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MONEY BLOCKS

1. We looked at that kid alighting from a chauffeur-driven fancy car with envy.

How young were you at that time?

We allowed money to define us, when we felt a little small in her presence, despite the brilliant grades on our mark sheets.

2. We were envious of the classmate whose father had purchased a medical college seat for her with capitation fees, and we took up another course.

3. The starting package of that IIT/IIM friend was more attractive than the number of hours you had put in together for study.

Knowingly or unknowingly, you measured success with money.

Yet, you take pride in saying,

“Money doesn’t matter. I believe in giving my best to the world.”

You consider display of wealth or mention of net worth figures as vulgar.

You come home and spend a sleepless night thinking that the world has not been fair to you.

WHERE DO THE CONTRADICTIONS LIE?

  • A religion which says money is not important, so that people do not kill each other for that.
  • A value system which says “Do not Steal” even if you are hungry.
  • A culture which teaches us to be content with what we have, and happy.
  • A mindset which thinks creativity and commerce are two sides of a coin, which may never meet. Yet we know, one does not exist without the other.\
  • A set of priorities which put money matters on the backseat.
  •   A view of personal finance as a complex subject to be dealt by advisors or salespersons.
  •   An atmosphere where members of a family leave money matters at the discretion of the head of family, and need approvals at every step. They are not trained in decision-making.

There is a not-so-ulterior, humanist motive behind each.

Nobody ever said,

  • Do not manage or protect what you have
  • Do not ask for your worth
  • Do not plan for the future
  • Do not be ambitious
  • Do not live to the best of your means
  • Do not take your decisions
  • Do not leave a legacy

These are meanings we wrongly attributed to the lure of money, and called it greed.

It is time to look at inner contradictions in the face, and discard those.

It is time to look at the demon in the eye.

It is time to stop avoiding the topic.

It does not matter that you were not good at Math in school, or don’t understand how the stock market works.

Let us talk about money, and know where we are.

Let us own our relationship with money, just as we do with our creativity or skills or role play.

Let our kids understand money, and take away the fear and awe from it.

Let it be a healthier world, with money being a tool of exchange for a person’s abilities. If I need to give my best, or get the best from you, we need the medium of money.

Let us give our best, learn and earn and leave behind a smart legacy to the world.

A Reach Out Call to My Teacher- Nasreen Bahen ji

https://growinupwithlife.blogspot.com/2020/09/a-reach-out-call-to-my-teachernasreen.html

HAPPY TEACHERS’ DAY !!

Happy Teacher’s Day to a teacher, who shaped me, not only through her teaching, more than that through her passion and dedication to teach what she was best at , English as a language. Yes, she was Nasreen Bahenji (way back in eighties in Govt. Schools of UP, we used to address our female teachers as Bahenji and male teachers were addressed as Master ji or Guru ji).

She taught us English from class 9th to 12th. I studied in Govt. Girls Inter College Basti, U.P. It was a Hindi medium school. Being good at my studies and enjoying learning new things, I somehow  was attracted towards language English. Of all other reasons, one reason most probably was influence of Nasreen Bahenji’s fluent and impeccable English coupled with her refined manners and sweet voice. Voice so sweet yet so low that if you wished to learn from her, you had to pay absolute attention to her. You could not avoid listening to her lest you may fail in English which was the norm more than the deviation during those days.

In the beginning of class 10th, I told Nasreen Bahenji, during one of our Slogan Writing sessions with her that I wish to learn English like her and she answered with a question, “What stops you ?” I also answered back with a question as to who would teach me. ( back then there was neither the trend nor much resources to afford a private class). She very gently answered again, “I will teach you.”And YES, she taught me. For the next may be four- five months, this is how our class went by-

The first day she gave me a book of English Grammar and opening the section Tenses, introduced me as to how to proceed from Simple to Complex exercises. She told me to read the rules and try translating the sentences given in Hindi to English. For Vocabulary, she told me just to use a dictionary from Hindi to English.

I was told to translate as many sentences, complete as many exercises as I could and deposit the note book with her in the morning during assembly and to collect it back during lunch.

