Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Manic Mondays..!!

Well, contrary to what I've written as "Manic Mondays", Mondays are not manic at all. Quite the opposite I must say.

Mondays can be safely termed as dull, boring, and sleepy, and the one thing which I absolutely hate is waking up to another Monday morning.

It is all very nice for the Tom Sawyers of this world, pretending tooth ache and going to the extent of even losing the tooth in question and conveniently missing school on Monday.

If only it were as convenient for us poor employees.

Ahh!! well, I don’t deny that I exercise my little gray cells on Sunday evening and think of probable and convincing excuses for going in a couple of hours late on Mondays.

My favorites being, a visit to the doctor (I have an unbearable pain in my tummy!), a visit to the bank (have to send money home, they need it badly!), car tire punctured (we both know I'm lying, but try proving it!) and, the most classic excuse of all, which the boss cannot refute in the most extreme of circumstances - Traffic Jam.

Traffic jams are a boon to us here in Hongkong, and invariably used by more than 50% latecomers.

The rest is all quite easy, and something I'm quite adept at... Pretending to be busy and harassed at work, giving the boss an impression that you are one of the few hard workers left in this world; roam around the office a couple of times during the day, shuffling a few papers and muttering to yourself; this also gives the boss the same impression.

Open Gtalk and Yahoo Messenger stealthily, and chat to your heart's content. Before you know it, its evening, time to leave, and that’s another dreaded Monday laid to rest.

In relative peace… I must say.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Inner peace and healthy choice..

Whenever someone gave me reason to feel angry, sad, anxious, or fearful, I was able to slow my thoughts and emotions down, remind myself that my antagonist was likely deprived of love, and choose to respond with kindness and understanding.

Okay, maybe I wasn't able to do this every time I felt I was wronged, but I was definitely on a plane of thinking and being that would likely have been appreciated. I was in the zone that Gandhi must have been in, while he was allowing himself to get physically smacked around.

Here's the thing: Over the past decade, whenever I have been able to purposefully respond with a generous heart in situations where most sane people would have given me full license to respond with righteous anger, I have always been able to walk away with peace in my heart. Always.

I think that this is the magic of taking the high road. Sometimes, it's human to want to call out mean-spirited and rude behavior. You feel like you need to preserve some self respect. But interestingly, I have yet to feel like I lost anything by diverting or even absorbing bad energy and being compassionate.

Put another way, I have found that peace of mind is a natural consequence of choosing to be kind in every circumstance (And sometimes, being kind entails walking away in silence).

Without exception, in situations where I haven't been able to pause and control the urge to let someone know that he or she just generated some bad karma, I've walked away feeling worse for having "stood up for myself." In such situations, I guess I, too, was motivated by a need for love.

Also interesting is that I've found that the more good energy I put out there, the deeper my well of good energy seems to become. Consciously choosing to walk with a forgiving and compassionate spirit really seems to fortify the intention to lift others up.

This reminds me of the "what do you get when you squeeze an orange" idea. You get orange juice, of course, because that's what's inside an orange. If we have love and compassion within, love and compassion is what will come out of us when we're squeezed.

Clearly, choosing to give out love doesn't happen naturally all the time. It takes work. It takes daily effort to stay in this zone. I find that I have to fill myself up with uplifting thoughts on a regular basis. I think this is why I tend to have my best days when I begin by reading from anything that inspires me to inspire others.

And when I don't do this work, when I don't take time to consciously choose to give out love rather than demonstrate a need for it, I find that it becomes super easy to slide back into being a reactive person who is easily offended by anything that threatens my ego.

So I guess the main thought that I want to share is this: if you're ever feeling crummy and you're looking for a way to feel at peace, try going back to the well, the well that fuels you to be gentle, understanding, generous, and humble.

Even when you are clearly wronged by someone, I can almost guarantee that if you put your hurt feelings away for just a moment and respond with a gentle, understanding, generous, and humble spirit, you will be better for it. And you can spend the rest of your day knowing that you did your part to create healthy energy for someone else.

I've long believed that consistently feeling peace within is the most important requirement for optimal health.

Never mind the toll that emotional stress takes on our physical health; without inner peace, how can any of us consistently make healthy choices?

Sunday, May 9, 2010

A Good way to lead an enterprise...

In February 2007, when Derek Yach, a former executive director of the World Health Organization and an expert on nutrition, took a new job with PepsiCo, his mother worried that he'd lost his mind.

"You are aware they sell soda and chips, and these things cause you to get unhealthy and fat?" she asked him. Yach's former colleagues in public health circles murmured similar concerns.

Yes, he said, he knew what Pepsi made. But he wanted to help guide the $43 billion snack food multinational toward a more balanced product menu. The company describes its current portfolio of "healthy" fare as a $10 billion business—a figure CEO Indra Nooyi says she wants to see jump to $30 billion over the next decade.

The question is, will Yach, now senior vice-president for global health policy, really have the influence his boss has promised? If he does, will Pepsi's strategy prove profitable? Can its growing team of health advocates— who in times past might have seen Pepsi as the enemy—come up with an apple treat that tastes as good as a deep-fried Lay's potato chip?

Over the past two years, Pepsi has hired a dozen physicians and PhDs, many of whom built their reputations at the Mayo Clinic, WHO, and like-minded institutions. Some researched diabetes and heart disease, the sort of ailments that can result in part from eating too much of what Pepsi sells.

Yach and his comrades aren't subversives. The goal, says Mehmood Kahn, Pepsi's first-ever chief scientific officer, is to create healthy options while making the bad stuff less bad. "It's O.K. to have a slice of birthday cake on your birthday," says Kahn, formerly a practicing physician specializing in nutrition who did a stint at the Mayo Clinic.

"Would you eat it every day of the week? That's a different question." At Pepsi, he and the other scientists "can say we can actually make an impact on what is available for consumers."

Thats a good way of looking at nutrition, which to me is to balance good most of the time while do trying out the bad once in a while... What say you???