10 Practical Steps for Exponential Success, Starting Today

10 Practical Steps for Exponential Success, Starting Today

  1. Fuel Your Motivation: Keep your energy and motivation levels high to reach your objectives. Stay focused and consistently take action.
  2. Eliminate Distractions: Avoid time-wasting activities and devote your attention to what truly matters. Success requires dedicated focus on your goals.
  3. Set Audacious Goals: Aim for outcomes that are ten times greater than your current expectations, or even 100 times more than your perceived limits. Dream big and be bold.
  4. Commit to Focused Action: Put forth extraordinary effort and energy to reach your goals. Success demands unwavering concentration on your priorities.
  5. Cultivate a Supportive Network: Surround yourself with like-minded individuals who can provide encouragement and guidance. Your network can be an invaluable resource on your journey.
  6. Learn from the Experts: Find mentors and learn from those who have already achieved your desired outcomes. Apply their wisdom to your own path.
  7. Welcome Failure as a Learning Opportunity: Don’t fear failure; embrace it as a crucial part of growth. Learn from your mistakes and continue moving forward.
  8. Embrace Self-Belief: Unwavering confidence in your potential is crucial. Trust in your abilities to accomplish your goals and continually strive for greater heights.
  9. Acknowledge the Required Effort: Recognize that achieving your goals demands considerable dedication and action. Be prepared to do whatever it takes.
  10. Take Responsibility for Your Success: Own your actions and their outcomes, whether positive or negative. Don’t blame others or make excuses; focus on what you can control and take charge of your achievements.

Keywords: practical steps, exponential success, motivation, eliminate distractions, audacious goals, focused action, supportive network, learning from experts, failure as learning, self-belief, taking responsibility

Hashtags: #PracticalSuccess #StartingToday #ExponentialSuccess #Motivation #FocusedAction #AudaciousGoals #EliminateDistractions


Enhancing Communication: The Power of Linking Words


Effective communication is essential in every aspect of life, from personal relationships to professional interactions. One way to improve our communication is through the use of linking words, which serve to connect and clarify ideas. This article will explore various categories of linking words and demonstrate how they can enhance the clarity and persuasiveness of our speech and writing.

representative image for linking words.

Purpose: Establishing Goals and Intentions

Linking words can clarify the purpose or intention behind a statement. By using words like “to” and “so that,” we can demonstrate the desired outcome or goal. For example:

  • I’m going to the store to buy groceries.
  • She’s studying hard so that she can pass her exams.

Opinion and Concession: Expressing Personal Views and Acknowledging Alternatives

Expressing opinions and acknowledging alternative views are important in discussions and debates. Linking words such as “in my opinion,” “despite,” and “although” can help to convey personal perspectives while also showing respect for differing opinions:

  • In my opinion, the new policy is beneficial for the company.
  • Despite the challenges, I believe we can overcome them.
  • Although there are risks involved, the potential rewards are worth it.

Consequence and Contrast: Highlighting Results and Differences

Linking words can also be used to show consequences or contrast between ideas. Words like “as a result,” “however,” “yet,” and “whereas” help to illustrate the relationship between ideas:

  • The team worked hard, and as a result, they achieved their goal.
  • The movie was enjoyable; however, the ending was predictable.
  • He loves the city life, whereas she prefers the countryside.

Adding Ideas: Expanding on Thoughts and Connecting Points

Adding more ideas to our communication can make it richer and more persuasive. Linking words such as “moreover,” “also,” “in addition,” “so,” and “therefore” allow us to expand on our thoughts and present more evidence or examples:

  • The new product is affordable and user-friendly. Moreover, it has a range of unique features.
  • The book is not only entertaining but also educational.
  • In addition to our online presence, we plan to open a physical store.

Explaining, Condition, and Choice: Elaborating on Reasons and Alternatives

Linking words can also help us explain reasons, set conditions, or present choices. Words like “as,” “since,” “if,” “unless,” “either… or,” and “because” provide context and allow for clear communication of expectations:

  • Since you’ve completed your work, you may leave early.
  • If you want to join the team, you must pass the tryouts.
  • You can choose either the red shirt or the blue one.


