GDP stays at 1.8% which is average over the past few years. 

The financial sector has come for special treatment. Reforms are needed to strengthen the financial system and move them forward. As far as the banking system is concerned, the crucial question is not so much mergers as the extent of the total banking system which the public sector wants to own. The action related to IDBI gives us some idea. The second important form measure is to determine the ‘arm’s length’ the government and the board of management of public sector banks. Efficiency is a function not only of technology but also the structure of the organisation. 

The budget was expected to stimulate demand and to raise the level of capital formation which has fallen by six percent points over last eight years. The level and pattern of government expenditure is key to stimulating demand. If the expenditure programmes are put through with dedication and commitment, it will help in this direction. Implementation is the key. As for stimulating investment, the government’s own participation is still limited. The driver of deficit is not investment. Much of the over all capital expenditure of government comes from extra budgetary resources. Therefore a lot depends on the pick up of private investment. Will the budget help tio create a favourable investment sentiment? Only time will tell. 

Featured

True Silence

Silence is the great teacher, and to learn its lesson you must pay attention to it. There is no substitute for the creative inspirations, knowledge and stability that come from knowing how to contact your core to inner silence.

We generally are silent when amongst a gathering or a talk show or a conference or a workshop or a workplace, but there are a million of thoughts that are flowing through our mind, so that is not true silence.

True silence is that which gives your mind peace just in the same way as sleep gives peace to your body. This true silence rejnuvates our mind and soul to give us many distinct thoughts which can have  a very unique effect on us. It can even help you find a new and a better person within you. 

Always being silent is also not the solution to the matter that we face in life, but not being calm and composed can harm even more and this calm and composed feeling can only be brought to ones nature is through true silence. Being physically silent can also be taken to be a weakness of yours but if you have the true silence then its always your strength.

It’s rightly said in a Spanish proverb, ‘Open your mouth only if you are going to say is more beautiful than the silence.’

Decisions taken and actions done in impulsiveness can cause disaster but if you try to keep calm and give it a fresh thought after a deep true silence you will always reach to the correct decision. 

Elders have always thought us to think at least ten times before we speak to someone and that is what the reason is things that we speak without thinking and unknowingly can cause hurt to others. The words once spoken can never be taken back. We don’t have a rewind button in our lives that we can go back in time and mend it all wrong that we have done. So its better that we put up our words in mind first and then say it to others.

The harsh and brutal words cause a lot of pain within. The pain is so intense that it hurts more than a wound. Words have a very deep impression on mind and heart. They are not like the wounds that will heal up tomorrow and you will forget them. 

All such kind of situations can be overcome by true silence. We should implement this in life at first and then only should learn how to speak. It is rightly said, day is already blessed, find peace within it. 

“We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is a friend of silence. See how nature — tress, flowers, grass —- grows in silence, see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence. We need silence to be able to touch souls.” said by Mother Teresa. 

Featured

Save the “Lungs”

Saving the lungs is the most important and most critical requirement of the hour. Yes you heard it right ‘Lungs’. I am referring the trees to be our lungs. Better infrastructure and increasing desires are causing massive deforestation which is causing a vast devastation to the environment and is also causing Global Warming.

Global warming is harming and changing the environment drastically. Due to Global warming we have been hearing many warning articles like diminishing snow, low ground water level, rising temperatures, extinction of various species, etc.

Recently there was a severe problem of air pollution in the capital city, New Delhi. Such kind of a problem was never seen earlier.  All this had many reasons behind one of which was lack of trees and green patches. These could actually help to reduce this problem and would have given people fresh air to breath. The pollution level had increased so much that people could not breath in the air as it was chocking them all. Air purifiers had been installed in order to provide people some air to breath properly.  All these high raised buildings and shopping malls are all the cause of deforestation. We as people if have such great desires then we should also join hands to prevent our environment. We should also think about the future which we are leaving behind for the coming generations. The situation can still be kept under control if this awareness is spread amonst all. 

“The clearest way into the Universe is through a Forest Wilderness.”

The most recent incident that is still not under control, the largest rainforest on our planet, Amazonia, is burning into ashes. Amazonia creates 20% of the air we breath, it holds 20% of the worlds fresh water supply, it has 10% of the world species, 40,000 of plant species, 3,000 edible fruits. Besides that there are more than 430 species of mammals, millions species of insects. They all are dying. I am surprised that this news is not being highlighted and was first spoken about when the forest was already burning from past 16 days. Still many people are unaware of this and nothing is being done to save it. After putting in hours of research I am shocked to know about the fact that this fire 99% wasn’t due to climatic change, it was intentional. This has been approved by the Brazilian government that the fire is caused to ‘create land’ for farm fields. Unfortunately, money rules the world, but this is unacceptable. Such kind of harsh decision causes a lot to the planet for which the whole planet will suffer.

So we must spread awareness amongst people and convince them to plant trees over cutting them down. Trees and forests are home too many diverse species. We can’t be so brutal to snatch away their lives and homes. Planting trees can help us reduce global warming and can also help us fight through all the major problems that we are facing and can protect and preserve it for our coming generations. 

In many different ways this awareness is being spread across the world. It’s being done up in a very beautiful way through videos and advertisements. Few days ago I came across a very nice and striking advertisement  which conveyed the awareness of global warming in a very different way which directly influences ones mind. It showed, there is a school in which parents of all the students have been called and have been given colours and blank sheets. They have been asked to make a beautiful scenery and make it as colourful as they can. All the parents did as said. Now was the turn of the children to do it but they were only left with grey and black colours. Then the teachers explained the parents this is what exactly what we are leaving behind for our children. If we all come together and start to save our environment it can be saved. As it’s said ‘It’s never too late to do good’ , so people come together and start to save and contribute to saving our environment. 

We should take inspiration from those groups of people who are going places to plant saplings in order to spread awareness about the most important need of the hour. 

A seed grows with no sound but a tree falls with a huge noise. Destruction has noise, but creation is quiet. “Grow Silently”. 

Introduce Yourself (Example Post)

This is an example post, originally published as part of Blogging University. Enroll in one of our ten programs, and start your blog right.

You’re going to publish a post today. Don’t worry about how your blog looks. Don’t worry if you haven’t given it a name yet, or you’re feeling overwhelmed. Just click the “New Post” button, and tell us why you’re here.

Why do this?

  • Because it gives new readers context. What are you about? Why should they read your blog?
  • Because it will help you focus you own ideas about your blog and what you’d like to do with it.

The post can be short or long, a personal intro to your life or a bloggy mission statement, a manifesto for the future or a simple outline of your the types of things you hope to publish.

To help you get started, here are a few questions:

  • Why are you blogging publicly, rather than keeping a personal journal?
  • What topics do you think you’ll write about?
  • Who would you love to connect with via your blog?
  • If you blog successfully throughout the next year, what would you hope to have accomplished?

You’re not locked into any of this; one of the wonderful things about blogs is how they constantly evolve as we learn, grow, and interact with one another — but it’s good to know where and why you started, and articulating your goals may just give you a few other post ideas.

Can’t think how to get started? Just write the first thing that pops into your head. Anne Lamott, author of a book on writing we love, says that you need to give yourself permission to write a “crappy first draft”. Anne makes a great point — just start writing, and worry about editing it later.

When you’re ready to publish, give your post three to five tags that describe your blog’s focus — writing, photography, fiction, parenting, food, cars, movies, sports, whatever. These tags will help others who care about your topics find you in the Reader. Make sure one of the tags is “zerotohero,” so other new bloggers can find you, too.