The Olympic motto reads: Citius, Altius, Fortius (faster, higher, stronger) and the Olympic creed reads: “The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not to win but to take part, just as the most important thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle. The essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought well.”
The creed and motto are meant to inspire the athletes to embrace the Olympic spirit and perform to the best of their abilities.
But today, with corruption seeping into the culture of sport, is sport losing its integrity?
In the multi-million dollar world of sports, political and private parties have a big play. Deals are signed behind closed doors allowing room for corruption.
The IOC holds a monopoly in Olympics decisions and a lot of palm greasing and power broking go behind decisions to select the city to host the Olympics. This became public when, Salt Lake City won the rights to host the 2002 Winter games via a series of bribes to the IOC. Infighting and corruption are endemic to other sports as well.
The lucrative Indian Premier League and Commonwealth Games exposed corruption in cricket. A series of scandals has tarnished the image of the cash-rich IPL, which boasts a host of celebrity owners including India’s richest man Mukesh Ambani, spirits and airline magnate Vijay Mallya and Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan. Five uncapped Indian cricketers have been provisionally suspended following allegations of corruption.
Match fixing is now a well-known part of soccer. Players and middle-men take bribes to fix matches. Club owners demand high sums of money to transfer high profile players. Before the start of events like the Commonwealth games, companies try to rig bids for construction contracts.
Recently, Singapore soccer players were identified to be behind many of the betting scandals that have dented soccer’s reputation. Money laundering takes place through sponsorship and advertising arrangements or through television rights, purchase of clubs and players. Complex techniques are used to launder money through football and other sports.
Apart from this, use of performance-enhancing drugs, anabolic steroids and recreational drugs have severely dented the credibility of athletes. With the exposure of Lance Armstrong who has topped the cycling circuit for decades, sport is beginning to lose its essence.
What are your views?
10..9..8..7..6..5..4..3..2..1….Blast-off…. The rocket ship takes off into space. Precision and accurate planning are vital for its launch into space. Now, does our life need this much planning?
I find people who love to plan to every minute detail , every small event, every small experience in their life. Doesn’t that sap the fun out of our lives? The quirky mannerisms, the failures, the jokes and impromptu behaviours make our moments fun. Rigorous discipline into everything can lead to monotony and boredom.
It is a different thing when we set out on a big endeavour, a project, a business , en enterprise etc. Here it is very important to look at risks, plan, organize etc so that we can arrive at our goal without making the same mistakes over and over again.
The problem with looking too much into the future is to make our plans realistic. Instead of living in the moment and putting all our focus on the job we tend to get caught up in worries about the future.
Can you plan for a bungy jump, a free-fall, death?
Numerous other factors come into play in any event. And that is what we under-estimate. I have a friend who prepared very well for her exams but forgot the timing and came in to write the exam in the afternoon after the exam was over. These events highlight the importance of everything coming together to make an event a success. After doing our part we have to let go, and pray that things work out best.
We can live in the moment, enjoying and not getting into the nitty-gritty of everything. Can we plan for everything? I would like to have your thoughts
A crocodile can’t stick it’s tongue out.
A shrimp’s heart is in it’s head.
It is physically impossible for pigs to look up into the sky.
Rats and horses can’t vomit.
Like fingerprints, everyone’s tongue print is different.
Every year about 98% of atoms in your body are replaced.
Hot water is heavier than cold.
Sound travels 15 times faster through steel than through the air.
Sloths take two weeks to digest their food.
Guinea pigs and rabbits can’t sweat.
Gorillas sleep as much as fourteen hours per day.
Money isn’t made out of paper; it’s made out of cotton.
Your stomach produces a new layer of mucus every two weeks – otherwise it will digest itself.
There are no words in the dictionary that rhyme with: orange, purple, and silver!
A tiny amount of liquor on a scorpion will make it instantly go mad and sting itself to death.
Leonardo Da Vinci invented scissors.
Chewing gum while peeling onions will keep you from crying!
It’s against the law to have a pet dog in Iceland.