Mastering the use of linking words is essential for clear and effective communication. These words help us express our intentions, opinions, consequences, and conditions while also allowing us to add ideas, create contrasts, and explain our thoughts. By incorporating these linking words into our speech and writing, we can enhance our communication skills and create more compelling, persuasive messages.

linking words, effective communication, purpose, intention, opinion, concession, consequence, contrast, adding ideas, explaining, condition, choice, clarity, persuasiveness, speech, writing, relationships, professional interactions

#linkingwords #effectivecommunication #purpose #intention #opinion #concession #consequence #contrast #addingideas #explaining #condition #choice #clarity #persuasiveness #speech #writing #relationships #professionalinteractions


‘This or That or That’ vs. ‘Take it or Leave It’ Choices: Preparing Kids for Life’s Challenges

Rajesh Soundararajan on LinkedIn –

Life is full of choices, and as parents, it’s our responsibility to teach our children how to make wise decisions. From small, inconsequential choices such as what toothpaste to buy to life-changing decisions like taking a job offer, we encounter two choices: ‘This or That or That’ and ‘Take it or Leave It.’ Understanding the differences between the two can help our children develop the life skills they need to navigate life’s challenges.

‘This or That or That’ are the small, everyday decisions we make, such as choosing a brand of soap, deciding what to have for dinner, or picking an outfit for the day. In these situations, we have multiple options to choose from, and we can take our time to weigh the pros and cons of each option before making a decision.

On the other hand, ‘Take it or Leave It’ choices are the big, crucial decisions we encounter. These decisions that can have a significant impact on our lives, such as getting admission to a top university, accepting a job offer when unemployed, or negotiating a business deal. In these situations, time is limited, and we must decide quickly. It’s often a matter of taking the opportunity presented to us or walking away altogether.

As parents, it’s our responsibility to prepare our children for both types of choices. We need to teach them about the importance of making wise decisions, even when the options are limited. We can do this by giving them the freedom to make decisions and learn from their mistakes. We can encourage them to take calculated risks and help them develop the confidence they need to face challenges head-on.

However, some argue that exposing children to tough choices can make them anxious and uncertain about their futures. Parents may feel that by guiding their children towards a particular option, they can protect them from the disappointment of making the wrong choice. However, this approach may lead to children becoming overly reliant on their parents to make decisions, and may even limit their independence. Worse still, they do not realise that life is not so pardoning.

Therefore, it’s crucial to strike a balance between shielding our kids from the harsh realities of life and preparing them for it. By teaching them about both types of choices, we can help them develop the life skills they need to succeed in the real world. We can show them that life is not always fair, and they won’t always have the luxury of choosing between multiple options. We must teach them that some decisions need to be made quickly, and they must be prepared to make tough choices when the situation calls for it.

‘This or That or That’ and ‘Take it or Leave It’ choices are essential aspects of life, and we must teach our children about both to prepare them for the challenges they will encounter. By giving them the tools to make wise decisions, we can help them navigate life’s challenges with more ease and achieve their goals. As parents, it’s our responsibility to prepare our children for the future by teaching them valuable life skills such as decision-making, independence, and resilience.

Keywords: decision-making, parenting, preparation, life skills, opportunities

#decisionmaking #parenting #lifeskills #opportunities #preparation

democracy Uncategorized

Dissenters: The Guardians of Democracy

Rajesh Soundararajan on LinkedIn –

I had earlier written earlier on “Why Cultivating a Culture of Dissent is Crucial for the Future of Work”. But then dissent is as crucial for democracy as for corporates.

In today’s world, as much as it has always been in the past, dissent is often seen as a threat to the established order. Those who challenge prevailing assumptions and speak out against injustice or unfairness may (do) face opposition, ostracism, or even persecution. However, despite their challenges, dissenters play a crucial role in promoting progress, protecting democracy, and preventing the rise of authoritarianism.

Dissenters: The Guardians of Democracy

Dissenters are individuals who hold views that differ from those held by the majority, and are willing to express those views in the face of opposition. They may be motivated by a range of factors, including

  • personal convictions,
  • commitment to progress,
  • empathy and concern for others, and
  • intellectual curiosity.

While dissent may (will) require courage and may (will) be met with resistance, it is a vital component of a healthy and thriving society.

One of the key roles of dissenters is to challenge prevailing assumptions and promote critical thinking. By offering new perspectives and ideas, dissenters can help to spark innovation and progress, driving society forward and improving the lives of individuals and communities. In some cases, dissenters may be motivated by a desire to bring about social or political change, and may be instrumental in advocating for the rights of marginalized or oppressed groups.

