The Theme of the my year 2016 is ‘Making a Difference’ ( Check out my post Blogger with a Cause to know more) It only made sense that the first book on my Bookshelf be by somebody who has make a difference in somebody’s life already!
I came across this book ‘ The Promise of a Pencil’ by Adam Bruan accidently, when I was going through the Kindle store & I was very intrigued by the title itself & decided to pick it up.
The book is a New York Times Bestseller & is the story of how the author met a young boy begging on the streets of India, who after being asked what he wanted most in his life, simply answered – ‘A pencil’.
This apparently tiny looking request led to a staggering journey across many countries & eventually led to Adam leaving his prestigious job to establish ‘Pencils of promise’. He started with just $25, & this small looking step has grown by leaps 7 bounds & has resulted in the establishment of more than 250 schools across the world today. The book is his journey & how he managed to accomplish this amazing feat! How can you not want to read it!
I will do a review, once I am done reading the book.
Why not read the book with me?!
If you have read it already though, let me know how you liked it in the comments section below!
I personally believe that so important to have a Dream. Something you wish to do, wish to have, wish to experience. Something that keeps you going in life.
My dream ever since I was a child was always Traveling around the world.
When I was 7, my Mom got a Game for me that came with a World Map & a Couple of knowledge cards. The whole purpose of the GAME was to help me improve my knowledge of the world ( Life of an Asian Kid! ) It involved 2 players. The first had to point out a place on the map & the second player had to ask a Question relating to the place from the Knowledge cards & vice-versa. The player that got the most correct answers would win!
I would play by the rules with my mom & dad but my childhood best pal Nikita & I, we had our own interesting version of the game! We would each take chances at picking a location on the map & pretend we were out to explore that place & would have our own Imaginary adventures!
Other times we were owners of a pretend Travel agency. Air-hostesses the next. But it was always something Travel related. This went on for a very long time with the two of us! It was very clear to whoever witnessed our play, that we would both suffer from a chronic case of Wanderlust as adults!
Today Nikita lives in Australia & travels around the world in her spare time & tries out all the adventure sports there are to try out! As for me, I travel enough to have Travel Blog.
I think the only reason why both of us did end up seeing the world as Adults is because every since we were children, that was our greatest Dream & coupled with it was also an intense desire for it to come true & doing everything we could that would help on the way to it.
I often get comments on my Blog, where people tell me that they wish to Travel, see the world, meet new people & experience wanderlust for themselves, but cannot. They have their own reasons as to why they cannot do so. They vary from having a family to look after, an old person to care for, a career that does not allow them to take time off or financial issues. And honestly, I get it. They are genuine reasons. I always wondered what the right response to these comments was.
It was yesterday when while watching a previous Super Soul Sunday episode of Oprah with Elizabeth Gilbert that I found the answer.
Elizabeth Gilbert, the author of the amazing Book ‘Eat,Pray, Love’, narrated a story a reader of hers shared with her. I am going to share that story with you.
The readers mother ( lets call her Amy) was born in a typical Irish catholic home in the 50’s & did what her mother & her grandmother & every other woman in her family had done before her. She got married at 18 & went on to have 5 kids in a row.
When Amy was 28, her husband left her. Just up & left. Amy was then left with 5 kids to raise. Her eldest then was 10 & the youngest 2 months old. The burden of holding her family together was on her & she did it take it upon herself to look after them as well as she could. It took a lot of efforts & sacrifices on her part which was pretty heroic in itself.
But there was also this one thing that she did, when it dawned upon her that her husband was never coming home again.She promised herself that her life would not always look this way, filled with so much sorrow, so much poverty & so much oppression in it. She promised herself that one day she would travel the world on her own.
She then got herself a coffee can, a regular coffee can. She kept it at the back of her cupboard where her children could not see it & everyday since the day her husband left, she put one dollar a day in it.
Amy knew there were always going to be hard times & there was always going to be trouble with money but one dollar was something she could spare. She never touched those coffee cans all the years & continued to put in one dollar every single day filling coffee cans after coffee cans.
After 20 years when her kids were all grown up & when her last kid left her house, that she finally cashed in those coffee cans & brought herself a ticket to travel around the world alone, as she had promised herself she would do!
This exceptional story of heroism & Dreams answers almost every question relating to our quests. Whether it be traveling the world, writing a book, running the marathon or something else. What I want to convey through this story is simple.
Don’t give up on your quest! Keep the dream alive! Have a plan!
If you don’t have a Dream yet, I encourage you to have one from this coming year.
Take a birds eye view of things. Sometimes we don’t get things instantly. We have to wait for the right time for them to come true & honestly that’s okay. It took me a long time to make my dream of traveling the world come true, but now, almost 20 years later it is finally happening for me. It will happen for you too.
Get a dream, keep your dream alive & get that Coffee Can ( A literal one or a Planner in its place, whichever is relevant)
Let us together declare the coming year as ‘The Year of the Coffee Cans ( & have lot of coffee in the process, wink wink 😉 )
I would love to hear about your dreams & plans too! Do leave them in the comments section of this post!
Every writer has a specific writing set up where he/she feels most comfortable. A cozy corner of their own, a proper study, a beautiful little coffee shop, a Garden, whatever gets the writing flowing! Writers, professional or amateurs alike, I find, are choosy when it comes to writing spaces. Creativity brings with it certain Quirks!