Next day I deposited my copy practicing Simple Present Tense where in I had filled in perhaps 20-25 pages. During lunch she handed me my note book back, full of corrections and a caution. The caution was, “Before you take on exercises, you must get few sample sentences checked by me.”

So for the next classes, I would deposit the note book full of exercises, covering the tense which was sample tested, and a few samples of the next tense to be learnt. We met every day during lunch for almost ten minutes when she would explain the corrections done by her. Every small WHAT was looked into and every small WHY of it was thoroughly described at my level of understanding.

And this was repeated every single day of school working. On non working days  of school, I kept on doing my work, her correction work doubled or at times tripled  but Nasreen Bahenji, not even once got irritated.

As soon as I mastered basics, she would add some advance concept or finer nuances to my work, explain it a little and assign the work.Somewhere 2-3 months into Learning English Project, she made it mandatory for me to speak in English with her during our 10 minutes Lunch Session.

One fine morning, she told me not to come every day to her but two times a week would be sufficient provided I kept doing my work every day. Then she brought it down to once a week and then to once a fortnight. Finally one day she asked me, “Why do you keep coming to me?” I replied, “To learn English”. She exclaimed, “But you know it already!” We both looked into each other’s eyes, her full of encouraging praise and mine full of gratitude, we both laughed out loudly.

From that day, daily visits stopped but she was still my mentor for any issue, be it English or life. I had become proficient at English. During one discussion with me, she encouraged me to opt English as a medium of instruction for classes 11th and 12th. To my query that there was no English medium school in our town asmm it was a backward area, looking questioningly into my eyes she stated, “You just have to opt for medium English to write your exams and rest goes on like as usual. Study in a Hindi medium school, have your books of all subjects in English and keep doing your work.” This was workable. And yes I was the only girl to write my paper of class 12th in English from a Hindi medium school way back in 1984. After that I have pursued all my education in language English only.

It must not be a story of courage and passion for many today as studying in English medium is the trend. But putting in context, it sure is the story of faith, courage and passion. Nasreen Bahenji’s faith in the capacity of a student, her courage to dismiss other teachers’ demotivating remarks at times and her passion for teaching, passion to go beyond the call of duty to do what she loved doing. Teaching to someone who is willing to learn is a double joy for a teacher.

I owe my proficiency in English to my teacher’s extra ordinary efforts with me.

This teachers’ day, this story sharing is a tribute to my teacher Nasreen Bahenji in public though I have been sharing this story very often with my teachers and students over time.

I don’t know where my teacher is. I tried locating her through a letter to school some 7-8 years back, tried looking for her on Social Media but till date have not been able to make any contact with her. Through this tribute I wish to reach out to my teacher. Any of you who is reading this blog, if you have some clue of her whereabouts, please share with me. All I know of her is that she was Nasreen Bahenji teaching English in G.G.I.C. Basti, U.P. during the years 1982-84.

P.S.

By the time I grew up, and became a teacher, private English medium schools were gaining popularity over govt. schools. This is where my hold on the language has always assisted me to do justice to my job. As an educator I believe, the language of learning should be mother tongue. One must learn any foreign language but learning in the name of language barrier must never stop.

I am proud of my mother tongue Hindi which I am equally proficient at. Hindi is not only my mother tongue, it is my day to day language, yet I have always experienced that being proficient in English has always benefitted me in my career progression. I have been into main stream teaching as an educator for 24 years and led the field from the front as Founder Principal of a CBSE school for 16 years.

 

Wildflowers – A Challenge in Covid19

Leadership as a Foundation Series

While I completed my home chores getting ready for the next day after my son has fallen asleep, at the unearthly hour of 21:30 hours my mobile buzzed with a message on WhatsApp. It announces “I would request you to send him regularly to online class. His studies are getting hampered so also his social skills….. He was becoming disciplined and a good student, responsible too….. I don’t want him to worsen again”, my son’s class teacher’s message to me.