Dissenters also play a crucial role in protecting democracy and preventing the rise of authoritarianism. In a healthy democracy, diverse perspectives and opinions are valued, and individuals are free to express their views without fear of persecution or retribution. However, in situations where dissent is suppressed or punished, there is a risk of erosion of democracy and freedom, as people may become discouraged or intimidated from expressing opinions that differ from the status quo.

“Dissent, rebellion, and all-around hell-raising remain the true duty of patriots.”

Barbara Ehrenreich

In recent years, we have seen a rise of authoritarianism and populism in many parts of the world. In this context, dissenters are often viewed as a threat to the established order, and face persecution, violence, or censorship. However, it is precisely in these contexts that dissenters play a crucial role in safeguarding democracy and protecting human rights.

History has shown us the power of dissenters to bring about positive change and prevent the rise of authoritarianism. From civil rights activists to environmental advocates to social reformers, dissenters have played a vital role in driving progress and promoting justice and equality. Even in situations where their views are initially met with resistance or hostility, dissenters have the potential to make a lasting impact on society, influencing the trajectory of history and shaping the world in profound ways.

Throughout history, dissenters have played a crucial role in driving progress and promoting social change. From civil rights leaders like Martin Luther King Jr., to social reformers like Jane Addams, to political activists like Nelson Mandela and Mahatma Gandhi, dissenters have challenged the status quo and brought attention to important issues that might otherwise have been ignored or suppressed. These dissenters were often met with resistance, ridicule, and even violence, but they persisted in their efforts to promote change and left a lasting legacy that continues to inspire and inform us today. By speaking out against injustice, advocating for the rights of marginalized groups, and challenging prevailing assumptions, these dissenters made a profound impact on the world and helped to shape the course of history.

“Dissent is essential in any democracy. Without dissent, we risk slipping into complacency and conformity, and losing sight of the values and principles that underpin our society.”

Helen Clark

In recent years, with the rise of social media and technology giants like Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, and Google (FAANG), we’re supposed to give a platform and make it easier for dissenters to share their views and connect with like-minded individuals. However, this has also given these companies tremendous power and influence over the flow of information. They have often been accused of using their clout to silence dissenting voices. In the current digital landscape, dissenters face the challenge of raising their voices and not getting cowed down by powerful corporations that control the platforms they use to share their messages. As social media platforms continue to play an increasingly important role in shaping public opinion, it is more important than ever to safeguard the right to dissent and to promote a culture that values diverse perspectives and encourages respectful dialogue.

In conclusion, while dissenters may not rule the world, they are instrumental in preventing a collapse of world order and authoritarianism. By promoting critical thinking, advocating for progress, protecting democracy, and speaking out against injustice, dissenters play a vital role in shaping the future of society and ensuring that our world remains a place where diverse perspectives are valued and human rights are protected.

Keywords: Dissenters, Democracy, Critical Thinking, Free Speech, Innovation, Progress, Social Change, Activism, Resistance, Accountability

#Dissenters #Democracy #CriticalThinking #FreeSpeech #Innovation #Progress #SocialChange #Activism #Resistance #Accountability

3X3Learning contribute PeopleFriday Leadership

Why Cultivating a Culture of Dissent is Crucial for the Future of Work

In the professional world, conformity and compliance are often seen as virtues. Employees are expected to follow established procedures and protocols and to conform to the values and goals of the organization. However, while conformity can promote efficiency and stability, it can stifle innovation and creativity. To thrive in today’s rapidly changing and competitive environment, organizations need to cultivate a culture of dissent that values diverse perspectives and encourages employees to challenge prevailing assumptions.

Why Cultivating a Culture of Dissent is Crucial for the Future of Work

The Importance of Dissenters in Professional Life and Corporate Culture

Dissenters are individuals who hold views that differ from those held by the majority and are willing to express those views in the face of opposition. While dissenters may be met with resistance or even punishment, they play a crucial role in promoting innovation, driving progress, and preventing groupthink.

One of the key benefits of dissenters in the professional world is that they promote critical thinking and creativity. By offering new perspectives and ideas, dissenters can help organizations to identify new opportunities and to develop innovative solutions to complex problems. Dissenters may be motivated by a desire to challenge the status quo, explore new possibilities, or bring attention to overlooked or ignored issues.

To cultivate a culture of dissent, organizations need to be willing to listen to and value diverse perspectives. This means encouraging employees to speak up, providing opportunities for feedback and dialogue, and creating an environment where dissent is not punished but instead encouraged. Organizations that value dissent may be more resilient, adaptable, and creative, as they can respond to changing circumstances and identify new opportunities for growth and development.

