I’m a big believer in bucket-lists. I remember I made a list on the eve of the year 2000 and when I turn back and look at the list, it has really defined me as a person. It has given me the right clarity and focus in pushing forward.
I have been meaning to do a retreat focused on chalking out things that we truly want to pursue in our lives. Thus was born The Bucket-List Bootcamp. More info at http://Kiruba.com/bucketlist
While its easy for us to write down the list ourselves, its far more difficult to follow up and turn them into reality. Just like how training for a marathon as a group makes it easy, gunning for our goals makes it possible with the right team. The goal of the bootcamp is to invite 15 very motivated individuals with lots of hunger to pursue their passion together and help form a self-supporting group. Each of us will push others to achieve our goals.
The event takes place at my 9 acre farm, a nice, quiet, idyllic place to relax and plan our life. More about the place at http://Kiruba.com/farmstay
The event takes place on September 14 & 15, 2013. We are currently inviting application to select the best 15 people. If you are interested, I encourage to apply at http://Kiruba.com/bucketlist/bootcamp. Click on the ‘Apply’ button. Once selected, each participant makes a door donation of Rs.3000 which will be spent towards workshop materials, resource persons, fresh organic farm fresh meals, accommodation, local travel and excursion to Gingee Fort. There’s option to make the payment in installments if you need flexibility in payment.
Do you know a person who can benefit from this? Please do share the word around. Thank you in advance.
I came across this particular piece of statistics while browsing through the Net last night. It says that an average Indian lives around 70 years. Lets do the math.
If you’re 20 years old, you have approximately 2,500 weekends left to live.
If you’re 30 years old, you have 2,000 weekends left.
If you’re 40, you have 1,500 weekends left.
If you’re 50, you have 1,000 weekends left.
If you’re 60, a mere 500 weekends.
A lot of things come out clear after reading this.
1) I will turn 40 this year and this means I will approximately have 1500 weekends to live. That’s just 3000 days of Saturdays and Sundays. That’s it. That doesn’t sound much at all. Think of how old you are and how many weekends you have?
2) It also shows the stark reality that our parents and grand-parents have much lesser time. We must consciously spend more time with them. Evenings and Weekends are NOT for work.
3) I learned something profound from my friend Chendil Kumar (CK), someone who survived a massive heart attack. He told me that in his second life, he has a choice to life happily and that’s what he has consciously chosen to. A great tip. This single meeting inspired me to start the ‘UnKick the Bucket‘ project to find the true priorities in our lives.
4) I have also leaned to consciously remove any negative-minded people from my life. We have a choice in life and lets exercise it.
5) On the contrary I constantly keep looking for people who have a zest for life and passion for living. They radiate positivity. Those are the people we must bring into our lives.
So, how many weekends do you have? Scarily small, huh?
I was reading through Robin Sharma’s ‘62 Tips to Get Unstuck in 2013‘. Pretty impressive list even though most of them are commonsense. Out of 62 points, I asked myself what would be the 10 that really stuck a chord with me. Here they are.
- Be on time. (bonus points: be early)
- Do a collage filled with images of your ideal life. Look at it once a day for focus and inspiration.
- Do something that makes you feel uncomfortable at least once every 7 days.
- Remember that ordinary people talk about their goals. Leaders get them done. With speed.
- Spend an hour a day without stimulation (no phone+no FaceBook+no noise).
- Plan your week on a schedule (clarity is the DNA of mastery).
- Remember that to double your income, triple your investment in learning, coaching and self-education.
- Be a celebrator of other’s talents versus a critic.
- Give your customers 10X the value they pay for (The 10X Value Obsession).
- Dream big but start now.
What is your favorite?
Today is the 9th day of the New Year. This is my 9th blogpost this year. I’m not smiling yet because the first week is usually the easiest to keep up the new goals. It starts getting difficult from here onward. How do I know? Well, lets just say that I’m talking from experience of previous years!!
I want to see if I can buck the trend and continue to post one blogpost every day of 2013. That’s 365 blog posts. I know many others who wanted to do the same too. So, I invested my time in researching for ideas. Here are some ideas that you might find useful.
1) Scribble Down the Topics: The easiest way not to stare at a blank screen (the dreaded Writer’s Block) is to have a list of topics. Jot down topics that comes to your mind. Don’t wait. Just scribble it in a piece of paper or email yourself. When you sit down to blog, you will have a healthy choice of topics to choose from.
2) Shoot Lots of Photos: I’ve realized that photos make for wonderful content. Its also easy to write a description of the photo.
3) Write the Outline: Write down key points of the article. Don’t worry about sentence formation or grammar at this point. Just the important points. You can later expand them and proof-read to refine the article.
4) Expect Mood swings: There are days that you will feel energetic and ideas will flow freely. There will certainly be days where your mind blocks up, your body is tired or you will have crazy deadlines to meet at work. Just be prepared mentally. Make use of the good days and see if you can prepare extra blog posts. This way, even if you miss a few days, you will still be on track.