The elephant is the only mammal that can’t jump!
Most dust particles in your house are made from dead skin!
“I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I –
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference”
These are the concluding lines of Robert Frost’s poem – The Road not Taken.
We are presented with choices every day of our lives and our decisions lay the blueprint of our future. So, isn’t choosing a fine art? Do we allow our emotions to rule when we make our choices or do we go by logic?
I just finished reading a great book “The Art of Choosing” – by Sheena Iyengar. I found this book very informative and well-researched. It describes in great detail how culture, upbringing etc influence our everyday choices
Some choices that we encounter do not matter too much as we are not in a life/death situation. But in life, we are presented with choices like ‘abortion’, ‘euthanasia’ etc. Here, even consulting experts or our parents is not a solution as even after making such a choice, we may have to live with guilt if we have not given enough thought in our decision.
The senses of children today are bombarded with videos and sound through gadgets like smartphones, tablets, televisions etc. They are overwhelmed with media and do not have a chance to look at books and board games, unless, parents can guide them. So is too much choice necessarily good?
In India arranged marriage is very common. But if you tell that to a foreigner they will show be taken by surprise. Why do we sometimes make choices against our best interests? Or are some choices driven by family, society, culture rather than one’s own interests?
Statistics does show that the success of arranged marriages is way higher than love marriage. One reason is that, love and marriage are not the same. And living together entails a lot of give and take! We also find very happy couples in both type of marriages.
So is it actually advantageous to have more choices. Does it mean we have more freedom if we have more choice or do more choices overwhelm us and make us undecisive?
The course we take can decide the future of our career. The food we eat can decide our health. We have a choice whether to exercise or relax. This exciting book with numerous practical, everyday life examples is a must-read for all of us who face the thrills and tribulations of making choices everyday.
How do you make important choices in your life?
(Sheena Iyengar holds degrees from UPenn, The Wharton School of Business, and Stanford University. She is a professor at Columbia University, and a recipient of the Presidential Early Career Award. Her work is regularly cited in periodicals as diverse as Fortune and Time magazines, the NYT and the WSJ, in books such as Blink and The Paradox of Choice.)
We have come a long way since that first call by Alexander Graham Bell that revolutionized communication. Today the mobile phone has become a ubiquitous medium of communication so much so that the vegetable seller, the milkman, the cleaner and everyone else are dependent on it for their daily livelihood.
Starting with the newspapers, television, mobile phone, smart phone, personal computer, laptops and tablets – today instead of people looking out for information we have an information overload. Today, we have a plethora of choices and our time is spent in discerning as to what we need to do.
But this gadget-craze has had an impact on our face-to-face communication. Today, we find very little time to share thoughts over a cup of coffee or to spend time having a conversation with our family. This is the form of communication that is of vital importance. Speaking is important as it helps us to bridge barriers and understand each other better. It helps to connect, resolve conflicts and strengthen bonds.
What are some of the ways that we can keep our face-to-face communication alive?
1) Join a Toastmasters Club – A toastmasters club is a wonderful avenue to meet after work and improve on speaking, listening and leadership traits. It is a great place to network with people of diverse backgrounds and get diverse perspectives on current events, topics of interest and have fun. It also helps to develop our leadership abilities by way of taking up roles at meetings within the club and networking with other clubs.
2) Join a Special Interest Group – We all have interests – related to our work or outside be it. IEEE, Project Management, Quality, DIY, singing, guitar, cycling etc. Joining these groups is a great way to network with like-minded people and learn a lot more. This is also a great way to find a job in your area of interest.
3) Meetups – Social media enthusiasts on twitter organise twestivals or meetups where people get to know each other and also gather to discuss about causes that concern the world. It is also a great way for entrepreneurs to network for youngsters to find their partners in life or just have fun.
4) Volunteering – Many volunteer groups spend time training kids or engaging with old folks or the disabled. Doing such work gives one an opportunity to network with a lot of volunteers and make friends.
