Change

“There are two important days in your life, the day you are born and the day you find out why?” – Mark Twain.

Are you struggling to decide your aim in life? Are you aimless? Are you confused to choose the one thing which you will be doing in the coming years? Are you in a dilemma about your purpose of life? Go ahead with the article, you will get answers to them!

Disclaimer: Nobody can decide purpose of your life, you yourself have to take charge!

We all have amazing dreams within us because our mind is full of creativity and imagination. We have always thought ourselves to live a life full of happiness and achievement. But how many of us actually visualize the shape of our dreams and how to transform them into reality?

The transformation happens when you have self belief, confidence and most importantly a supreme “Goal” in life. We need to enlighten ourselves with our living. That one thing which we believe, interestingly only we can make it happen. No dream is small, or big. It’s about the impact that it creates on you and on others.

You can live the life you have imagined once you learn the skill of goal setting and start implementing it. Goal setting is really beneficial. It can change your life to a different level.

Why you should set your goals?

  1. Clear directions: It can help you to choose the right direction in life. Many of us don’t really know where we are going in life. If you are just walking on any path and don’t know, where this path will lead you, you are probably on the wrong track. It’s like a GPS system where you know where you are going and how you are going.

  1. More Success in life: A research was conducted in Harvard Business School, where students were asked how many of them have goals in their life? Around, 84% of students did not have any goal. 13% of students had goals but they had not written them. 3% of students had clear written goals with the timeline and plan. 13% of those were earning twice than that of 84% students. Interestingly, the ones who have written goals were earning 10 times more than remaining.
  1. Take control of your life: When you learn the skill of goal setting, you can become the boss of your own life. You take the charge of your life and become more responsible. Then you don’t need to blame the circumstances.

  1. Unlocking Potential: If you are talented and hardworking, but if you do not have goals in life, you will not be able to achieve your dreams on time.
  1. Staying happy: When you live life with purpose, one is always excited. Just like when we go to our favourite journey, we stay happy because we know where we are going.

To find your goals, you can ask yourselves these questions. Think on them and find the inner you.

  1. What is important to you and why it matters?
  2. What are your best qualities?
  3. What do you love to do? But more importantly, find what you hate to do, because these things will never excite you, and the paradox of choice will be less cumbersome.
  4. What would your perfect day look like?
  5. What would you do if you come to know that the world is going to end in 7 days?
  6. What skills would you love to master?
  7. What would you like your family and friends to say about you at your funeral?
  8. What would you do if you are absolutely guaranteed success?
  9. What fears you would like to overcome?

Life will not stick to specific plan if it is, it is not life! Have your SWOT analysis (Strength, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats).  Some Goal setting tips are:

  1. Define your goals in writing.
  2. Identify the benefits you will enjoy. Why should I do this?
  3. Analyse your current reality.
  4. Determine your obstacles and risks.
  5. Gather Knowledge and work accordingly.
  6. Identify your investments and sacrifices.
  7. Develop an Action Plan
  8. Set a deadline.
  9. Reward yourself.
  10. Never Settle for less. Think Big!

Global Warming, a phrase that you hear as an explanation for anything and everything bad that happens to the climate. But what does it actually mean? Global warming basically means that the global temperatures are rising. Why? When we release greenhouse gases like CO2 and other air pollutants, they absorb the heat from the sun; of which a large portion usually bounces off back into space. This absorption of heat makes the surface temperatures of Earth rise.

We have already started seeing the effects. Think about the record high temperature in Chennai and other cities in South India. Many people in these cities are suffering from a severe lack of water, and are conserving in any way possible.

So what approaches are there for us to combat this issue?

For the common household there are plenty of things we can do in our everyday life to help tackle the issue of climate change.

You can start by reducing your own carbon footprint (which is the amount you contribute to the release of carbon dioxide). Every person on this planet has a carbon footprint. Every action you make in your daily life contributes to this footprint. Your carbon footprint is the total of all the carbon emissions caused by your activities in a time period (usually a year).

What you eat, what you wear, your commute, and even your choice of food has an impact on the environment. Your carbon footprint is the total of all the carbon emissions caused by your activities in a time period (usually a year).

