Saturday, December 31, 2016

2016 - You were too good to me! 2017 - Here I come with more vigor!

Although the number of years we as a human species are going to live is very less compared to the cosmic scale, a year in our terms is still a year long! In that sense, 2016 has been a fantastic year both professional and personally for me. Simply because I feel that the past year gave me enough thrust to launch myself in a fully positive direction. I was able to achieve a lot in the year that just ended.

Picking up stats from here are the bunch of positive goals and the number of times I hit them in the past year.

  • Sporting activities - 44 (almost once a week over the year)
  • Reading - 165 day streak!
  • Meditation - 111
  • Yoga/Stretching - 109

All these are not haphazard things, these are real habits I've been wanting to develop, nay "Sustain" over a long period of time. Perseverance bears a lot of results over Impulsive Resolutions.

But it is a new year and I too want to take resolutions. Not to develop any new habits. But to sustain the existing ones. Probably improve those numbers above. Yet, those habits above give a lot of positive boost to myself!

Wish you all a very happy new year 2017!

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Boxing ring with my greatest fear

This was one of the assignments I received for my writing practice. 

Prompt: You find yourself in a boxing ring with your greatest fear. Describe the scene and detail your plan of attack.

It was 2 AM early Saturday morning and the streets of Bradley Cross were void of people. The snow had already started to get worse and the only sound one could hear was the accelerating breeze around the neighborhood. I felt I was the only one to be walking in that deserted night. The weather was freezing and I had to use an extra thermal wear to go along with my usual woolen jacket. I was walking towards the Regent towers. I entered the building and walked through the narrow hallway. The lights inside the building were only partially lit and a flickering bulb led me to a large wooden door at the end of the hallway. I went and knocked it exactly three times. A man 6 foot seven opened it and said in a thick Russian accent - 'Come fasther, it is going to starth, we were all waithing for you'

20 minutes later I was standing at the arena surrounded by a dense crowd waiting to see a fight whose result they all knew. Although the odds were entirely stacked up against me, a good chunk of them came to see the flight hoping I would somehow win and conquer my long-term enemy any my greatest nightmare Mr.Floosing (Fear of Losing)

My fifteen-minute buzzer beeped.


Thursday, October 20, 2016


It has been two full years I've deactivated my facebook account and my life has completely improved from then on. Turns out it was one of the best decisions I've taken till date. There was a point in my life where I use to have a lot of time and don't know how to spend of which Facebook had a lion's share. There were other things besides Facebook where I had wasted (wasting at times) precious time on like the below ones.
  1. Youtube deadly suggestion cycle
  2. TV Series like Game of Thrones, Sopranos, Suits, The Walking Dead, Better Call Saul, The Wire, Supernatural.
  3. Texas Holdem poker by Zynga
Not just a few hours, lots and lots of hours even days if you combine in a given week. Not just during off-work hours, but even during work hours - I had developed the habit of casually spending time on Facebook. At times it was very less and at other times, it was so pathetic that I could not control it. I was under its control. There were many addictive pages I used to follow, I had developed the obsession of looking at all the posts they have put - just to keep myself updated. There were lots of pages focussed on trolls and I was voraciously following them just to have giggles all over the period. It felt really good as I was not using my brains at all to learn something, it was just a large amount of information retrieval. I was not reading something useful, but it may be something interesting and funny. It was not adding any sort of value to neither my professional life nor my social life. The lie I use to tell to myself is that I am "in" facebook to be in touch with my close and distant friends whom otherwise I will not be able to contact or spend time with. This virtual connection I thought was a noble reason. Had I used facebook, say, for promoting my product or advertising about something that would yield a return in the long run or say develop an application on top of it that would either give me knowledge on understanding its architecture or would yield some profit, then it would have served as a proper cause. But the cause itself was a stupid one.

I tried many ways to quit FB. I installed some plugin in Chrome that would limit my time on Facebook - that did not help me for a long time, I tried other techniques on limiting the usage of Facebook, even that I could not maintain the discipline to follow up. I went and read all the bad things that Facebook could do to you assuming that they would give me enough moral incentive to stop using Facebook - nope did not work out. Seems it was a very bad habit that I could not stop.

So instead of trying to stop something that is resistive, I use a technique of developing something else. helped a lot in that aspect. I started to learn piano, started meditating, started doing Asana, started brushing teeth at night, started sporting activities. These commitments did not immediately make me come out of FB, however, I slowly started to feel the reduction in my stress levels as FB not only gave me entertainment - it used to stress me out as well for various reasons from hatred posts about religion, race, politics to my friends/acquaintances brag. It was a bit overstretched. So, one fine day I just stopped using it. The results were phenomenal! I could concentrate more on things that I had long wanted to perform. Some kind of transformation took place within me and I was more attracted towards the positive side of things.

(I often could stray from what I am trying to convey, but I don't give a damn, this is an exercise I am doing towards improving my writing skills. So I just want to vomit whatever thoughts coming out of my head and trying to curb my inner critic telling to write this article in a structured way. Screw that!)

Let me change the tone of this article from rant to wisdom. I am not going to ask you to come out Facebook and stop using it altogether - that would be a stupid advice I know. But ask yourself these basic questions. What is the motive behind me using Facebook? What are the things I am gaining by using Facebook - Is it just entertainment or is there any sort of wisdom this gives to me? How long am I using Facebook on weekdays and on weekends? On weekdays, I check during work hours?

