Memento Mori

What if, one of the secrets to happiness is actually thinking about death?

Bhutanese, one of the happiest people, contemplate a lot on death.

Stoics always remind us to remember Death – Memento Mori

Some Latin American cultures have colourful festivals to celebrate their dead.

As morbid as it may sound, it does make sense to acknowledge and think about Death. Humans respond to fear through avoidance. Facing your deepest fear, thus, should reduce some anxiety around it.

The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time

Mark Twain

Celebrate and embrace death? Why not?

On Compassion

It is compassion, the most gracious of virtues,
Which moves the world


In the era of engineered anger, compassion seems to have taken the back seat.

Compassion does not mean subservience or giving up something for others. Compassion means accepting and tolerating the others as they do us.

But power lies in dividing, gaslighting and riling people. Politicians and profiteers have effectively been using anger and fear as tools to their benefit.

Give compassion a chance.

Eat Healthy

Easier said than done!

Businesses have their best food engineers work hard on products to ensure their consumers get addicted. Economies of scale ensure these products are cheaper than the healthier alternatives. Social media is used creatively to constantly bombard you with ads, so you never forget them.

Biology, Economics and Psychology are cleverly used to help make us poor eating choices.

Today, eating healthy not only requires serious lifestyle choices, but also is generally heavier on the pocket.

The system is stacked against us.

So, what does an average consumer do to fight this?

  • One of the simplest things is to ensure you eat more whole and natural foods.
  • Not all processed and packaged foods are bad. Learn to understand product labels and ingredients.
  • Do not give in to advertising.

Easier said than done!

On Writing More

As a challenge to myself, I am going to write every day this month.


I realise my writing needs a lot of improvement, and I am hoping this challenge will help me get into a habit of writing more regularly.

Seth Godin believes writing regularly (every day is what he recommends) is a key habit for one to succeed in life. Apparently, writing regularly not only helps in improving your written word, it also helps you think clearly, come up with better ideas and so on.

So, I am going to write every day this month. No matter how short or how pointless.

See you on the other side.


Thousands of years ago, in Athens, a bunch of people followed this haggard, dark-skinned philosopher called Zeno of Citium. He delivered lectures from the porch of a famous Athenian site, Stoa Poikile (Painted Porch).

Zeno, although a rich guy, chose to live the life of an ascetic. His journey into the world of philosophy is an interesting story in itself. After surviving a shipwreck, he went to a bookshop in Athens. He loved the portrayal of Socrates in Xenophon’s book called Memorabilia.

Zeno’s search for a teacher like Socrates led him to a famous Cynic of his time, Crates of Thebes. Zeno became of pupil of Crates and then went on to learn under other famous philosophers of his time. Eventually, based on his years of study, he started a school of philosophy of his own.

Initially called Zenonians, his followers were later known as Stoics (derived from Stoa). This philosophy is today known as Stoicism.

Most of his lectures and teachings have been lost to the sands of time, but some of his students managed to make notes and few of them survived.

Zeno divided his philosophy into three parts:

  • Logic
  • Physics
  • Ethics

Stoicism evolved and refined over the next few centuries. What we study as Stoicism today, though still based on Zeno’s teachings, has changed quite a bit. I hope to explore more on this topic in my eventual posts.

A lot has changed in the world since Zeno started teaching Stoicism, but surprisingly the teachings still hold.

Stoicism boasts of some famous students and followers over its long history (more on this later).

Much has been written and discussed about Stoicism. A simple online search will lead you to thousands of articles, books, social media posts etc. on this topic.

I stumbled upon Stoicism when I was looking for a framework for my life. Stoicism immediately resonated with me. I still am a novice and have a lot of learning to do, but I believe that Stoic thinking is an indispensable tool for me.

I suggest you take a look at Stoicism and decide if it can be a practical approach to living for you.

Why automate?

Remember the last time you were frustrated to do something repetitive at work? I do. Nothing drains energy like a boring, repetitive task.

Too much productive time is lost in doing things that can either be delegated, automated or deleted.

I am a big proponent of automation.

What is automation?

Automation is the process of letting a system do a task or set of recurring tasks with little to no involvement. Usually, you define and set up automation one time and it runs at pre-defined times.

How does it help?

Once you set up a process to run on automation, the tasks happen on their own. This frees up time for you to focus on activities that produce maximum impact for your business.

One should spend more time doing things that produce more income, instead of being busy with tasks that could have been given to a robot.

