5 smart ways to use a smart phone

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A day without smartphone is something which we cannot even imagine of. Smartphones have crept so deep into our lives that it is now one of the most basic accessories (on par with clothing !). But again many people advice to stay away from this gadget because of the time you kill and fritter away on continous social networking and mindless instant gaming(thanks to games like candy crush and temple run!!) . Well, I would say it is a double edged sword and it all depends on how well you use it to make your day more efficient .

Let us look at some of the more uncommon and productive ways of using a smart phone to make the most of it.

1. Brain training apps : There are some awesome cognitive exercise applications of solid quality like Lumosity and Elevate – but you have to shell out a few bucks to obtain them and I can promise it is worth more than the money you pay to get it.
You can try their demo versions as well, but my advice is to buy them. Next time instead of playing candy crush, suppress your temptations and try one of them or both for that matter.

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2. Sticky notes and calendar : I already mentioned in my previous articles about prioritizing tasks and to act accordingly, well everyone does not like to carry a mini note pad, instead you can use apps like sticky notes and the default calender app which can greatly simplify your day.Next time don’t grumble that you forgot to do a specific task-just jot it down in your app and assign time.

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3. E books : The uses of possessing and reading an E-book are multi-fold, firstly you can get them at a cost lower than a physical book and second (main) advantage is portability, you can read an e-book where ever you want-whether you are in a crowded local train or waiting to meet somebody, just open your mobile and read on.

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4. Be on the go : I can say this is the biggest advantage of all, you can always be on the go with information (literally about anything) on your palm but again not everyone who has a smartphone uses mobile data instead they always rely on WiFi . Instead spend a few dollars on mobile data and use it whenever there is no WiFi available. Remember you are never lost in this world with a smart phone in your hand that is connected to the internet.

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5. Switch it off  : Yes you read it right. Even though it is smart, you don’t need a smartphone 24*7. Just keep this simple rule at the back of your brain- Don’t use it when you don’t require it . When it is time to sleep just sleep, don’t gaze at your smartphone and play folly games or browse unnecessary websites, just put it aside and sleep happily !

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– Raviteja Visakoti

10 Simple ways to Simplify your life (Part 2)

6. Decide now itself what’s truly important – Jot down all the activities that you do in a typical day . Now trust me and be ruthless for a minute . Keep only the 10 most important things and strike out the rest , do them only if those very important 10 are completed.

7. Save time for yourself – We are so busy and trapped in your day to day over loaded schedules that we don’t have a couple of minutes to spend in serenity. Allocate 1hr everyday for yourself and don’t let any person or activity disturb it . Use that time for relaxing, contemplation and reflection.

8. Don’t let the focus of your life get disturbed  – Keep exploring the world but never let your focus get ruptured or affected in anyway .Be wary of  emotional disturbances in relationships and personal problems, manage them effectively and ensure that they don’t spoil your focus .

9. Stop comparing and contrasting your progress – Every painter is unique and so does his painting , similarly every person is unique and so is his/her beautiful life and his/her works. Acknowledge and appreciate your strengths. Identify your weakness so you can go beyond them. Embrace your uniqueness and achieve greatness with it.

10. Don’t try to do everything by yourself – There are some powers which are far too powerful than us. Take their help . God and nature will help you . Do your best and rest leave it to them , they will take you to the destination for sure and also more quickly than you expected.

– Raviteja Visakoti

10 Simple ways to Simplify your life(Part 1)

Have you ever thought you are being bogged down by too many tasks and still felt incomplete? I know you know the answer : it is because the moment the alarm clock starts waking us in the morning we are compelled to do many tasks and in this over busy schedule we forget to identify and complete the main tasks. As I already mentioned in my previous articles that only 30 % of our tasks are crucial and the rest are way too trivial or in other words “sky is not gonna fall if you don’t do them”.
Now let us examine the 10 main things which I believe that can drastically simplify and enhance the quality of your life , if there are any which you feel that are missing from the list please feel free to drop them in the comments section below ..I would be delighted if you do so

1.Cut down social networking by half and keep doing that – I am not not averse to social networking and I do really love some of its splendid features, also I appreciate the way it has revolutionised the way we communicate but there is a flipside to it as well ,when you are social networking you try too much to be other than your natural self and while doing so you dissipate a lot of internal energy (which is neither measured in joules nor calories but can only be felt ). For example you feel a lot more empty when you social network in Facebook for 1hr than doing something worthwhile. Just cut it down now and feel the “you”

2.Spend quality time with your family :
Next time instead of watching TV while having dinner or breakfast , shut it down and talk with your family , share the past happy moments , talk about the silly fight between you and your little sister . Whatever might be the topic just sit around the table with your parents and siblings and spend quality time . I can assure you that you will be far more satisfied than glancing at random channels.