Answer to few of these questions and do a retrospect you should get answers in some time if not immediately.


Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Breakup letter with Resistance

Dear Resistance,

How have you been? I've been longing to write to you for quite some time. Ironically, the only force preventing me from doing that was none but you! I think the time has come and I have to say this now - I am breaking up with you!

Yes, this may come as a shock to you. However, you did not give me any other choice. You kind of pushed me to a corner and forced me to do things (or rather not do things) that I would later regret in my life. You are that untold aura around me (and everyone perhaps) constantly making me yield to you. You have the knack and potential to masquerade yourself through my own physical self. Even identifying you took a long time for me since you hid and rode yourself through my unconsciousness. Throwing some conscious light over you took close to 30 years! That is a super long time to possess someone. That is why you are being called as the Devil.

Your true colors got unraveled only after I took the magic potion with ingredients containing definiteness of purpose, courage, dream, belief, luck, perseverance and lots and lots of action. I am pretty sure we may cross paths in future, but I am super happy having learnt to un-summon you at will!


Tuesday, October 11, 2016 contract!

I am really excited to have taken a serious stance towards improving my writing habit. As a first step, I wanted someone to help me towards making it a practice rather an "impulsive surge" that is great only for a short period of time. I already have an account with for a very long time and I just hired a personal coach. The Zeroth assignment given to me was to first write a contract that I should abide by. My coach Jen Anderson, gave a template on how to write one. This is what I came up with

"Beginning today, October 11, 2016, I, Braga will write every day for a period of minimum 20 minutes for 30 days. Should any obstacles present itself during this period, I would seek expert advice from Jen, my coach. As with other key goals, I track with, like Meditation, Yoga, and Read - I would include "Write" which I will check-in only if I meet the minimum requirement of writing at least 20 minutes a day; I do not have an upper limit to this period. I pray to the almighty to give me the power and consistency to be on track with this objective."

I am really excited and hope to continue in this direction. I am blogging about this not for the general public, but for myself - more like a journal.


Saturday, June 11, 2016

5 things to avoid during an emotional situation

Straight from Wikipedia, "Emotion, in everyday speech, is any relatively brief conscious experience characterised by intense mental activity and a high degree of pleasure or displeasure." Emotion - it is INTENSE isn't? All animals feel it and react the way they want to react. Controlling emotion is something that animals can't do. However - humans have that option.

Consider yourself as two different versions of you. One being a sane, logical, level headed and perhaps a person filled with wisdom who could analyse things clearly and be completely fair in decision making with very less to no bias. The other version of You is this freakish, crazy, emotional being just reacts to things and yields to strong feelings instantly.

All you've got to understand is that you have these two polarising personalities. Following a simple formula of one talking to another - would help a lot in preventing damage to both your profession and personal life. However insane you go, just remind yourself to avoid these things even though you feel they are right during that time. 

1. Don't send an email - Whenever you are running hot with different thoughts - writing an email is not a very wise decision. For instance, you are very angry at your boss or a subordinate and that you want to vent out that anger - email is clearly not the right choice. You will use words which your own sober version would regret later. Just remember that writing an email is not a great idea and if your sane version agrees to it now - it will 9 out of 10 times be right. Instead of hitting that send button, you may draft and keep it though for your rational self to review later.

2. Don't commit - This again is important while running frenzy with emotions there are lot times one will tend not to consider and commit to something. Most of the times this will not result as disastrous as an email, your "word" reputation may degrade. If you are too happy or too ambitious, just prefer words like 'I will have to analyse this', 'I'll get back to you on this' instead of words like 'I can do it by tomorrow', 'This is a piece of cake'

3. Don't swear - With the right ingredients like continued stress, provocative swear words, bashing in public - comes a diabolic ingredient swear words. Swearing, cursing or threatening at someone will not always be a sensible choice. However, a lame, reactive and a weaker one. Your saner you would agree on this. Try to remain calm or even better - avoid putting yourself in such a situation in the first place.

4. Don't go Social - With the rise in a lot of social channels like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc., it has become quite common to share your strong opinions. However, anything that goes out to the internet is very hard to take back. Even setting a Whatsapp status message could be something you should avoid.  

5. Don't go Gossip - There are times when you hear an extremely sensitive information or anything that pumps the adrenaline in your blood, you may want to instantly share with someone which you would later regret you would not have done. The best thing to do in such a circumstance is to let it pass and not just share or expose to people you would later think you would not. 

It is easier said than done and I hope the sensible part of you is reading this and if you could agree to some of this, then try to stop for a moment and try to recollect during a tense situation that doing any of these could be detrimental to your career and life!


Sunday, March 13, 2016

Sick is Pharma

Dear Pharma,

How come you've become so mighty that you precept almost everything in the world? You have the knack of making your appearance so generous and everything you do is seen as an achievement. How do you do that so easily? You are able to dictate what Doctors should study during their extra-prolonged education and you direct what medicines should be sold to where. How come you've become so globalised and united that you are able to fake the entire world in the name of WHO, CDC, FDA? And your relentless marketing for the fight against AIDS and Cancer which are nothing but temporary condition of the immune system (which you make sure gets permanent) deserves an award. You enter our lives right when we were born in the name of "vaccination" and stay with us all through our life. You've made almost everyone believe that you are the cure for all diseases - when in fact its the exact opposite. I want to go on and on about the damages you've done for centuries and the damages you keep on doing - but our time is relatively minuscule in cosmic scale and you will pay for the karma you leave behind.