Wow, flamboyant and eyes widening every nanosecond, I re-read the message to check my comprehension of the message communicated by his teacher and in a manner by his school as well. With appropriate neuroscience training on my side, I have been striving to be a friend of my kids, a go-to person who is there to support and hold them, letting them “Be” in the discoveries of who they truly are and want to be. And suddenly, out of the blue, I get a reminder from his teacher that my son is not shaping up!

The expectation listing weighing on my son, as highlighted by his teacher, (me getting anxious and then angry, human emotions) mother’s possessive mindset, my child is best.

1. He has to be “disciplined” (I don’t know what that means)

2. He is in UKG and has to be “responsible in studies” (wonder whether adults show responsibility for their own studies!)

3. His social skills are taught in school with 40 students cramped in a corner class while there is no place to stand up without pushing the tables or chairs (my son unfortunately has been shunted to be a back bencher by his teacher – rather unfair gesture, I thought)

And to add on, words poured out in the mind with ease, the teacher’s behavior in the matrix of outcome – behavioral incapacitation she is rending to each child and its even percolating to the family…..her screaming self and the unjust ways in which she handles disagreements. These comprehensive pointers all making an entry to the #supercomputer #memory brain in nano-jet-speed in less than a minute moving. Me just staring in disbelief at the audacities of the species calling themselves “Teachers”. (Truly understanding the challenges that have been upscalled by Covid19 pandemic crisis)

This is the normal emotional outburst that comes when we have no clarity in our goals for ourselves and especially for our kids. The best way to know what is working towards a prepared child is the fun and joy he gets from the mundane stuffs. It is good to #model, the example of the family members, especially parents, siblings and people in the community. A good way to start is instilling a #strongfoundation of task and problem solving orientation, letting the child completing his/her chores in the house, enforcing the helping, supporting #compassion and delegating approaches around the house.

Kids today have become the laggard in performance, like a robots for specific coded quick fixes of tasks. I don’t understand, as its one yard stick for all the evaluations and understanding of capabilities. The humankind has a colorful horizon of behaviors, expansive across all hues of the rainbow. If the way we do the selection of the creme’de layer from all youngsters, the ones with promising potentials are left in the dark back benches. Id it is still acceptable in every respected successful and growing institution of education, which is an industry in itself, the downfalling symptoms are visible in the workforce today.

The need system, concept method is the need of the hour to revive education system and purpose to be aligned with the new needs of the workforce of today’s & future generation. Today’s need is to rediscover the #creative #growthmindset of the children. To bring it back is to beneficially use the acronym:

A – Acknowledge

F – Friend

F – Favour

I – Influence

R – Respect

M – Motivate

We must acknowledge the behavioral patterns displayed by the kid at all times. One must strive to instill a calm and approachable friendly presence for them to discuss their challenges (as no child or adult I know, doesn’t want to improve). We are to be ready to bent down to their level to understand the pain of their feet in their shoe, believe and have faith in them to favour them first. We should aspire to lead by example, getting your hands mussy in the play pit to influence kids towards the desired better choices of behavioral outcomes. The kids are absolute happy beings, respect their sovereignty. And last but surely not the least, we absolutely need to encouraging positivity goes a long way with good learnings instead of the tagging, bad mouthing and name calling.

#ENN4Kids  #GiftOfChoice #PowerOfVoice

#ParentingBrainHacks  #MSquare #LearningSPark

An Open Letter to Schools

Dear Schools

In Education Sector, the only people, organizations or businesses to survive will be those who embrace the technology, learn and transform themselves. New Normal is being created very much in front of our own eyes…Digital/Online Teaching is replacing the Conventional Teaching. Those who match the speed of change will emerge successful.

Pandemic 2020 has reaffirmed the universal fact that it is the survival of the fittest but this time not in terms of physical strength, resources or connections. It is survival of the fittest..in terms of digital adaptability and resilience.

Ever wondered what are those attributes that reveal that somebody possesses that Attitude to Survive or not?

A Reality Check can be taken on the following parameters:
  • Am I capable to identify that change at the right time?
  • Am I ready to equip myself with the knowledge to take the change in stride?