You can calculate your carbon footprint here: http://www.carbonindependent.org/index.html

Tips to reduce your carbon footprint:

  1. Rainwater harvesting: Put up a tank in your yard to collect rainwater. You can use this water to wash your car, water your plants, or anything else you need.
  2. Use renewable energy sources: Put up solar panels, or harness wind energy in your yard to provide energy for your house.
  3. Replace standard lightbulbs with Light Emitting diode bulbs (LEDs) it reduces about 75% of energy use. Dispose your bulbs safely.
  4. Reuse toilet paper rolls to plant small samplings. They can be used as small containers for planting, this can also be done with plastic bottles and containers.
  5. Have dairy free days: Once a week is enough, it can save a considerable amount of water. You have so many alternatives, like soy milk, almond milk, coconut milk etc. Think vegan, once a week isn’t that big of a task!
  6. Go meat free for a day! Just like dairy, the production of meat guzzles up a load of water. Going meat free for even 2-3 days a week, enormously reduces your carbon footprint.
  7. Skip seafood, overfishing is a major world problem, as much as possible avoid it. Even if you avoid it 4 days a week, it makes a difference.
  8. Donate: When you clean out your closets and your home, donate what you don’t want. As they say, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.
  9. Recycling doesn’t just mean paper, plastic or glass! You can also recycle inhalers, water filters, wine corks, backpacks, stockings, hearing aids, lights, eye glasses, keys, old cassettes and more!
  10. Reduce your use of cosmetics, or turn towards natural based cosmetics, as they are loaded with toxins.
  11. Wash clothes in cold water in washing machine (85% of energy goes into heating the water).
  12. Plant drought-tolerant plants at home, they need minimal watering (especially if you are living in a hot place like Chennai).
  13. Go Kindle, reduce the paper usage from printing books and cancel your newspaper. You can read it online.
  14. Keep electronics as long as possible, and then rather than throwing them away recycle or donate them responsibly, (I recommend you watch The E-waste tragedy or Ghana: digital dumping ground)
  15. Take a break from screen time (take a walk, it’s better for your health and it saves energy).
  16. For women, change from chemical-ridden disposable sanitary napkins, and opt for options like the menstrual cup (one cup lasts around 10 years, and it’s better for your health).
  17. We have the beautiful transport called the bicycle. Use it! Especially for short distances which are environment friendly and cheap to use.

India is already making immense strides to reduce the effects of climate change. They have pledged to move towards renewable energy sources like wind and solar power.

While it is our job to keep the government accountable to their promises, it is equally as important to implement these changes to our own lifestyles to make that difference. Practice what you preach!

Do you think you got some unhealthy habits and you need to overcome them? Why is it easy to adapt a bad habit but hard to live with it? Why is it hard to make or break a habit?

In our life, there are very few necessities. But sometimes, we don’t feel that way. As per the research of Dr. Jeffrey M Schwartz, sometimes brain takes over your thoughts. It dictates your actions and attacks your self-worth. We may get easily distracted. Sometimes we do have trouble to retain our attention at a particular thing for a particular time. The unwanted thoughts and non productive urges can over run your life. Then, you may feel directionless and aimless. As long as you remain unaware of what is actually happening inside the brain, you will remain powerless to live life of your dreams.

Your brain sends you false messages day in and day out. Generally, these messages don’t let you to do what you are supposed to do and take you away from your purpose of life. These messages are called Deceptive Brain Messages.  They can be any thoughts, impulses or desires. Ultimately, we are defined by the thoughts in our head. We have a true self within us. Your wise advocate knows what you are thinking, and is aware how non productive urges and unhealthy habits generate automatic responses from you. The brain may not care whether the action is good or bad for you. It only cares to repeatedly do something pleasurable and to keep avoiding the pain.

If you frequently think about a problem which has no solution at the current point of time, it may increase your depression and still you try to get rid of uncomfortable sensations.   Deceptive Brain Messages have a negative impact on our mind. Our environment provides the input to the brain. It produces the passive side of experience. The mind is very active. It can focus attention and can make decisions. Just because of Deceptive Brain Messages (DBM), one can’t be a bad person.