5) Enjoy Sharing your Ideas: It all boils down to this fundamental point. Are you having fun writing? This is key. If you enjoy writing and sharing your experience, then writing everyday will be a breeze.
6) Write in the Mornings: It helps to wake up early. You will have less distraction to deal with. Write when your mind is fresh. Read my post on how to write 500 Words before 9am.
7) Read Point #1 Again: The best way to ensure you have content to write everyday is to start off with a bunch of topics. The trick is to keep filling this list. So, remember to write those topics down as soon as it comes across your mind. This is key.
Are there other tips that you found useful? Please do share them in the comments section below. Here’s wishing you good luck on your mission to write regularly. Cheers.
Time Magazine has made a list of the Top 25 blogs in the World. I came across this list today and the timing couldn’t be better. I was looking for ways to get back to active blogging and this list gave me an idea. What can we learn from these successful blogs? What is it that makes these blogs awesome? Is there a success pattern that we can adopt for our own blogs? I decided to find out. And so, I patiently visited each of these 25 blogs and made notes as I went along. Here are my findings from my 5 hour mission.
1) Pick a Niche Topic: This clearly stands out as a success pattern. Almost every blog listed in the TIME’s list has focused on one particular area and focused deep into it. Lets take a few examples.
TheBillFold is about money. The site’s tag-line says it all, “Everything about Money you were too polite to ask”!
DesignSponge has fascinating ideas and lovely photos of home decorations.
BookShelfPorn does not talk about books. It only focuses on the book shelf designs and there are hundreds of great ideas.
Well, you get the idea. Pick a niche space that you are passionate about. Then focus on covering that area alone. Easy recipe to differentiate yourself.
Invite Guest Authors: There’s only so much that one can write. A good blog requires regular dose of good content to attract and retain audience. Mike Dang and Logan Sachon, the owners of TheBillFold do that cleverly by inviting writers from around the globe to contribute articles on their personal experiences with money. 500px, a great photo community thrives on fantastic photos shot by its members.
A possible lesson here. Open up your blog and invite your readers to participate. This ensures that your blog don’t get cobwebs for long. And its good to have company too.
Use Facebook Plugin for Comments: Commenting platforms like Disqus sucks. People hate registering on sites. Besides, they never update their avatars. See this page. FB commenting system works great, gets repeat audience and helps build a conversation going. For example, scroll down this page and take a look at the comments below. You can embed similar FB plugin from the Facebook Social Plugin Page.
Photos for Every Blog Post: Almost all the blogs in the Top 25 list use a picture to accentuate their blog post. Not only does it make your blog post look good, it provides visual relief from the monotony of text. Even better if you can mix audio and video into your posts.
Talk About Things that Others Won’t: Its very rare for people to openly talk about failures, embarrassing situations or difficulties in life. When people do, they immediately stand out and earn the attention and empathy of the readers. Take Emily Rapp, a mother who writes a blog about her 3 year old son Ronan, who is slowly dying from Tay-Sachs disease. He can no longer move or see. Its a very difficult situation for a mother but the fact that she is opening talking about it and how she is handling the situation is what makes people love her.
Controversy is Good: Take the case of Martha Payne, a 9 year old student who started posting pictures of school lunches everyday in her blog. Not many knew about her blog until the School Council decided to ban her blog. Word leaked out and this created a outrage on social media. Mainstream press started to cover the censorship and a senior minister had to step in to overturn the ban. Her blog helped raise over Rs.1 crore in charity money and she now has a book published. Goes to show that there’s nothing called bad publicity.
Well Researched Articles and Strongly Opinionated: Across all the 25 blogs, I noticed that the blog posts average around 200 words. That’s about 4 paragraphs. Long enough to write a well researched piece. Leave brevity for Twitter and Facebook. Blogs thrive on longer content. Also, remember that people come to your blog for *your* opinions. Say it the way you feel it.
So, these are the 7 trends that I found. What other trends did you notice from the Top 25 Blogs? Got any new ideas to improve our blogs? Please do share.
- Photo by Our Everyday Earth
I love new year resolutions. I make a brand new list every year. Even though, I’m aware that most of them don’t survive beyond the 2nd week of January !! There’s something about this season of hope.
A few resolutions though succeed brilliantly that warms the cockles of my heart. The ones that succeeded are the ones that I truly wanted to accomplish from the bottom of my heart. Not because of external forces or the need to impress others.
Almost all the resolutions that succeeded were many years in the making. The seeds for these were sown long time ago. I guess some ideas need time to germinate and take shape.
That’s when it stuck me. This year, instead of making resolutions for one year, I’ll write down resolutions I want to accomplish in my lifetime….and then work backwards to see how much I can contribute to those life goals in this calendar year.
That’s my take. What tips have worked for you to accomplish your goals? Please do share.
Here’s wishing you a very happy new year and best wishes for your resolutions to succeed.