However, while dissent can be a valuable asset to organizations, it can also be disruptive if not managed effectively. In order to harness the power of dissent, organizations need to create a culture that values constructive criticism, encourages respectful dialogue, and promotes transparency and accountability. Organizations that can strike a balance between conformity and dissent may be better able to navigate the challenges of today’s rapidly changing and competitive environment.

Dissenters play a crucial role in promoting innovation, driving progress, and preventing groupthink in the professional world. By valuing diverse perspectives and encouraging employees to challenge prevailing assumptions, organizations can create a culture of dissent that is more resilient, adaptable, and creative. In today’s rapidly changing and competitive environment, the ability to think critically and creatively is more important than ever. Organizations that cultivate a culture of dissent may be better positioned to succeed in the long term.

And here’s what Senior Leadership Can Do to foster a Culture of Dissent: 

As we have seen, dissent can play a crucial role in promoting innovation, driving progress, and preventing groupthink in professional and corporate environments. However, cultivating a culture of dissent is not always easy and may require a concerted effort from senior leadership.

Here are some strategies that senior leadership can use to help build a culture of dissent:

  • Encourage Open Communication: Senior leadership should encourage open communication and allow employees to express their opinions and ideas. This means creating channels for feedback and dialogue and ensuring that all employees feel valued and respected.
  • Foster a Safe and Supportive Environment: Senior leadership needs to create a safe and supportive environment where employees feel comfortable expressing dissenting views. This means taking a zero-tolerance approach to harassment and bullying and creating a culture where employees are encouraged to challenge prevailing assumptions without fear of retribution.
  • Model the Behavior: Senior leadership should model the behavior they wish to see in their employees. This means being open to constructive criticism, demonstrating a willingness to listen to diverse perspectives, and valuing dissenting opinions.
  • Promote Diversity: To promote dissent, organizations need to value diversity in all its forms. This means promoting diversity in hiring and promotion practices and creating a culture that values different perspectives, experiences, and backgrounds.
  • Recognize and Reward Dissent: Finally, senior leadership should recognize and reward dissenting voices. This means acknowledging the contributions of dissenters, providing opportunities for career growth and development, and creating a culture where dissent is seen as an asset rather than a liability.

And thus, senior leadership can help to create a culture of dissent that promotes innovation, drives progress, and prevents groupthink. While cultivating dissent may require effort and commitment, the benefits of doing so are clear: organizations that are able to strike a balance between conformity and dissent may be better positioned to succeed in today’s rapidly changing and competitive environment.

#Dissenters #Innovation #CorporateCulture #Leadership #CriticalThinking #Creativity #Groupthink #Democracy #Resilience #Change #WorkplaceCulture #CorporateLife #ProfessionalDevelopment #CareerGrowth #FutureOfWork #BusinessLeadership #Teamwork #Success #EmployeeEngagement #WorkplaceDiversity


The Art of Making Faster Decisions

Mastering Decision-Making: Tips for Making Faster and Better Choices

Rajesh Soundararajan on LinkedIn –

Do you ever find yourself stuck in indecision, struggling to make a choice and feeling like you’re wasting time? If so, you’re not alone. Decision-making can be tough, but it doesn’t have to be a source of stress and anxiety.

The Art of Making Faster Decisions

Here are a few tips to help you make faster, more confident decisions:

  1. Set a deadline: When you’re facing a decision, give yourself a deadline to make it. This can help you avoid getting bogged down in analysis paralysis and make a choice more quickly.
  2. Prioritize your values: Think about what’s most important to you, and use that as a guide for your decision-making. This can help you quickly eliminate options that don’t align with your core values.
  3. Limit your options: Too many choices can be overwhelming and lead to decision fatigue. Try to narrow down your options to just a few, and focus on choosing the best one from that smaller set.
  4. Listen to your gut feeling: Your intuition can be a powerful tool in decision-making. Pay attention to your instincts and feelings, and trust yourself to make the right choice.
  5. Consider the consequences: Think about the potential outcomes of each option, and how they will impact you in the short and long term. This can help you make a more informed decision and avoid making impulsive choices.
  6. Think of your time as money: Every moment you spend deliberating is a moment you could be spending on something else. Remember that time is a valuable resource, and use it wisely.
  7. Remember that indecision kills: Delaying a decision can be just as harmful as making the wrong one. Don’t let fear or uncertainty hold you back from taking action.
  8. Know that decisiveness grows with each decision: The more you practice decision-making, the easier it will become. Start with small decisions and work your way up to bigger ones. Over time, you’ll develop the confidence and skills you need to make decisions quickly and effectively.