Or

Am I still in denial mode and resisting the change?
  • Am I ready to invest time in myself to learn that knowledge?
  • Do I have the perseverance enough to continue if I have started to learn?
  • Am I ready to come out of my comfort zone and reinvent myself?
  • Am I ready to learn and fail rather than fail to learn?
  • Do I understand how to financially invest in learning to get the highest return?
  • Do I have the capability to convert knowledge into money and results?
  • Do I have the attitude to ‘just do it’?
  • Now let us do the Reality Check, this time..  ‘As a School’;
  •  Had I been quick enough to identify that right now digital/online teaching learning is replacing the traditional class rooms teaching learning?
  • Have I shown the willingness to take my entire team of educators on board and ready to learn the nitty gritty of on-line education in a systematic manner? (Please note that teachers learning on their own without any institutional support is not akin to systematic manner.)

Or

Do I believe that once the pandemic is over the teaching learning will come back to the traditional class room model?

  •  Have I made some structured schedule to spend time everyday to learn technology and upgrade myself? Have I done something to keep the morale of my team up?
  •  Have I made some practical plans to continue with my learning or it was just a knee jerk reaction and just organized a few training sessions and have nothing planned in a continuous manner?
  • Have I done something to keep the morale of my teachers up and motivated them enough to take a leap towards digital transformation? Have I been able to show them the vision? (Vision is something to be happening in the future but we are able to see it today?)
  •  Do I have guts and courage to learn and master one digital tool, another and then other till I find/ get customized one as per my needs? Am I ready to fail also while learning on the go?
  •  Have I been able to realize that I have to plan to invest financially also into the digital transformation trainings of my teachers? While right now it might seem as an expenditure but the business acumen in me tells me that it is actually an investment in future.
  • Am I capable enough to convert all this knowledge of digital transformation into real time profits and achievements? Do I understand that money invested today in my teachers’ training and establishing digital infrastructure at school is actually going to reflect in terms of my Students’ academic achievements and in turn helping me to sustain my business over time?
  • Have I taken the plunge in to digital learning, training and establishing digital interface or am I still brooding over fees and salary? Have I realized the things which can’t be controlled must not be tried to be controlled? Rather what can be done from my side, am I doing just that?

How right was Alvin Toffen when he said, “The illiterates of 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn.”?

This is applicable to individuals, organizations and businesses in equal measure. This is THE TIME for schools to learn, unlearn and relearn to be able to survive in future.

All the very best to all of you for the future ahead!

P.S.

These are of course difficult questions to ask and answer. Yet the difficult questions, when addressed to with utmost sincerity, very often open the doors to emerging possibilities.

I understand that the money is short in supply. Yet I know this also that we get funded when our plans are viable. Investment in digital transformation is very much a viable project.

Reading and listening to woes of private schools, teachers, parents and students on various platforms was somehow forcing me to think of a very practical bailout from the situation. This sure will help schools to emerge as schools of future. At such times of crisis the time at which decision is taken, makes a lot of difference to the survival trajectory.I believe many schools with futuristic visions have already taken the plunge at the RIGHT TIME and will survive the pandemic in the sense that the business and education both will be taken care of.

Let U be an IT Entrepreneur

Aspirant youth always look for opportunities for betterment and advancement. One question that arises after completion of Graudation in Engineering or Technology is ‘WHAT NEXT”.  Dilemma  is to go for employment as a Software Professional or start a small business  of your own in Information  Technology(I.T.)  as an Entrepreneur. Small is always Beautiful.  Yes,  it is a good idea to start  business in I.T in a small way and then grow as an self-propelled Entrepreneur.  Not only you will be fulfilling your dream but also providing gainful employment to the unemployed youth in the process. For that matter, Infor

For that matter, I.T. is footloose industry whithout forward or backward linkages. Raw material is your idea, process is your thought and output is an I.T, tool for usage in the Society. You can implement your ideas with minimum investment or resources.