3.Learn to say No: Don’t feel guilty when you say no to a request. If you feel that it comes in your way and eats up your time just reply them with a polite and clear NO. I am not saying you to be selfish , be helpful but do not impose others tasks on you and get consumed. As Steve jobs said your time is limited and don’t spend it living some one else life.

4. Identify urgent and important tasks and first do the important ones : Sounds contradictory? let me explain you with an analogy – suppose it is 30th of a month and morning 9 am and say a person named ABC has to pay the electricity bill by evening 7 pm , but he also has an important project which has to be submitted in a week’s time. Now project work is the important work and bill payment is the urgent one. I think I need not explain further !

5.Have a direction and a sense of purpose and associate all activities towards it :
Don’t live life just like that , have a purpose or meaning. In other words have a direction and concentrate all your efforts in that direction and enjoy that journey towards your goal.

(to be continued in second part)

– Raviteja Visakoti

Professional vs Amateur (Part 2)

Continued From Part-1 Resistance is all pervasive, it immediately pops up whenever you want to answer your inner voice . Whether you want to eat healthy food, complete your assignment or attend to the most important task, resistance comes into play, unleashes its powers and tries its best to ensure that you don’t succeed in doing so . In the most basic terms, it is a crushing force – a demon set to stop us from pursuing and completing our important goals and duties . Some people call it laziness, some call it procrastination but remember these are just the various manifestations of the parent body “Resistance”. Playing golf when you have an exam tomorrow is also resistance . Whatever may be the name , understand the essence and acknowledge its presence in you . It is an evil more dangerous than your most dangerous enemies, it is more poisonous than cyanide .I can confidently say resistance is the root cause of all the problems in the world , literally “all” . Many people say to us, do what you love and do it often , but how to identify what we love ? Here is a simple technique – The Greater the Resistance to do it , the greater the love and greater the inner calling . Sounds contradictory right! but it is an absolute truth . let me cite you an example , I love writing and I think it is my inner calling to go on and pursue it but I feel the greatest resistance towards it , sometimes I even doubt whether I am really a writer or not -here resistance has come with its army to discourage me and destroy me . Sometimes I surrender to it and that is the reason I don’t update my blog for days together but sometimes victory is mine like today where I have beheaded that demon. Resistance comes everyday, every second but there is good news, we can defeat it , we can kill that blood sucking vampire but again you have to enter the battlefield everyday (to be frank every minute) to conquer it .In a very concise way “Life is all about defeating resistance and pursuing you inner passion” . Even players like Sachin Tendulkar and Tiger woods are terrified when they get into the field but the difference is they conquer their fears and defeat resistance. There is nothing called fearlessness , it is a fairy word , if you are fearless you are not human it is about acknowledging your fears and conquering them , if you bluff yourself saying you are fearless then you are lost . First acknowledge and feel your fear and then face it head on . I remember an interview of cricketing legend Rahul Dravid who once said “my heart beats faster and I tremble when I get on to play but I immediately condition my mind and conquer my fears and anxiety” . It is not easier to become a  pro and to do what you truly love. Initially you have to do what your pleasure sensors in your body hate to do , then only you can relish the beauty in your work . You believe it or not , but I believe it , there are higher planes of life above all this materialistic humbug , that is the place where people like Beethoven, Picasso and Tiger woods live(at least for sometime) by pursuing their passion and doing the work they love . If you truly want to experience those higher planes immerse yourself in a task you love without worrying about the ramifications. A professional knows it .

A professional knows there is no bad day to start a good thing and ( to be continued in subsequent parts)

– Raviteja Visakoti 

Afternoon Nap ( Poetry Genre )

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Today’s afternoon nap was something different. I was able to feel that

I could feel the consciousness closing the gates in front of me. I was happily lying in the gardens of subconscious and mischievously looking at them and the process that is going on which finally results into deep sleep. Even though it was just a 20 minute sleep, I could feel infinity in it

Strangely my face with closed eyes got attracted towards the opaque mixed translucent glass framed to the window which is shooting continuous cones of bright sunlight passing through it and my eyes could feel the firendly warm, even after they passed through an inch-sized glass and a decent protection of eyelids, my pupils relished them and I could literally feel it

The rays were making me sleepier and comforting me in utter tranquility accompanied by a beautiful silence in the room & surroundings and disrespecting to not to mention, the nicety of refreshing and bracing weather. There was transcendence to a new level, a higher plane  which generally cannot be expressed in words but must be felt !!