It’s important to note that not making a decision can also be considered a decision, as long as it’s done intentionally and with a purpose. In some cases, not making a decision can be the best option. For example, if you’re presented with a choice between two options, and neither of them is a good fit for your values or goals, it may be better to refrain from making a decision and continue searching for a better option. Or, if you’re not sure what to do in a situation that requires more information or input from others, it may be wise to wait until you have more clarity before making a decision.

However, it’s important to be mindful of the potential consequences of not making a decision. In some cases, delaying a decision or avoiding it altogether can lead to missed opportunities or increased stress and uncertainty. It’s important to weigh the pros and cons of each option and consider the potential outcomes of not making a decision, in addition to the outcomes of making one.

Ultimately, the decision to not make a decision should be made intentionally and with purpose, rather than as a default or as a way of avoiding responsibility. It’s important to be honest with yourself and others about why you’re choosing not to make a decision, and to communicate your intentions clearly and respectfully.

Keywords: decision-making, faster decisions, confidence, values, intuition, consequences, time management, mindfulness, deliberate decision-making

#decisionmaking #fasterdecisions #confidence #values #intuition #consequences #timemanagement #mindfulness #deliberatedecisionmaking

Indian Neighborhood Learning

A Tale of Two Study Spaces: Abhyas Galli and Starbucks

Contrasting the Socio-Economic Divide in Education

Rajesh Soundararajan on LinkedIn –

This is triggered by a post in India Today –

A primer in Abhyas Galli, Mumbai (Study Lane):

In a city like Mumbai, where space is a luxury, finding a quiet and dedicated study spot can be challenging, especially for those from lower-income families. However, Abhyas Gali, also known as “Down Study Lane,” is a narrow lane in Worli where children from different parts of the city gather every evening for a focused study session. The Abhyas Gali is a pavement surrounded by trees, and it is the only dedicated place for these children to study and pursue their academic dreams.

A primer on Starbucks turning into study centers:

With free Wi-Fi, comfortable seating, and an ambiance that encourages productivity, high-end cafes like Starbucks have become popular destinations for students and professionals looking to change the scenery from their usual study spots. The rise of these high-end cafes as study centers has transformed traditional coffee shops into a new environment where students can enjoy a cup of cappuccino or a chai latte. At the same time, they work, surrounded by the buzz of other people working on their laptops. With designated study areas and a quiet cafe policy during peak study hours, these cafes provide an ideal space for learning and working, making them a go-to study spot for many.

Tale of Two Study Spaces

The Abhyas Galli in Mumbai and Starbucks cafes around the world may seem worlds apart, but they have one thing in common: they both serve as study spaces for students. However, the stark differences between these two spaces highlight the deep divide between the rich and the poor.

In Starbucks cafes, students can enjoy a cup of coffee and a cookie while studying in a comfortable environment. With free Wi-Fi and ample seating, these cafes have become popular study spots for students and professionals alike. However, the price of a coffee and a cookie for a group of five at Starbucks can be the entire amount of money that a child from a Abhyas Gali lower-income family spends on books and school for an entire year.

On the other hand, the Abhyas Galli is a pavement in a narrow lane in Worli, Mumbai, where children from lower-income families gather every evening to study. These children do not have the luxury of a comfortable seating arrangement, air conditioning, or Wi-Fi, but they make do with what they have. The Abhyas Galli provides them with a dedicated study space, which is a rare commodity in a city like Mumbai.

“The price of a coffee and a cookie for a group of five at Starbucks can be the entire amount of money that a child from Abhyas Gali lower-income family spends on books and school for an entire year.”

Rajesh soundararajan

The children who study at Abhyas Gali in Mumbai come from lower-income families and attend government schools or other low-cost educational institutions. These children may not have access to the latest educational resources or advanced technology, but they make the best of what they have. They often rely on public transportation or walk to get to school, and they may not own a vehicle or a bike. On the other hand, the children who study at Starbucks cafes come from more affluent families and attend premium private schools. These children have access to the latest educational resources, including technology, and they may have their own vehicles or bikes to commute to school.