This Program enables you  to have insight into the steps that are involved in pursuing a viable business opportunity in IT.  Focus on the emerging business verticals and your preparedness in taking up a model, suiting to you is the crux . Further the Programe gives you an idea on the formation of Company in India, process and procedures involved thereon. In addition, State/Central Government incentives, felicitations and handholding agencies/mechanisms, to start an IT enterprise are dealt  with appropriately.

Let us Be an I.T, Entrepreneur

Aspirant youth always look for opportunities for betterment and advancement. One question that arises after completion of Graudation in Engineering or Technology is ‘WHAT NEXT”.  Dilemma  is to go for employment as a Software Professional or start a small business  of your own in Information  Technology(I.T.)  as an Entrepreneur. Small is always Beautiful.  Yes,  it is a good idea to start  business in I.T in a small way and then grow as an self-propelled Entrepreneur.  Not only you will be fulfilling your dream but also providing gainful employment to the unemployed youth in the process. For that matter, Infor

For that matter, I.T. is footloose industry whithout forward or backward linkages. Raw material is your idea, process is your thought and output is an I.T, tool for usage in the Society. You can implement your ideas with minimum investment or resources.

This Program enables you  to have insight into the steps that are involved in pursuing a viable business opportunity in IT.  Focus on the emerging business verticals and your preparedness in taking up a model, suiting to you is the crux . Further the Programe gives you an idea on the formation of Company in India, process and procedures involved thereon. In addition, State/Central Government incentives, felicitations and handholding agencies/mechanisms, to start an IT enterprise are dealt  with appropriately.

An Open Letter to Parents

Dear Parents,

Could not stop writing this letter to you. With hope and positivity I am looking up to you all as the future of mankind is being raised at homes.

During the past five months, the life as we knew it, has been changing so fast in front of us all that we could feel the change happening and could relate so well with the age old wisdom that – Change is the only constant.

As the things were taking different shapes in front of us, among other things, we could also see Education emerging in its new avatar. The traditional teaching has been replaced by Online Teaching and the roles of parents and teachers have merged.

In such a scenario, I have few questions to ask you all.

  • Are you ready to accept the change? (which is still going on)
  • Did you ever wonder what will be the new scenario of education?
  • What will be your role in the hybrid model (a combination of online and offline teaching once the schools open) of education?
  • Are you ready to home school your children?
  • Did you ever visualize a world without schools?
  • Could you have done something to collaborate with the teachers of your children?
  • What could you have added to the learning of your children during this opportunity (though forced one) when you were available at home with your children?
  • What is more important?

Basic competence in reading, writing arithmetic along with life skills

Or

high proficiency in reading, writing and arithmetic without any life skills?

  • Did you try to coach your children basic life skills for physical survival, like cooking, washing, cleaning etc. other than studies?
  • Did you coach emotional stability, courage and resilience through your talks and actions to your children?
  • Could you have done something to make the situation better?

Try answering these questions very honestly. I am sure your answers to yourself will help you to find out the meaning of education and identify your role in the education of your children.

Remember parents, education is not what happens inside the four walls of the class room, education is all about our experiences and leanings out of them.

This corona time was an excellent opportunity to make the most of such experiences happening to all of us together.

Did you make the most of this opportunity? If yes, keep it up. If not, you still have time to think over and make the most of the time available. Nobody is yet sure as to when the schools are reopening. The schools open or don’t, the life goes on. So the learning for life must go on.

Wishing you all courage and resilience.

Truly Yours

Anju Arora

To Bite or Not to Bite

Dear friends,

I write this post as one of the first ones on this site exactly because many of us may be wondering as the title suggests whether to or not to. Many would be wondering when to. To lead one has to begin and the others then follow it is said. So I decided to take lead. Purely with the intent to set the ball rolling on this site.

