Times have changed, and so has the title. But, it is still the same place where reflections of my colorful thoughts are scribbled. They are sometimes crazy and sometimes deep, but most often they do make sense when I pause and take a moment to write.
I enjoy reading (or skimming) through research papers published in various peer-reviewed journals, even when they are from other topic areas (sometimes, it is especially other topic areas). I read on topics that fascinate me. I enjoy reading from different fields of science and marketing. As the focus is on my area of research, I do not do it regularly. I do try to squeeze in a little free time. Recently, I happened to read an article on positive thoughts published in a leading Psychology journal. It is an oft-cited article on positive thoughts and human mind.
In this piece, the authors suggest a framework for how the science of positive psychology is going to look like in the future (an older article from the 2000's). As I was reading through this, a word caught my attention in the first paragraph of the article. It was the term "grouchy" (Seligman & Csikszentmihalyi 2000).
In this article one of the author shares something from his personal experience. It is about a conversation with his five-year old. As the father (the author) yells at his little girl as she keeps playing with the weeds around, that they were clearing from their garden, the girl says something extremely commendable. She tells him how at three years of age, she used to whine a lot. Now, after turning five, she has changed her whining to no whining state. She tells him, how he can change his grouchy attitude just the way, she could change hers. Kids! Yeah, they are a handful.
Well, even though the author goes on with the topic, I thought of the word, grouchy. We are all grouchy at different times on a scale of varying degree. A few of us are always grouchy and a few others are grouchy only at times. There are surely a few around who do not fall in to this category.Today being Monday, my thoughts went back to the usual Monday Blues that we get to hear from people around us. I remember the time when I used to work in India and every time at the start of the new week, there used to be posts on my newsfeed or someone used to crib at work about how they hated coming to office on a Monday. I have never felt that way (yet and hopefully never), but I was surely more excited about the weekends.
How wonderful will it be if all of us felt that it was an Awesome Monday instead of singing the blues (by the way, I like that genre of music :)).
Personally, I have felt a difference, whenever I started a week on a positive note. I have found myself to be slightly more productive whenever I felt or thought positively. Yes, people who want to disagree with me, might call it a placebo. Placebo or not, it works. Positive thoughts do not inhibit better work, it betters work. Agreed that it is super difficult to do. Trust me when I tell you, I dread thinking of writing this blog at night as I am extremely tired and a deadbeat when I get back home after a long day at work. If I do not have even an iota of positivity in me, then I don't think I can pull this challenge (or pulled it so far).
So, I think we must all start our week on a positive note. Even if you are not super excited, that is okay, just don't crib. May be talking to someone you love, giving a hug to someone dear, watching a funny movie or read something nice, or maybe just a nap. Anything to keep your spirits high. Even though the "Awesome Monday" concept has been around for a while, somehow it hasn't really become that popular yet.
I hope that I did not come across as being preachy. This wasn't for that, I was just sharing a good thought!
Seligman, Martin EP and Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. Postive Psychology : An Introduction. Vol.55, no.1. American Psychological Association, 2000.
Today is Chingam 1 (to be read as onnu). It is the new month according to the lunisolar calendar. This month is also called as Avani and Shravana. So, why is this month special? This month marks the beginning of the festival season back home and the it is fun to have small celebrations through the months until mid- December. It is also the month of Onam (Harvest festival in Kerala).
The first festival we have this month is the 'sacred thread' changing ceremony for men/boys who wear that. This is followed by usually the birthday of little Krishna and then the elephant-head god, Ganesha. Then comes Onam followed by the beautiful month of Navaratri or Durga Pooja. So, the big set of festival season is here and here is a wish to all of you on Chingam 1. Wishing you all blessed and excellent months ahead. Have fun!
Bucket List. A term that has become popular much after the famous movie with the same title in 2007. The term would have probably taken after the euphemism 'kick the bucket', which was again popularized in the movie, 'It's a mad, mad, mad, mad world'. The 2007 movie was a massive hit and how would it be not? It had Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman in the lead. The term was meant to have a list of things you wish you can do before you leave this world.
It is like a goal list that can evolve as you grow and change perspectives in life. I used to have a wish list that worked as a to-do list mostly like a work list for short-term goals. However, off late, I have decided to make one and keep it as an ever evolving list.
The first one on my list as of now (that was from the past too) is to get my biggest degree in life. Hopefully I will tick that one off my list soon.
Do share your thoughts on your list and how do you plan on getting it all checked out.
Do you guys know about Manjadikuru ? They are the little red seeds. For anyone who is from God's own country or is familiar with Kerala wouldn't have missed this. There is something special about holding them, playing with these seeds. Usually, most homes will have a small 'uruli' or a bowl filled with these beautiful and shiny red seeds. In most Krishna temples in Kerala, you will come across a small 'uruli' with Manjadikuru. People believe that it is lucky to take these seeds with both hands and just play with them when you visit a temple. Some even leave a couple of coins as they do this. In Guruvayoor (my favorite place), you can see a big 'uruli' with manjadi.
So, why and how did this become prevalent ? It goes back to a story from the past. Many years ago, there lived a poor lady in northern Kerala. She was an ardent devotee of Lord Guruvayoorappan (Krishna) and always wanted to visit Guruvayoor. She could not afford to buy any offering (nived…