The Abhyas Galli and Starbucks represent the two extremes of the socio-economic divide. While Starbucks provides an environment of comfort and luxury, the Abhyas Galli provides a space for the underprivileged to study and pursue their dreams. However, the reality is that these children may not have access to the same opportunities as those who study in Starbucks cafes. While some students are paying for a comfortable study space, others are struggling to afford books and basic school supplies.

In conclusion, a thought and a poser

This contrast raises questions about the fairness of the education system and the role that socio-economic status plays in determining access to opportunities. How can we bridge this divide and ensure that all students have access to the resources they need to succeed? Should education be a luxury that only the rich can afford, or should it be a right that is accessible to all?

The Abhyas Galli and Starbucks represent two very different realities, but they both serve as reminders of the inequality that exists in our world. While some may take their comfortable study spaces for granted, it is important to remember those who do not have access to the same resources. We must work towards a future where every child has an equal opportunity to succeed, regardless of their socio-economic background.

Questions for deeper thinking

Here are five thought-provoking questions we can ask ourselves to trigger deeper awareness:

  1. How much does our socio-economic status impact our access to education and opportunities, and what can we do to address this inequality?
  2. Are we taking our comfortable study spaces for granted, and how can we use our privilege to support those who do not have access to the same resources?
  3. How can we work to eliminate the systemic barriers that prevent underprivileged children from accessing the same educational resources and opportunities as their more affluent peers?
  4. In what ways can we support organizations or initiatives that provide underprivileged children with access to quality education and resources, and how can we make a meaningful impact in our communities?
  5. What role can we play in advocating for a fair and equitable education system that provides every child with an equal opportunity to succeed, regardless of their socio-economic background?
PeopleFriday Leadership

Anxiety to Flow: Understanding Your Skill Level vs Challenge.

How Self-Assessment Can Help You Achieve Personal Growth and Development

Rajesh Soundararajan on LinkedIn – 

Who wouldn’t want to have Personal growth AND a happy life? When I mentor people, usually youngsters, they seem to be undergoing some serious stress while they try to manage their professional challenges. They are disenchanted that they believe they will be in a zone, while their reality appears to be different. 

In this blog post, on how to get into a zone. Being in a zone is a very zen feeling. When Nadal meets Jokovic they are in a zone. When a Lakshya Sen meets Axelsen, they will be in a zone. They have extremely good skill levels and their challenge is high. 

You too can be in a (flow) zone. How can you get there.

In this article, we will explore the relationship between skill levels and challenges, and how to use self-assessment to take on new challenges. 

When you are faced with a challenge, different feelings can arise. Anxiety, worry, apathy, arousal, boredom, relaxation, challenged, and flow are some of the most common. It’s essential to learn how to manage these feelings to stay focused and engaged.

For example, when the challenge level is high and the skill level is low, anxiety can be overwhelming, making it difficult to cope with everyday life. The best solution is to work on developing skills to meet the challenges.

Let’s dive in and learn how to assess your skills and take on new challenges.

Anxiety is a feeling of fear or apprehension about what might happen in the future. It is often accompanied by physical symptoms such as sweating, rapid heart rate, and shortness of breath. When the challenge level is high, and the skill level is low, anxiety can be overwhelming, making it difficult to cope with everyday life. The best solution is to work on developing skills to meet the challenges.

Worry is a feeling of concern about something that may or may not happen. It is often accompanied by thoughts that are repetitive and hard to stop. When the challenge level is moderate, and the skill level is low, worry can be exhausting, making it difficult to focus on anything else. The best solution is to learn coping skills that can help manage worry.

Apathy is a feeling of disinterest or lack of motivation. It is often accompanied by a lack of energy and a sense of hopelessness. When the challenge level is low, and the skill level is low, apathy can be a sign of a lack of direction or purpose. The best solution is to find a goal or project that is challenging enough to motivate you.

Arousal is a feeling of excitement or heightened awareness. It is often accompanied by increased heart rate and adrenaline. When the challenge level is high, and the skill level is moderate, arousal can be a sign of a healthy challenge that can lead to growth and development. The best solution is to continue developing skills to meet the challenge.

Boredom is a feeling of restlessness or disinterest in the present moment. It is often accompanied by a lack of motivation and a sense of monotony. When the challenge level is low, and the skill level is moderate or high, boredom can be a sign of a need for a new challenge or project. The best solution is to find something that is challenging enough to engage your skills.