The mind has the ability to define our true focus in life. You can use the Veto Power. Veto power is the ability to refuse to act on a deceptive brain message, uncomfortable sensation or habitual response. The characteristic of brain that results in a change in the brain’s structure,  circuits , chemical composition is called Neuroplasticity.  As per the Hebb’s Law, Neurons that fire together, get wired together. They form a circuit and get locked together.

Even Gautam Buddha said, “You become what you think”. Even as per the Quantum Zeno Effect, “Focus and attention holds together and stabilizes brain circuit, so that they can wire together. When focus is passively applied in an unconstructive way, unhealthy habits get wired in the brain. When you focus your attention on constructive, healthy behaviours, your brain is rewired via self directed neuroplasticity to make those actions in priority list; you can change your brain. The four steps that can help to rewire your brain are:

  1. Relabel: Know that these are just deceptive brain messages and not the actual you. These are just uncomfortable sensations and can be identified.
  2. Reframe: Change your mentality and perception about these thoughts. Ask yourself, why these thoughts bother you?
  3. Refocus: Indulge yourself in productive activities and direct your focus on that completely.
  4. Revalue: Clearly differentiate between what is good and what is bad. See your thoughts and urges and think of long term goals. Believe that the sensations are not true and will not lead you anywhere. They should be avoided and not to be focused on.

 

We are what we repeatedly do; so excellence is not an act but a habit.

 

They say, “Educate a woman, and she will edify an entire generation.”

Most of the readers will not refute the above statement, but even today, in the 21st century, women empowerment is a dream to a large number of rural population, sometimes semi-urban and urban too. The techy world that we live in today, has the internet above all, to help women around the world. Internet was also added to the list of basic human rights by the U.N., last year. Why must women be deprived of it?

The Problem

The internet gender gap is strikingly huge. There is still 52% less women on the internet than men. Main reasons for this gap are, not having access to the internet because of the financial burden that adds on, lack of skills because of illiteracy, and cyber-harassments – It is not difficult to notice, that there are very less women on the social networking sites who do not fear putting up their opinions on topics that men find intriguing, like, government, politics, sports, sexual content, etc.

How will Internet access, help?

Internet is a platform where anyone can educate themselves, with no time restrictions or any other restriction for that matter. A platform where people can connect with people far off, and explore the plethora of opportunities the internet has, to offer. People can make money freelancing on the internet thereby helping with the financial burden there is, on their families. They can also have access to the healthcare education and to all the options that the government is seeking out to provide them with.

Who are helping solve the issues?

A number of organizations and governments in different parts/regions of the world, have come up with solutions to this problem. The following are few of such projects:

This project aims at:

  1. Promoting internet based social enterprises and entrepreneurship among women.
  2. Gender inclusion in social environments.
  3. Boosting traditional skills among women in cluster based environment and helping them reach markets while ensuring sustainability.
  • Hamara Internet. (PAKISTAN) This project addresses the right of women to use the internet, free from harassment, surveillance, or any other digital threats. They aim at empowering women and girls by training them through digital security workshops, to thrive in the digital space.
  • The Amakomaya Project (NEPAL) – This program provides women in the rural regions of Nepal with pregnancy related materials with information about pregnancy and pre-natal care to reduce the region’s high maternal mortality and neo-natal death rates.
  • Afchix (AFRICA) This program facilitates networking and sharing of opportunities with women in computer science and information technology, thereby encouraging them to take up careers in tech. It provides mentorship, training through workshops, targeting upcoming young women in the related fields of technology.
  • Ayni Bolivia (BOLIVIA) – This program aims at providing the young women who are interested in fields of computer science, required training like, assembling computers, loading Linux and Windows Operating Systems on the computers, etc.

The above list is far from complete. There are a number of other organizations that are working towards empowering women digitally.

We, at Indians News, are doing our bit by creating awareness about the gender gap that prevails,  the cyber harassment that women are enduring since the advent of the computer age and how these practices are being curbed, how women are being empowered by the internet.

As stated by Universal Declaration Human Rights all the Human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. Everyone in this world is entitled to all the rights and freedom irrespective of his caste, creed, race, sex, language, religion, or another opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or status. Everyone has a right to life, liberty, and security.

