Savvy Raj

Live Life Lovingly!

We are…

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Take note…

All that is visible
May be just an illusion
Or tricks and perhaps a facade
In the name of reality.

There is a maze running through
Of potential possibilities
Of fears and failures
Of success in endeavors.

Perceptions can create deceptions
Perhaps scripted and meant to distort.
And create a illusory reality
That can confound the smartest minds.

Humans are a work of art
Of mesmerizing magnitude
Each with a heart and mind of their own
Uniquely endowed beings…

Between the white and black
Are so many shades of grey
What appears right or wrong
May have so many layers to it.

Know such is the manner of life and living
Care to take note of emerging perspectives
And understand the shifts of behavior
Before you decide or draw a conclusion.

Savvy


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Why Practice Matters?

Why Practice Matters?

Learning any skill requires disciplined and repeated practice. Skill Development is an art itself .

Without the effort of practice , skills cannot improve or sustain.

While practice may not make every person perfect it will certainly better them gradually.

Practice makes you learn until you start to work instinctively.

To reach the level of an expert, practical training is a progressive module which creates challenges as you go along. Every stage a bit tougher than the earlier one.

What is important to remember is that practice is not only necessary but it is necessary to practice efficiently and effectively.

Does practise makes it perfect?

Practice is to engage and rehearse repeatedly in order to perfect a skill to mastery , but not all who practice acheive the level of an expert even with structured and deliberate practice standards in place . So we can safely say practice makes one better gradually.

A consistent practice of any talent or skill will begin to show results for sure. It could be tangible jump or it could be a little step according to the amount to time, focus and energy given to practice. In time the results could be exponential in its rewards as well.

Practice can be truly rewarding and a great source of confidence.But practice needs not only consistency but also determination in perseverance.

A few tips to improve and implement a practice routine..

Be ready to self reflect so as understand why you are motivated to continue practicing.

Be willing to develop the learners mindset and maintain it.

Be mindful of your behavioral changes as you improve and work on it positively to sustain you.

Be engaged proactively to adjust your practice levels as per requirement.

Be focused to set short and long term goals and work on achieving them.

Most of all…

Continuity of practice is important after achieving a set goal…

Keep your practice going!

Savvy


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On Self esteem

Self Esteem is deeply entwined with our inner confidence and the way we choose to behave in this world.

Unfortunately it is also influenced by many external factors which could be peers , family , relationships , and even state of health at the moment.

People who have a strong foundation of self esteem will tend to see the value of a life well lived.

If your feeling undermined by someone who brings you down at every opportunity, who sabotages your growth by clever manipulation you can rest assured they are not on your side. In fact they are the ones saddled with insecurities and self esteem issues and the sooner you distance yourself from such people , the better you are going to be.

No person is your friend who demands your silence, or denies your right to grow. Alice Walker

A few surefire ways to develop your sense of Self Esteem.

1 : Unlearn the negative patterns of thought.

2 : Create a habit of speaking mindfully

3: Choose to believe in your self worth.

4: Choose to forgive and let go baggage.

5: Keep learning & updating your skills.

Most importantly, celebrating the little things in your life makes you realise your self worth… so be a friend to yourself. It truly matters a great deal!

You owe it to yourself …cos you are worth it.

Savvy


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Gift of Listening

Giving your attention without fear or favour and caring to understand what another is saying, before responding says a lot about the person who is listening…

Here is a true incident…

Viktor Frankl, one of the great psychiatrists of the twentieth century, survived the death camps of Nazi Germany. His little book, Man’s Search for Meaning , is one of those life-changing books that everyone should read.

Frankl once told the story of a woman who called him in the middle of the night to calmly inform him she was about to commit suicide. Frankl kept her on the phone and talked her through her depression, giving her reason after reason to carry on living. Finally she promised she would not take her life, and she kept her word.

When they later met, Frankl asked which reason had persuaded her to live?
“None of them”, she told him.
What then influenced her to go on living, he pressed?
Her answer was simple, it was Frankl’s WILLINGNESS TO LISTEN to HER in the MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT.

A world in which there was SOMEONE ready to listen to another’s pain seemed to her a world in which it was worthwhile to live.

Often, it is not the brilliant argument that makes the difference. Sometimes the small act of LISTENING is the GREATEST GIFT we can GIVE.

How can we choose to listen well?

What are the barriers to effective listening? How can we improve our listening abilities.

A few issues in listening well….or what is called Ineffective listening.

Distraction caused by the difference between speaking and thinking speeds in humans. So if the speaker speaks too slowly or too fast, the listeners may lose the plot.

At times the appearance or personality quirks or the environment changes can create distractions.

Distraction also causes the listener to show a lack of interest through body language like in posture of loss of eye contact.

Overcoming distractions requires keeness to improve and interest in personal development as much as a sense of commitment to the task at hand.

Here are a 5 tips for improving listening skills.

1. Restating . Pay full attention so as to be able to restate or paraphrase in your own words every once in a while, what it is that you have heard so as to make the speaker feel listened to.

2 Prompting . Use short and positive prompts by interjecting them in the pauses … to show interest like .. And then ? So ?or I know…

3.Validating .Express your empathy . Show that you understand what another is saying or going through. Acknowledge the issues faced by another or the feelings as they are speaking. It shows you are sincere in your concern.