For me Personally,
This is how I write – Sitting up on my bed, in my room at home, with a cup of tea or coffee!
I usually write on my Laptop! Although when I started Blogging, it was from my cell phone! It was a random idea to blog! I had always maintained Journals, but never went online with it. It was a couple of blogs later when I really got serious about blogging & wanted perfect themes & backgrounds. It was then that I moved to my Laptop.
I like perfect silence while writing. I hate being disturbed when I am writing. It makes me irritable very quickly, when somebody interrupts my flow of writing & I lose my chain of thoughts. I find it very difficult to get back on track, hence need to have a quiet environment & no disturbance. It makes me wonder how people find coffee shops a great place to write! You need to be incredibly focused to not get disturbed by all that noise!
I sometimes find inspiration when I am running in the morning at the park. So once in a while I do write mini posts from there as well. Usually its mostly my observations or Aha moments that I try jotting down( What is it with Mother Nature & AHA moments!? )
It takes a long time for me to write. I usually start building a post by jotting down ideas in my Writing Journal & when I am sure I have covered all the points I need to convey, I finally get down to writing it. I write, edit, write, edit a million times before finally Publishing a post! That’s just me!
I have reached a point where I have a schedule of posting & its not random. Unless of course I am taking a blogging class ( which I find are very helpful ). Even when I ideas pop up in my head everywhere & anywhere, my writing space now is mostly my room ( which I totally love, Its my Zen place! )
What about you guys? Where do you do most of your writing? Do you have certain quirks when it comes to writing? I’d love to know! Leave a comment down below!
My Assignment today at Blogging101 is to Identify my ‘Target Audience’. To be very honest, I don’t really like the words ‘Target Audience’ for my readers here at ‘It’s Arpita’s Life’. It seems very business like to me. Not my style.
The thing I have always looked at my Blog as an Airport Lounge of sorts.
When you are Traveling & waiting at the Airport Lounge to board your flight or in between flights, you don’t really know who is going to come & settle in the chair next to you. But sooner or later, somebody walks in, settles down, either of you says hello, the usual conversations take place. You exchange stories about your Travels, the place you are from & where you are headed, so on & so forth. But there are also certain instances when you meet a person as a strangers, but when you part, you part from a friend. (True Story)
So basically my ‘Target audience’ is everyone & anyone with a story to share, those willing to turn from a Stranger to a friend & those who love a hearty conversation over a cup of Coffee/Tea ( you at your place, me at mine, till a better way is worked out by WordPress)
Somehow, I find that I have succeeded at finding my Target Audience! I have met so many wonderful strangers from exotic places here(Every place is exotic) who later became dear friends today.
There is so much I have shared that is close to my heart. Life Lessons I have learned, Books I have loved, My move to my new Apartment, my lifestyle choice of Minimalism & my love for Charity. You share stories this close to your heart generally with your friends, right? So I have it figured out I believe!
To all my new readers, from Bloggin101 community & otherwise, I say this – Come as a stranger, leave as a friend.
We live in a world where technology has advanced to such an extent that you can get in touch with a person residing on the other side of the planet within a mater of seconds. You are constantly connected with people at any given time, you are constantly accessible .
I have been one of those people who would update their Facebook, use Watsapp & Bbm for personal & work related matters, answer my phone every single time it rang, & have gone to bed & woken up in the morning having my smart phone constantly on me.
I have Attended almost every single social function I was invited to. Ansered work calls & attended to my clients even when I was on a family holiday thereby missing on all the fun! I am sure I am not the only one out here who has done that!
However there came a time when that joy of connection turned into an obligation. I was almost like a burnout. And I started to think to myself, Do we really need to be constantly connected all the time?
The answer is was No, we didn’t. We just do it out of obligation. A kind of societal pressure we face, that’s causing us a lot of stress!
The truth is we do not have an obligation to make ourselves available all the time. I think it is extremely important especially in the age of such constant connections to periodically disconnect & to simply be.
Its important that we set boundaries for ourselves.
How do we do that?
Try & leave your cell phone at home next time you go out for a family dinner. Stare at the face of your family member or spouse instead of your smart phone screen. Give them your full attention without the distraction of your phone buzzing every now & then.
Have no phone zones in the house like the dining room & the bedroom! If not no phone zones you can have a time limit set beyond which you will not be available on your cell phone to people. You have special features these days on phones where they have the no disturb timings settings.
Delete Social Networking apps from your phone! The urge to constantly use your smart phone is primarily because of having these apps on your phone! If you have to use Social Networking, do that when you log in through your desktop!
I strongly suggest having a Gadget Free holiday! Be conscious not to use them as much as you can when you go traveling. People did travel when there were no cell phones & did not get lost (if using Google maps is your excuse!) Enjoy the glory of mother nature & appreciate the beautiful things that you might otherwise miss!
Spend time with yourself, Spend the time you would have spent on your cellphone on your own self! Do some old fashioned reading, or just be! When was the last time you did that?
People, Its okay not to answer every single phone call, its okay not to check your mails everyday, its okay to not post update of every activity you’ve done on Facebook & its okay to not attend every event you are invited to. Connections are Important, don’t get me wrong, But more so now, Its important to learn the joys of Disconnection.