personal growth and travel blog on my canvas homepage banner image

Let Life Flow Freely – She Knows Her Course Better than You Do

sunset-123926_1920 life river flowing freely

Let life happen to you — Rainer Maria Rilke told a Young poet, Franz Xaver Kappus when he expressed his doubts about his poetry to Rainer in a letter.

Out of all the golden words that Rainer said, this advice struck me the most when I read the twelve-letter correspondence between him and Franz. Those letters are a brilliant read. But calling them a read would be undermining them.

The art that those twelve letters hold in their hearts thrives with life and hope and advice. That art is like that thunder which roars at night. That art is like lightning which dances across the grey sky. That art is like that twilight which doesn’t know any bounds.

READ MORE

How to Achieve Your Goals – 12 Principles I’ve Followed Since I’m 15

a woman bent with a text of courage of heart and a heart

How to Achieve GoalsMy 12 Principles

I hail from a small North Indian town that doesn’t offer many educational opportunities beyond high school. When I was 15, my father took me to Kota city in Rajasthan. There I was to study for the entrance examination to the well-known engineering university the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT).

Settling me in a paying guest house, Papa left for home. That was the first time I was so far from my parents.

For two years, I studied. On my first attempt at the entrance examination, I failed. I continued staying in Kota for one more year. The second time I ranked seventy-eight amongst half a million students.

My success didn’t come by chance. I understood the importance of goals even back then. I knew I had to achieve mine.

READ MORE

Learnings From One–Year of Sincere Writing and Blogging

table-village-pattern-color-garden-painting-887571-pxhere.com-copy

I think a lot more.

I read a lot more. I scroll blogs for hours. I highlight words while I read. I note them down. I try to go through them again.

I write a lot more. I ask myself why shall I not write on a Sunday. The world goes on. So I go on describing it.

I broke up with redundant words. I perfect the Whatsapp messages and the emails I send. My scrutinizing eyes don’t even spare the responses of my friends.

When I wake up, I think about writing instead of thinking about going to the toilet. I am burdened by guilt the day I don’t write. The day I write well, I feel liberated.

READ MORE

Elon Musk – Twelve Things We Should Learn from the Hulk-Like Tycoon

mountaineer image climbing high to show how elon musk work ethic

The prime-time news and the first page headlines of reputed national newspapers and the gossiping internet forums and the geeky silicon valley blogs have bombarded us with Elon Musk. They scrutinized the guy first for his electronic money transfer system (Paypal), then for his electric cars (Tesla), then for his rockets and space stations (SpaceX), and then for solar energy (SolarCity).

But I felt I still knew nothing about the silicon valley tycoon who manufactures rockets and cars in one of the most expensive places on earth aka Silicon Valley. So to know more about the real-life Iron Man, I read his biography – Elon Musk: How the Billionaire CEO of SpaceX and Tesla is Shaping our Future by Ashlee Vance.

READ MORE

Cracking The Art of Learning with Josh Waitzkin

paper boats to show art of learning (1)

The right learning could make you or break you — and the one who understands that stands above all.

Josh Waitzkin — a child prodigy, an international chess master, and a Tai Chi Push Hands world champion wrote a book called The Art of Learning. In this book, he penned down his inner and outer journey to success while listing the various techniques he applied to master chess and martial arts.

I picked up his book — not to learn from a chess master or a martial arts champion — but to learn from someone who has cracked the art of learning.

READ MORE

What Travel Has Taught Me – About the World and Myself

a park in basavanagudi bangalore as feature image for lessons from traveling article

I’m not here to quote Robert Frost (even though I took the road less traveled) and suggest you to leave everything and travel. Here we want to understand why so many people wander around the world in search of something bigger than themselves.

Why do so many people change their careers and lifestyles to travel? Sometimes even indefinitely?

Do they travel to see new places and eat different food? Or to fill their passports with stamps? Or to be able to say at their deathbed that they have seen the world?

Could be. But it is more than that.

Let me take you through what travel has taught me.

READ MORE

Why is the Process of Learning More Important Than the Result

a pen sketching showing process of learning

When we wake up, how many of us think of what we want to do today? Almost all of us.

How many of us think of improving at what we do or focus on personal growth and development? Not many.

The presentation should be ready at 2. The code should get deployed. The author’s biography should come under every article. Let’s put in a hack. Grammarly shows that this pronoun doesn’t make any sense in the sentence. I don’t understand why but let’s get rid of it. Spaghetti over boiled again. But at least we have dinner.

As Josh Waitzkin, the chess and Tai Chi Push hands world champion, said in his book The Art of Learning, “We focus so much on the outcome that the intrinsic details of the learning process are lost on us.”

READ MORE

How to Make a Daily Schedule For Yourself [That Works]

a man running to emphasize creating a routine

In the past eight years of my working life, I observed how you do the task at hand is not the only measure of productivity and satisfaction. Your living style, priorities, patience, and certain keystone habits such as discipline, healthy social behavior, hard work decide how good you perform, how well you live your life, and how stable your relationships are.

All these things — lifestyle, priorities, patience, perseverance — could be practiced as daily habits. As Charles Duhigg said in his book The Power of Habits, “More than 40 percent of the actions people performed each day weren’t actual decisions, but habits.”