Every individual is born into this world with his own rights and freedom. No one has the right to deny or say no to one person’s freedom. Having freedom is a right of every girl and even every person. Generally, we have the notion that the meaning of women is ‘a person to look over the household and the children’.

Father of our Nation Mahatma Gandhi has quoted that “To call the woman the weaker sex is a libel; it is man’s injustice to woman. If by strength is meant brute strength, then, indeed, is woman less brute than man. If by strength is meant moral power, then the woman is immeasurably man’s superior. Has she not greater intuition, is she not more self-sacrificing, has she not greater powers of endurance, has she not greater courage? Without her, the man could not be. If nonviolence is the law of our being, the future is with the woman. Who can make a more effective appeal to the heart than woman?”

After many feministic movements, freedom was given to women. Since our society is a patriarchal society, social systems are constructed in such a way that maintains male power and less privilege over women and condone violence in the name of control. Today, women are asserting themselves like never before. Be it in workplace, administration, intellect, in every field, they are competing men. Every woman wants to have her own identity in this society which was hidden so far.

Our society was constructed in such a way that woman are to be in the kitchen. We refuse to broaden our minds, we consider that freedom to women was given by society. But, it’s not. It was inborn from her birth. So far women remained at home looking after her husband and children. Her sudden decision to explore herself in this world to have her own identity was not accepted by this society. We try to create justice by reacting​ to women’s freedom but we will only create another injustice. Freedom will only happen when we start blowing these differences out of proportion.

Every woman now has figured out her identity in the society. She has grabbed her suitcases with pride and boarded a flight to freedom, which is landed in the valley of change. So far in this society women were harassed, tortured, and underestimated. Finally, she has raised her voice against all these, by identifying herself in the society, which the society considers that freedom given to women has caused many problems. It is hard for the society to accept the change in the role of women.

Many people in this society have constructed their mind with a notion that women’s freedom was the reason behind an increase in divorce rates, broken families, women going to pub etc.. It is not true, women are being aware of their own rights in this society. Women are not ready to play fiddle to their husbands’ and bear the brunt of their husband’s mood. They are just becoming conscious about their career. They also have become financially stable.

Today, days have changed where women tolerated all kinds of trouble from her husband. Those days she remained quiet because of the fear of society, and also because she was not financially independent. Moreover, her parents won’t accept her and no one will be there to look after her kids.

Now, Women have become independent. They have their own identity in the society. They have become financially independent because of their education and jobs. It is our foolishness to believe that women are the main reason for divorces, broken families, and women going to pub etc.. The reason behind the increase in divorces and broken families are not because of women.

Women’s Freedom is not only a cause for the increase in divorce rate and broken families. It is also because of the social and family structure. The inclination of nuclear families, work pressure, lesser adjustment, conservatism and stereotyping were also the major reasons for these problems. Women going to a pub, consuming alcohol is not a big issue. Because it is out of her own wish. It is her own privacy to do anything out of her wish. No one has a right to blame others’ personal activities. Considering this as a big issue is an utter waste of time.

People in this world consider women’s freedom are the major cause of these issues. Then, does it mean women should shut herself inside the home and look after only the household? Our society is revolutionized only through women. It doesn’t mean women are competing with men. Generally, Women’s freedom means their right to speech, expression, and having the right to make a decision in their life. Their freedom and rights are not a reason for the increase in divorce rates, broken families, and women going to pub etc..

Before we blame women for everything we must put ourselves in their situation and must see their mentality. The notion that women’s empowerment is a reason for the increase in divorce rate, broken families, women going to pub etc.. cannot be accepted. It only depends on our mindset, we should broaden our minds.

Why do girls need to think twice before wearing a dress? Why don’t their parents allow them to go out for late night parties?Why do they have to face eyes screening their bodies? Why do the have to be cautious as well as keep a track of vehicles following them while travelling?Why are they not allowed to go on trips as often as boys of their age? Why does the family start worrying about their marriage the minute they are born? These are some unanswered questions that have been bothering us for quite some time.