4.Pausing . Allow for some gaps in the conversation.. it helps buy time to think for both the speaker and the listener . As it helps process the information. Silences are great tools to let go the unnecessary gibberish and loose-ended talks which may be counter- productive.

5.Shifting . Redirecting a speaker when needed by shifting the topic gradually changes the tone of the discussion which can at times get too aggressive or violent for comfort.

There are so many ways that develops the GIFT OF LISTENING .

Have also found that in practise, the art of listening well involves all of our senses.

After all the art of a great conversation lies in the ability to listen keenly and respond well than simply react.

Savvy

Personally speaking I have often been a good listener… yet I must confess that there are a few close friends to whom I have spoken who are such great listeners that they put me at ease.

It is truly wonderful to be listened to as much as to listen. There is so much healing in the listening as much as in the sharing. I take this opportunity to thank those friends and readers who cared to give me a listening ear and time.🙏


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Life is how you live it. (Part2)

Infinite moments are meant to happen
Every moment is not the same
There is much within you
That can turn the way this moment feels

Sometimes life can be challenging
Making every moment difficult
There can be pain, agony that seem endless
Or every moment may seem like a chore

Yet whatever the times that must pass us by
How we feel deep within is
in how we learn to take the moment .
In happiness and sorrow, in joy and pain.

Allow the moment to manifest itself
As it is meant to
Don’t fight it, for as it comes it shall go
Remember nothing lasts forever.

In the river of time these moments slip on
In the passage of time
And so gear up to experience a brand new moment .
For every moment is a fresh start.

See every moment in goodwill of hope
Awaken to the present moment
For thats what truly matters
Life is how you live it.

Savvy

A few musings in continuation of yesterday’s post and its comments.


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You lead I follow : I lead you follow… Life is a dance!

Do you love to dance?

Do you enjoy leading a dance?

What makes a dance enjoyable?

Dance is a lot like life . Here I bring forth a few simple pointers on Partner Dancing.

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Important lessons in leadership are easily learned, on the dance floor…as you lead and as you follow.

They are very simple lessons and yet very powerful and contribute in making one a better dancer immediately. But more importantly it helps to know how to be a better leader in life too.

About two decades or more, Social dancing workshops and lessons in India were rarely common. We decided to do something about it and the Dance Concepts Latin &ballroom dance workshops began . We started with the basics :a Foxtrot , a Waltz , Jive , Rock n Roll and of course a Cha Cha Cha.

The idea was to teach as naturally and as simply as possible, so that the students made quick progress in learning the concepts of dancing rather than just a routine. Having had the privilege of sharing our social dancing skills with so many eager learners over the years we made a few observations … when the learners were learning the footwork side by side they would find it a breeze. But when we instructed them to join hands and dance together in an open hold some of them felt as if they were wrestling more than dancing with the lady pulling one way, while the man was pushing her another way Each had their ideas about how they should move and how it would look.

Social Dancing is a partnership, a partnership where there is a leader and a follower. Even if you don’t like to follow, to dance well together it is wise to respect the partnership rules. Learning to follow is a skill that one needs to develop and is not necessarily easy. It’s difficult as you have to do the same thing your partner is doing, except backward.

Just as important, you have to follow his lead even if it seems as if he’s going the wrong way. And thus if one learns to lead well, the partner may actually enjoy the feeling of being led than feeling yanked and shoved around.

Traditionally the man takes the lead on the dance floor. Yes, in ballroom dancing – even in these days -mostly the man leads. But roles can be and are reversed as well. After all it takes two to tango… if one leads the other follows.

Being a leader is more about sensitivity and definitely not about pushing your partner around, but to lead well, it is necessary to develop spatial awareness so you know exactly where your partner is at every moment, which foot their weight is balanced on without looking. You have to be aware of their pacing, and be mindful of the strengths, and weaknesses. And you have to take all that into consideration every time you move with a partner in your arms.

A good leader connects than controls.

Savvy

Sense what you are going to do before you do it. Just be aware of what your next step is going to be, and give your partner the signal at the right time so they can follow you gracefully. Like so in life: Having some foresight of what your life should become is like knowing what type of dance you want to do. But being a good leader requires more of you than that. It demands that you also have good ideas about the medium- and short-term tasks that are required to achieve that vision. And it means you have to communicate those ideas to your partners – those who are working closely with you to achieve your vision.

When dancing together it is very important to …

Signal your intentions with clarity. To lead well, and the way to avoid using force is to give strong, clear signals. The clearer your signals are, the easier it is to follow you. And the easier it is for your partner to follow you, the better you will look and feel together and the better they will like dancing with you.

In life: knowing what you want from your partners, colleagues etc is not enough. You have to let them know what you want them to do by communicating it to them with clarity. And most of all you have to develop the art of patience.

Lead to demonstrate your partner’s strengths.In dancing, the purpose of the leader is to lead – but the purpose of the dance itself is to enjoy the moment with your partner, each focusing on the bringing the best of each others strengths than the weaknesses…

Wise leaders hardly blame the follower when things go haphazard , which it might at times! After all exhilaration and excitement are a stones throw away from comfort zones that one might trespass at times , yet when ever the leader and the follower work in harmony … it is magnetic and mesmerizing indeed! It is then a dance beyond all expectations!

Savvy Raj

Member of International Dance Council

UNESCO

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