Relaxed is a feeling of calm or peacefulness. It is often accompanied by a sense of contentment and satisfaction. When the challenge level is low, and the skill level is high, relaxation can be a sign of a job well done. The best solution is to continue to develop skills to take on bigger challenges.

Challenged is a feeling of accomplishment or achievement. It is often accompanied by a sense of satisfaction and confidence. When the challenge level is moderate, and the skill level is high, being challenged can be a sign of personal growth and development. The best solution is to continue to take on challenging projects to continue to grow.

Flow (or Zone) is a feeling of complete immersion in an activity. It is often accompanied by a sense of timelessness and a lack of self-awareness. When the challenge level is high, and the skill level is high, flow can be a sign of optimal performance. The best solution is to continue to develop skills to reach a flow state more often.

I have marked three zones there. 

  • If you are in the Green zone – you are doing awesome.
  • If you are in the Blue zone – you definitely need to take up more challenges. Your skill levels are far higher than the challenge.
  • If you are in the Red zone – you definitely need to build up your skill.

Understanding your feelings and self-assessing your skill levels vs. challenge can help you take the necessary steps to achieve personal growth and development. Whether it’s upgrading skills or taking on bigger challenges, the key is to keep growing to reach your full potential.

Keywords: personal growth, skill development, self-assessment, challenge level, anxiety, worry, apathy, arousal, boredom, relaxation, flow state, skill levels, challenge, personal development, growth, anxiety management, coping skills, motivation, self-improvement, achievement, performance, engagement, satisfaction.

Rajesh Soundararajan on LinkedIn –

#personaldevelopment #skillbuilding #selfassessment #growthmindset #motivation #achievement #success #anxietymanagement #selfimprovement #performance #challengeyourself #fulfillment #mindfulness #mentalhealth #skilldevelopment #copingstrategies #challengingyourself #productivity #selfawareness


The Beauty of Idealism: Inspiring Hope and Vision in a Cynical World

Rajesh Soundararajan on LinkedIn –

Idealism is a concept that has always fascinated me. It’s the belief that the world is ultimately based on ideas and values, rather than simply on what we see in front of us. To me, idealism is a refreshing and much-needed break from the cynicism that dominates so much of our world today.

I can certainly understand the frustration of being an idealist in a world that often prioritizes practicality over hope and vision. Idealists like yourself are sometimes dismissed as naïve or unrealistic, and your ideas are sometimes met with ridicule or skepticism. However, I want to encourage you not to give up on your ideals.

Embracing Purity and Authenticity

One of the things I love about idealism is its purity. Idealists are motivated by a genuine desire to make the world a better place, and they’re not interested in personal gain or self-interest. They believe that the world can be a better place, and they’re willing to work tirelessly to make it happen. This purity is something that I find very inspiring.

Another thing that I appreciate about idealism is its authenticity. Idealists are true to themselves and their beliefs. They’re not afraid to speak their minds and stand up for what they think is right. In a world where so many people are more concerned with their image than with their principles, it’s refreshing to see people who are authentic and true to themselves.

Of course, idealism isn’t always easy. It can be tough to maintain your ideals in the face of adversity, and progress can often be slow. But the benefits of idealism far outweigh the challenges. It’s a powerful force for good in the world, and it’s something that we should all strive to cultivate in our lives.

Idealism vs. Practicality: 

It’s important to remember that idealism and practicality are not mutually exclusive. In fact, they can work together in powerful ways. Idealism provides a goal, a vision of what we want the world to be like. It’s like a beacon of hope, a lighthouse that guides us toward a better future. But practicality is the means by which we navigate the often-tortuous path toward that future.

How to Make Them Work Together for a Better World

Practicality is the tool that we use to turn our ideals into reality. It’s how we take our big-picture vision and break it down into achievable steps. It’s how we navigate the choppy seas and the deserted roads, how we find our way through the diversions and disappointments. Without practicality, our ideals would remain just that: ideals, without any hope of becoming a reality.

“The roads may seem deserted and tortuous, the seas rough and choppy, and the wind strong and gusty. There will be distractions and disappointments, but it is idealism that provides the north star, despite all the challenges of reality. Idealism is the big picture for which the journey is undertaken in the first place.”

Rajesh Soundararajan

Idealism can be thought of as a lighthouse that guides us through the choppy seas and the deserted roads of life. It reminds us that a better world is possible and provides us with a goal to work towards. Even when the journey is long and challenging, idealism keeps us focused on the big picture, and encourages us to keep moving forward.