Communication is slowly proving to be a lost art. People hardly find time to exchange pleasantries or chat over a cup of coffee. Written communication like letter writing is already obsolete and is today replaced by email. Technology has simplified our lives but it has also made us a lazy lot switching from one gadget to another in a different virtual world.
Do you feel that you are spending too much time online or with gadgets? Are you missing out on networking with friends and face-to-face communication?
(This post appeared first on ModernLifeBlogs.)
As parents we are always concerned about inculcating the right values in our children but have you wondered what we can learn from our children?
Children do not bring any preconceived notions or prejudices to the classroom. So they are always full of wonder and curiosity. As adults we have to learn to unlearn. Our false notions and egoistic beliefs stand in the way of our quest for truth.
A child is a bundle of energy jumping from task to task with effortless ease. Even after hours of play they do not want to stop. The reason is they are lost in the present moment and fully enjoy whatever they do. Children play like there is no tomorrow.
Who does not love an innocent child? They have no qualms about the future. They are always honest and say what is on their mind. They also do not build walls of discrimination based on colour, caste or creed. Their love is unconditional.
Have you seen a child cry one moment and burst into laughter the very next moment? They do not brood over trivial quarrels or misunderstandings. They are able to forgive and forget. This is one important lesson that we can learn from children.
Children are known to laugh a great deal more than adults. Cartoons, comic books, jokes and mimicking are the best part of childhood. This keeps them intrinsically motivated and it also inspires and changes the mood of all around them.
What are the lessons that you have learnt from your child?
“The secret of genius is to carry the spirit of the child into old age, which means never losing your enthusiasm.” – Aldous Huxley
(This was first posted in Modern Life Blogs - http://www.modernlifeblogs.com/2013/01/5-ways-to-brighten-your-day/ )
We all have ups and downs in life. But, if we know how to maintain our equipoise when turbulent waters rock our boat, then we understand that life is all about embracing our true nature and living and cherishing each experience.
What are some of the ways that we can add life to our days?
1). Early to rise
The early morning is an ideal time for starting your day. Either by taking a long walk in the outdoors, spending time in prayer or meditation, yoga, jogging, planning the day ahead. The sound of the birds, the sunrise, and the serene atmosphere are ideal for these activities.
2). Enjoy breakfast with fresh juice
Breakfast is acknowledged by many to be the most important meal of the day. So instead of rushing to work, make sufficient time to enjoy a good breakfast with your family. A glass of fresh juice in the morning is very refreshing.
3). Take a break
If you have a sedentary job, it is important to take a break to stretch your legs or relax your hands and eyes. Looking at the monitor for long hours or typing at a keyboard for long can be strenuous.
4). Pursue your interest
All of us have a passion, an interest or a hobby. Be it playing soccer, reading, writing playing soccer or badminton, music, toastmasters etc. Making time for these activities is important as they fire up our passion and keep us motivated.
5). Bonding with family
With the advent of social media, technological gadgetry like smartphones, tablets and the like, we find no time for face-to-face communication. After work, we have to spend some time with our loved ones to strengthen our bonds.
By cherishing and expressing gratitude for the things that we have, we can add so much more meaning to our lives.
The new year 2013 has set in and with it hopes of new challenges, wish lists and resolutions. I would like to embark on some new endeavours, travels and also some soul searching. So I just thought of putting down 13 wish lists or resolutions that I would like to achieve this year!
1) Travel to some new destination – perhaps HongKong, Australia, Bali besides India
2) Climb up the career ladder
3) Spend quality time with family
4) Read many more books
5) Doing blogposts more regularly
6) Taking out my bicycle which has been lying unused for some time
7) Progress on my toastmasters journey
8) Making time to coach my daughter in her studies
9) Continue to attend events by Chinmaya mission
10) Doing some volunteer work more often
11) Spend wisely and save for travel, family treats, really important stuff etc
12) Learn something new eg. Sanskrit, EMBA etc.
13) Keep fit and healthy
Have you made any resolutions for this year? What are your immediate and long-term goals? What is that dream thing that you want to accomplish and have been putting off for too long?