– Raviteja Visakoti 

Professional vs Amateur (Part 1)

I have recently completed reading the second installment of “The War of Art”  by Steven Pressfield, it is “Turning Pro” . I felt that I should communicate the essence of those two books with as many people as possible, so I have decided to put my understanding of those books in a sequence of articles for better conception of my expression. In-fact what I write in the next few articles is the hybridization of Pressfield’s ideas, my understanding of them, and my own ideas also.

Steven Pressfield is a legend, a pure legend and more importantly a professional(for conciseness’ sake let us call it Pro). This article and the next couple or more of them are exclusively related to analysing the qualities, differences, similarities of an amateur and that of a pro. Just for convenience let us explore the lexicon meanings of them first.

Amateur :-   Inept or Unskillful /not an expert /a person who engages in a pursuit, especially a sport, on an unpaid basis.

Professional :-Engaged in a specified activity as one’s main paid occupation rather than as a pastime/skillful/expert

When I was in my 9th Grade, my chemistry teacher told in the class that whatever you do, don’t crave for appreciation or recognition, if appreciation and fame automatically follow be happy but if nobody appreciates your work and somebody takes credit for your work then be happier because, she explained, you know the importance and greatness of your work and God knows it and you need not explain that to anyone. I can say that it is being professional. A professional knows what he does, he doesn’t crave for fame, he does any work out of love. An amateur does the opposite, everything that he does is to get recognition, to feel important, he concentrates only on the end-product and not on the process, he needs others’ approval, he just cannot live without that.

Achievement is a relative term but many people think that earning a greater than or equal to 6 digit paycheck per month, fame, power and the like are the only things which can be called as achievements . What is achievement to one person may not be nothing to the other . Understand your deep emotional wants and don’t wants, they are in a multitude ways different from those of the person sitting next to you. If you ask me what an achievement is I would say that anything that would take you from your current level to a next level of personal mastery is called an achievement and that next level can be very slightly higher or very higher, here also the improvement and consistency counts and not the speed and size of your leap. Meditating for 15 mins everyday for 1 year is an achievement in itself (in fact a great achievement), exercising everyday for 1 hour, reading books, writing articles, dismantling bad habits, adding new good habits, following a healthy and productive timetable everyday consistently for a period of time are all achievements. A professional knows this, an amateur doesn’t. An amateur is purely materialistic and sybaritic.

An amateur always operates in a hierarchy, he doesn’t have a zone or region of his own, he gets happier and excited when he is above someone in the hierarchy and gets bogged down and depressed when he is below and that is the reason an amateur is always jealous, he cannot see people rise above him – he gets terrified by the thought of it. A professional is never jealous, in fact he encourages others because he knows his turf, he knows his battlefield, he knows he has to fight his own demons like laziness, procrastination, and more importantly he knows he is not in this pseudo race .

To become a professional the first step is you have to listen to your true calling. Whenever you are embarked to pursue your true calling, there comes the most dangerous evil – the demon responsible for almost all misfortunes in the world -Resistance. Resistance is all pervasive and ( to be continued in Subsequent parts ..)

Rithish VisakotiRaviteja Visakoti 

Which Super Hero You Want to Be?

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During my childhood I used to constantly fight with my sibling highlighting the strengths of my favorite super hero and showcasing the weaknesses of his favorite one and he did the same thing and obviously we both would not budge that easily towards a common consensus. Exactly 2 years ago I watched the movie “Batman Begins” (starring Christian Bale and directed by the legendary Christopher Nolan ) and totally got all my opinions changed , prior to that I watched a lot of  super hero movies but none kindled me the way this movie did .Generally super hero movies (including our Superman) tend to showcase the person in lead in such a way that he is gifted with super powers and there by greatness automatically accompanied with it but Batman is not like that . Batman represents hope and responsibility , anybody can become a batman, there is a famous dialogue in that movie which goes like this “it’s not who you are underneath, it’s what you do that defines you” . Bruce Wayne(the character which represents Batman) is like a normal kid except that he comes from an extremely wealthy family and also has a lot of weakness and fears too but after his parents die , comes a dramatic shift in him that he goes in to explore the world leaving all his riches to find himself and in the process he gradually overcomes his fears, learns new skills (rather than being gifted) and finally achieves the purpose he had initially been committed to . As I said already there is batman in everybody but it has to be unleashed and for that requires huge internal commitment, perseverance and purpose in life . Finally not everyone can become superman but one become a batman if he commits to it !!

–  Raviteja Visakoti