Humans live by habits. Here we would focus on dissolving these crucial things into habits and routine to make a daily schedule that works for us.

READ MORE

How to Turn a Bad Day Around

sun coming out of clouds shown to emphasize positive change (1)

Experiential and Practical Tips on Making a Bad Day Better

Some days are harder than others. Everything seems to fall apart on these days.

I could not sleep last night. At 2:50 am, the hour of deepest sleep, I woke up when an intruding mosquito buzzed in my ear. I went to the bathroom, came back, drank some water, and lied down. I was drowsy and it hurt to keep my eyes open. But the first step to sleep was killing the mosquito. After many desperate attempts, I took its life away.

Meanwhile, the brain kept at its activity. The ideas of my mother about me (unmarried, jobless, etc) encroached me from all directions. If I think about me the way she does, I feel that my life is doomed. Then I judged the nooks and corners of my relationships.

READ MORE

How to Learn a Language By Yourself – 24 Foolproof Tips

map of the world with different colors to represent different country.png

Are you wondering how to learn a language by yourself? Or finding the best way to learn a language?

Then you have come to the right place.

Table of Content

  • My story of learning Spanish in Chile, South America
  • Why should you learn a foreign language
  • What is language learning? Is it hard to learn a new language?
  • My 24 best tips for learning a language by yourself
  • Download pdf
  • Further Reading

First, let me tell you my story of learning Spanish in Chile so that you know you can learn a language on your own.

Before traveling to Chile, I couldn’t speak Spanish and wondered how I was going to survive in a predominantly Spanish continent. I assumed that Latin Americans would make my life easy by talking to me in English.

But neither the Latinos nor the foreigners living in Chile spoke English, at least not as much as I expected. That’s when I realized I had to learn Spanish. Reality hit me hard, and I prayed for survival.

Learning Spanish in Chile, a country notorious for bad Spanish, wasn’t easy. I struggled to make my way around Chile from morning until night. I couldn’t understand the conversations on the dining table and longed to participate. I missed cracking jokes. I wanted to cry.

Words fell on my ears but my brain couldn’t comprehend them.

Rather than pitying myself, I decided to learn enough Spanish to understand the people around me and reply. So that’s what I did. From speaking incorrect Spanish unabashedly to practicing Spanish grammar with workbooks, I tried all ways to learn a language.

Fast forwards a few weeks, I started speaking Spanish fluently. I was still a foreigner in Chile, but as I began to understand more Spanish, I became a part of the Chilean host family. We woke up, greeted each other by kissing both cheeks, ate toast with avocados and Nescafe coffee, and talked about life at supper or the evening Once.

I had a second home now just because I could converse in Spanish.

READ MORE

14 Things You Can Care Less About

CamargoLancret painting of dancers

In today’s noisy world, learning how not to care is indispensable.

But tell this to the neurons in our brain. They don’t rest even when we want to stop thinking. Sometimes, we cannot control our mind which runs around like a cat chasing its tail.

To pause our thoughts, we hang out with friends on Saturday evenings. We dance to rhythmic music or Netflix and drink — all to take our minds off things.

Imagine — if we could be in that thoughtless state most of the time. If we could block the redundant noise to focus on the important matter at hand. Or if we could just sit down quietly with a cup of tea on Sunday evening.

Practice being mindful (by doing meditation) helps. But we have to pull out some of our deep-rooted agonies otherwise even after a one-hour Vipassana we will be nourishing the same soul-sucking creepers that never bloom.

But what worries fill our minds?

Mostly we think about two kinds of things:

  1. The important ones
  2. And the ones that are not important

Unimportant things cloud our minds like the winter fog. Except that we rarely have a change of weather. Clear days with the sun shining bright outside our window are forever elusive.

Let us look at some of the fog that can be lifted to make way for sunlight.

READ MORE

20 Life Lessons We Can Learn From Benjamin Franklin

https://www.onmycanvas.com/wp-content/uploads/https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/pw/ACtC-3dAXii538GtUkWti1waWUZ4eGMo2xsdduFUqbRvpOWoyabMazo8vNlmmfuEgflkJWwja8-WwtQX2vjUT5SmZ2X90hlaYOb2gybEA3FEvOy8c86jjASpmOFsnd31MPPJWStgim3dadG6dQgGj9mcwbsNew=w660-h390-no?authuser=0

What Can We Learn From Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin needs no introduction.

We all have heard about him, but I am not sure how much we really know about his life and activities.

A thinker, inventor, scientist, publisher, writer, diplomat, advisory, soldier, founder of hospitals and libraries, designer of bills, member of the assembly, and more.

You might have skimmed through these words without actually reading them.

I do the same when I read about someone great on Wikipedia — they always seem to have accomplished so much in different areas.

But when you read about their personal life, sometimes their autobiography, you understand that they were also humans like us. You start relating to them.

Benjamin Franklin’s autobiography was one such read.

His disciplines and manners — if practiced — can shake up the current world and our restless generations.

READ MORE

Payment Received

Thank you for your support. It makes all the difference.
Monthly Donation
One-Time Donation