You cannot expect to compete with the same old methods.

How do I get started?

You do not need to be a technical person to get started. There are many tools available in the market that can provide you ready-made automations. The market leader is Zapier, of course. It is one of the oldest and has built integrations with thousands of software available in the market.

There are some new entrants such as Pabbly Connect that are more pocket friendly.

But not everything can be found in these ready-made tools. Sometimes, you need to get custom tools built to automate your business.

Less is more

Studies after studies have found that people who focus on too many things at a time usually fail at most of those.

Our brain is a very busy centre of activities. Obviously, the top priority is usually to keep the body alive. Followed by a hundred other decisions we have to make each day just to get by.

And then, there is this barrage of information that is thrown at us every day. This only makes the situation worse.

Unfortunately, we have limited amount of time and energy. The human brain just cannot afford to focus on too many things at once.

The only solution to being effective is to do reduce the number of things and to do them well. Focus on what is important.

As counter-intuitive as it may sound, you achieve more if you focus on fewer things.

Less is more.

First to mind

Which of the following products has a better chance at success?

  • Product A with no recognition.
  • Product B with some recognition.
  • Product C with great recognition.

Logically, you would choose Product C.

What if I change this equation slightly and tell you that Product A has superior quality compared to Products B and C?

Does this change your answer? Do you now think Product A has better chances at making more sales than Product C?

Human beings make a lot of decisions every day. Not all of them hold equal importance. In fact, most decisions are made unconsciously. We don’t have time and energy to give each decision equal amount of brain power. The human brain likes to take shortcuts when it can. Our brains have evolved that way.

This means, no matter how cool your product is, unless my brain has registered your product and your product is among the first my brain recalls, chances are I will never purchase your product.

Unless Product A runs great campaigns to educate their market why they are better, they have lesser chances at success.

First to mind usually wins the market.

Ten Movies

In response to Dhivya’s tag, these are 10 movies that impacted me in some way or other. The challenge is to post 10 films without mentioning name or context.

I would not say these are my all-time favourite films (some are), but these are what came to my mind when I thought of films that I might want to add on this list 😀

In no particular order.

How to do an effective BNI Feature Presentation ?

So it is that dreaded time in your BNI membership – it is your turn to do the feature presentation.

You have been visited by the Ghost of your Presentations Past and the fear has completely enveloped you. Or maybe you are cool as a cucumber and you are just here casually reading this (you liar!)

Let me tell you that it doesn’t have to be an 8-10 minute slot from hell. With a little preparation, you can have an extremely successful feature presentation. You can turn this into a very profitable opportunity.


Before we get into how to do an effective BNI presentation, you need to understand why you are doing it.

The goal is simple : generate referrals.

You have to educate your BNI chapter members how they can spot referrals for you. This is the only reason you do a presentation in BNI.


Unfortunately, this is not an ideal world where everyone has all the time in the work and is waiting for your pearls of eternal wisdom.

You need to remember the following constraints :

  1. TIME
    • Your time is limited. Do not try to cram as much as you can into this short time period.
    • Remember the goal : More Referrals, not most words. You are not here to win a speech competition.
    • Human attention is a very rare and valuable resource today. So how do you capture human attention ? Stories. They are easy to remember and connect with.
    • People remember stories not facts.


  • Pick ONE vertical or product or service (preferably one that is easy to refer and that generates more profit for you). We want to use the time and attention of our audience on a focused topic.
  • Explain what this product or service is in as less words as you can. Don’t get too technical and show off your knowledge. Your goal is not to put maximum number of people to sleep.
  • Now the most important part – stories. Write down two to three stories with Client/Company name, showing how your product/service solved a problem. Talk about the benefit your product/service caused. Don’t get into a lot of detail and especially don’t get too technical (or too emotional – this is not your drama society)
  • List down at least 4-6 specific asks. If you need help identifying specific asks – use Google, LinkedIn, Facebook or ask your uncle who knows everything about everything 😉

Use the above to write the content for your Feature Presentation. Yes, on paper. It is easier to do the next part if you have it on paper.


  • Once you put it all down, read it aloud. Slowly and clearly.
  • Time yourself. You have to finish the presentation within the given time. Otherwise, it looks very unprofessional and it shows you did not prepare.
    • If you are overshooting, be ready to strike out parts of your presentation.
    • If you are finishing the presentation and still have time left, see if you can add some meat to your stories.
  • Practice. Followed by more practice and then a little more.

Now you are ready. Have fun presenting !