Many a opportunities are lost in our life pondering as the title suggests and finally the one who bites takes the cake. Ever wondered why? Well! we have been brought up so. Do not take risks, ask yourself what if? and what not. My challenge to you through this write up is change your thoughts to Why not? and why not I? The absolute difference between leaders and followers. DEAL is a community born out of one such thought. Unless you bite the bullet, action doesn’t happen. And, we all know that activity is the mother of all that results. The result may or may not be as one seeks out to achieve. Yes! it might actually be better than the expectation. The point is when we look at the other side of the coin more and that says  that the results may not be as good as we desire. And that is the end of action. Fear of failure and inaction are the most limiting thoughts ever. Manifesting in procrastination and over protective approach.

Nothing of consequence was ever created, discovered or learnt without the one effort of venturing out. One says do not take a decision in the heat of the moment. But Heat is an essential aid for any creation. We are all a group of initiators and the need is to take action and that too decisively. Especially, in the most challenging of times. people look up to the actions of the preacher and they expect us to “practise what we preach” If you are on a journey to make a difference then you need to be different first. So Each one of us must pride ourselves in being different and diffident in the eye of a storm. Set out to chart our own course for all else to follow. Charting the course is for history makers and following the charts is for those who seek to follow.

Therefore, as we begin DEALING at DEAL. let us all chart our paths that are both unique and trailblazing, so much so that eventually we pride in it and others follow.

Born to LEAD  – Let’s DEAL.

IMPRESS OR INFLUENCE-ANOTHER EI GAME

It was her session,we were a group of about 50 coaches from DNCR chapter and the photographer was covering event as instructed, a few minutes later sister BK Shivani very politely but firmly asked the photographer if the clicks are done so that he might as well take his seat and not create any distraction. Later she went on to explain how we have begun to accept many a things as normal which in reality are not. As per her these pictures should be in mind as learnings and not as gigabytes in devices. Ah! She had already influenced me by then and while listening to her views on what vibrations we send when in anger, frustration vis-Ă -vis when in happiness, delight,joy. She was clearly hinting to emotions, my favorite area. Emotions, in fact are the locus of our behavior, our energy. And we can either be a giver in the moment or taker,so why not as well give and take nothing but positive energy, emotions and vibrations. Hope you are thinking in this direction.

The significant point truly synced in when she said,” We must question our intent before any public appearance that are we to impress or influence?” My connecting dot to her thought was –Leaders should influence. Literature on leadership will seldom advocate Leaders should impress.

Also, a beautiful thought floated from one of the pieces I read on EI that we operate either in ‘attack’ or in ‘defence’ mode. And both these modes have the potential to use our emotional intelligence. I am sure by the EI wave created all around we are very familiar with this and it doesn’t need any definition. @DanielGoleman, respect!

How true is the thought that ‘It’s my altitude that will decide my altitude’, it indeed is very true and is my belief too. So, am I not vouching for my personal competence read power being the baseline competence to any other EI competence?Adapted from @GrantHerbert. Bow!

Hence, I should be highly self-aware(first quadrant of Daniel Goleman EI framework) as ignorance to self-awareness is no defence. As I am the entrepreneur of the organization –My life and myself so is each one of us, so I must know the law of land read myself(You must follow the law of land you are on).And my knowledge shouldn’t just end here, but also steer to reduce my blind spots, more of them will only cause havoc and lead me to navigate in dark resulting in collision and conflict.

I must influence first myself and then transcend to influence others by giving or taking only positivity, and even if there is negativity, I must use my veto power to decide how much to give or take this negative denomination so that it is not present out of the proportion in myself. While all this was crossing my mind through my ears and limbic brain, I happened to develop on a matrix, which I named as “Emotion Blaming & Owning matrix to Groom Belief System”, here let me also share the power of narrative. Our brain is slave of our thoughts so more we call it a monkey brain, better monkey it will become. Should I chose to call it a monkey brain or my brain is a million dollar question. After understanding the power of narrative aka internal dialogue I decided to call it my brain and I will feed both feelings in it but in a proportionate fashion so that my goal to build relation, make peace, get the work done,be happy etc. is achieved with least or no conflict.I prefer having a self-belief over self-doubt to own what I am doing and this way my thoughts manifest.I will not feed my worst enemy-Self Doubt.Does this sound enticing? Well it is equally challenging, but surely worth taking a shot.