It’s important to recognize that the road towards achieving our ideals is not always smooth sailing. There will be setbacks and disappointments, and the journey can often feel like an uphill battle. However, it is during these times that idealism becomes particularly important. It reminds us of our ultimate goal and helps us stay focused on the big picture.

Idealism is not simply a matter of dreaming big; it is a powerful force that can help us make a positive impact on the world around us. It inspires us to think beyond the status quo, to imagine a future that is more just, more equitable, and more compassionate. And by working towards that future, we can make a real difference in the lives of others.

In conclusion, idealism is not just an abstract concept or a flight of fancy. It is a powerful force that can provide us with direction and purpose in life. Even when the road is difficult, idealism provides the north star that guides us towards a better future. By holding onto our ideals and working towards the big picture, we can make a real difference in the world.

So, as an idealist, it’s important to hold onto your vision, even in the face of ridicule or skepticism. Your ideals are what drive you, what inspire you, what keep you going. And as you work to turn those ideals into reality, remember that practicality is not the enemy of idealism. It’s a necessary tool, a means of navigating the often-difficult road to a better world.

Yes, there may be setbacks and challenges along the way. There may be times when it feels like your ideals are a distant dream, an impossible goal. But it’s important to keep the big picture in mind, to keep your eyes fixed on the north star that your ideals provide. And as you navigate the twists and turns of the journey, remember that practicality is your ally, not your enemy.

Idealism may never fully take over the world, but there is no work that can meaningfully exist without idealism. Its purity, authenticity, and hope remind us that a better world is possible, and that we can all play a part in making it happen. I truly believe that idealism is a powerful force for good, and something that we should all embrace in our lives.

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The Power of Authenticity: Why Being True to Yourself is More Valuable Than Originality

Rajesh Soundararajan on LinkedIn –

In a world that often values creativity and innovation, the idea of originality can feel like a requirement for success.

However, I view that true originality is a myth and that the only thing that truly matters is authenticity? That by embracing the things that speak directly to our soul and being true to ourselves, we can create something truly unique and valuable.

Authentic vs Original

The concept that nothing is truly original has been echoed by artists, musicians, and filmmakers for decades. Jean-Luc Godard, the French New Wave filmmaker, famously said, “It’s not where you take things from – it’s where you take them to.” This sentiment is at the core of the myth of originality and highlights the importance of authenticity in our creative endeavors.

From films and music to books, paintings, and photographs, the world is full of inspiration. We are often inspired by a cloud pattern or a night sky and paint the same. That is original. We are often inspired by a frame in a movie and recreate the same in our settings in a photograph. Very often as writers we are often inspired by great writers and phrases from a Tolstoy to Tagore to Thirukurral. Some stanzas from a Rumi or Marukami are so captivating one ends up writing pages and pages based on a few lines. So where does originality begin and where does it end.

I guess it’s not enough to just consume these pieces; we must also let them inform our creative process. Whether we’re writers, painters, or musicians, the pieces that resonate with us can serve as the foundation for our own work. The Universe is designed that way.

But what about the fear of being accused of plagiarism or theft? Yes, that line between inspiration and theft can be thin, but the key is to not be afraid to celebrate our influences. By acknowledging the sources of our inspiration and paying homage to the things that have shaped our creative journey, we’re not only being honest about our creative process but also honoring the artists and creators who have come before us.

But then it is not always practical or appropriate to add a ‘bibliography’ in a creative process. Let’s take the example of Albert Brennaman from the movie “Hitch.” Albert is trying to win the heart of a celebrity, Allegra Cole, but is struggling to come up with original ways to impress her. However, Hitch Hitchens, the professional “date doctor” played by Will Smith, coaches Albert to be true to himself and forget about trying to impress Allegra with grand gestures. Hitch encourages Albert to take Allegra to a place that holds special meaning to him, to share his passions and interests with her, and to simply let the connection between them grow organically. This scene highlights the importance of authenticity in relationships and the idea that being true to oneself is what truly matters. Now imagine, at every step, Albert tells Allegra ‘as suggested by Hitch, my date doctor’! It just destroys the creative process. So it is never going to be black or white.

For me, the myth of originality suggests that authenticity is what truly matters. By embracing the things that speak directly to our soul, being true to ourselves, and celebrating our influences, we can create something that is truly unique and authentic. So, the next time you feel stuck or uninspired, remember that the world is full of inspiration, and all you have to do is reach out and take it to a place that is truly your own.