Almost daily the media highlights that how in every minute a girl is raped and one among the three rape victims are below the age of 18, thousands of young ladies are forcibly hurled into bestial acts through human trafficking. Only days after the verdict on Nirbhaya case which brought a sense of security in the minds of women, there was yet another rape case in which 22 year old girl hailing from Sikkim was raped in a moving car in the rape capital of India. However, one​ thing which we still do not understand is why our policy makers are not taking serious steps towards the safety of the fairer sex. These are the matters of zero-tolerance and should not be swept under the carpet. We should also adopt some brutal ways of punishment that are prevalent in the Middle East against such heinous acts.

Evil in all forms is ugly. However, hard one may try to evade it, it still poisons all the good present in our society. The atrocities against women are escalating at an alarming rate . At times even if a girl raises her voice against harassment, others refuse to join her or at times simply ignore her because most people think “HOW WOULD ONE VOICE MAKE A DIFFERENCE, anyway!?”

Why cannot we make that ONE voice a voice of millions transcending all barriers and become a reason for change. It is time that we, take bold steps to guide , foster and support girls. Our country’s tomorrow is in our hands. Let it not dwell into darkness. Let us raise voice and raise it to a level where it will be heard!

Generally, we confine our minds within​ a boundary in several things. At certain circumstances, we reluct to emerge out from that boundary we have built around ourselves. We all are conscious that Bhagavad Gita is a text which focuses on self-realization (atma-gyana), we have made up our mind that it is a text that only suits hermits who isolate themselves from the society.

This is not surprising because all the commentators and retellers of Bhagavad Gita has framed our minds that it is only for hermits and not for householders. Here we refuse to rephrase that is also for householders because we have strongly constructed ourselves with the early sayings. Mahabharata spoke about the household, the relationships, and other things. Bhagavad Gita was a part of Mahabharata which also deals with the households.

An essential part of Mahabharata is about Property dispute, which resulted in war between dharma (Pandavas) and adharma (Kauravas) on the battlefield Kuru-kshetra. Mahabharatha is also deeply rooted in relationships. It shows the relationship between a father and a son, husband and wife, brothers and family etc. Arjuna’s conundrum begins when he discerns that enemy is his own family and he fears the impact of killing his own family on the society as a whole.

Although Krishna’s discourse to Arjuna in Bhagavad Gita perpetually speaks of yagna, a Vedic ritual that binds the individual with the community. In Buddhism, Buddha spoke about nirvana, which means stupefaction of individual identity, but in Bhagavad Gita Krishna speaks of brahma – nirvana as an enlargement of the mind that gives way to liberation, ironically symbolising the union.

The reason behind why in Hindu temples God is always envisioned with the Goddess as a householder, one-half of a pair, is because of this aspect. In the temple, the devotee looks at the deity and the deity, with large unblinking eyes, looks back. Here, there is a ‘two – way’ relationship between the devotee and the deity, not ‘one – way’.

In Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 5, Verse 13, Krishna recounts the human body as a city with nine gates (nava – dvara-pura): two eyes, two ears, two nostrils, one mouth, one anus, and one genital. Predominantly, a relationship involves two bodies, two people, the self and the other, you and me, two cities – eighteen gates in all. That is why Bhagavad Gita is comprised of eighteen sections which seek to make eighteen books of Mahabharata.

Mahabharata narrates the story of a war between two families arising out of property dispute between two families fought over eighteen days with an involvement of eighteen armies. this divulges that the core teachings of Gita have much to do with the relationships that give way to the household. Bhagavad Gita serves the need of the householder than that of the hermits.

We commonly generalize a phrase that ‘men will remain men‘, ‘all men are same‘ irrespective of their situation, but it is not true. The mistake of one man cannot be generalised that all men are the same, they are not. The society in which we live in is patriarchal. Because of this society, the voices of the women become voiceless and suppressed. The society in which we live in is dominative even though we may have enough freedom and rights. We, as a woman, have known no right in this society to raise up our voice.

Every boy in this world is born genderless. It is this patriarchal society that imbibes the gender equality with him. The society plays a major role in the life of every man. At this level, law, policies and practices of the state, as well as traditional and customary practices of the society contribute a major role in violence against women. This makes him raise his voices against the woman, in case, if she refuses he becomes aggressive.

The overdose of these patriarchal norms of the society is the result of domestic abuse, street harassment, sexual harassment at work, stalking, etc.. These are the men who make women think negatively that all men are trash, try to play women. Men are locked onto these thoughts, forms a tunnel vision within him. The society makes them take things for granted. Being the victim of the society in these cases, the hidden demon inside every man comes out. But actually, they are also normal humans like others.

At this state, remember that not all men are same. Based on our experiences we stereotype, ‘all men are bad’. our firsthand experience makes us stick on to this fact. There are few bad apples in every bunch that doesn’t mean that all the apples are same. Likewise, if some men are bad in this society, it doesn’t mean all are the same. Many of the boring, unsuccessful men turned out to be the best husbands and partners to their wife. Not all men in this society are violent.

Actually, there are some guys who really care about their women who want a relationship and will go out their way for them. There are still men who are ready to honor us in this world. there are still men to respect us. There are men in this society who value our love and loyalty. There are still men out patiently waiting to prioritize us in this society. If we take Nirbhaya case, the reason behind the rape was men but there was also a man who fought for the injustice to his friend.

All men are not same. There may be vast majorities of men like this but this doesn’t mean that all men are not good. Even though there are men like this in the society, there is an exception like our father, brother, friends etc. who really do stand by our side in our difficult times and understand our feelings and give voice against our inequality in the society. Many of the boring, unsuccessful men turned out to the best husbands and partners to their wife. Not all men in this society are violent. Actually, there are some guys who really care about their women who want a relationship and will go out their way for them.

A word of caution, we are not supporting any rapist or any brutal activity of men but at the same time, generalisation is not correct
on the basis of few.

 

 

Chess-globe? Chess-sphere? Well,whatever you call it, it’s certainly not a “chess board,” since this beautiful work of art brings the game out of the confines of its usual flatter dimensions.This mind-melting game spheroid was created by a design student Ben Meyer and his father and brought to our attention via a recent post on Laughing Squid.This isn’t the first time we’ve seen a magnetic chess board, but it’s probably one of the more innovative takes on the game. Chess players and enthusiasts looking for an unique chessboard may be interested in this DIY globe chessboard.The curved surface also provides players with an added level of complexity and a new level of headache, as they can’t see all the pieces at the same time.Here,s what Ben explained a little more about the globe chessboard and its construction:

“This is a chess board that I made with my father. It is made out of Walnut, Soft Maple and Jatoba wood. It took several weeks to create and is 100% playable! Each ‘square’ has a magnet embedded in it, as does each chess piece for easy movement of the pieces.”

All of us know that the creation of social media has allowed​ people to exchange information at a greater speed and on a much greater scale than before. Before the advent of internet, information was not shared like this. And nowadays many people rely on social media to stay informed of the latest updates.

In India we have 160 million WhatsApp users, 148 million Facebook followers and over 22 million Twitter accounts. Whatever messages are shared in these networks they are often accepted as news which is true. Private opinion is mistaken for public proclamation. Propoganda is accepted as news. Moreover people do not know whom to believe and how much to believe.

Some people look at only private media for factual information and news. It is impossible to verify when the source is a tweet or a private opinion. There are many chances for a lie to do rounds on the social media. Then it is established as truth. It travels to all networks – passed from Facebook and then tweeted. Ultimately it reaches thousands of people. It spreads like wildfire without any proof or doubt. Then the opinion becomes a fact and people believe it totally.

In India most people are uneducated. We should note that people believe in anything that is shared. They fail to differentiate between fact, fiction and opinion. Fake news is very difficult to correct. The reason is people continue to make casual references based on available information which has already been circulated. In this way fake news continues to influence beliefs and attitudes. It happens even after being announced that it was a foolish claim. Mere repitition of false information increases it’s power.

Earlier, absence of social media allowed provocative private opinion to die before it left the walls of your home. Now every private statement has the possibility of making it big in the public space. You can make claims. You can argue without facts. It is not a crime to spread opinion, but it certainly is when it is portrayed as real news.

In today’s world, online social media plays a vital role. Social media can be used to get us closer to the truth. However it can also be used to distort the truth.

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