Category Archives: Uncategorized

the effect currency

A beautiful Italian man, a curly-haired and golden-skinned Italian man once stole a quote from somewhere – “The effect you have on others is the most valuable currency there is.” I wouldn’t call this a perfect overlap of Physics & Psychology but this quote seems to be a result of the cause & effect theory applied on why we feel the way we feel. In my particular case, the effect of this quote has been quite effective, and in return has caused me to be more effective at causing effects.

The more I follow, the more I find it, just written by different authors, expressed in unique ways.

My very first book came to me as a gift from my brother in his effort to fix how awkwardly silent I used to be as a child. ‘How To Win Friends and Influence People’ by Dale Carnegie. The morning after reading the first chapter, I walked with an extra sway that lasted 2 seconds since I was late for my 7:15am Public Speaking class. I saw a woman walking towards me, I wished her good morning and admired how beautiful her scarf was. And then, I gathered the courage to actually say it out loud. That moment came with an operant conditioning, her instant smile, and a realization that you are capable of improving someone’s day. No flowers necessary.

Many years later, this message was followed by ‘The Four Agreements’ by Don Miguel Ruiz. Be impeccable with your word. Speak with integrity, say only what you mean, and use the power of your words in the direction of truth and love. I think of this one every time I hear damaging words. And when I do, I come up with fantastic quotes, the recent one being – “Every time you open your mouth, build someone up.”

The last good one I read on the topic was the bucket book ‘How Full Is Your Bucket’ by Rath and the supposed grandfather of positive psychology, Clifton. At any rendezvous with a friend or an unexpected interaction with a stranger, there is a latent effect and a secret transfer of energy, sometimes positive, sometimes negative. What we say or do carries over an innocent, seemingly ineffectual effect.

All of this, Gandhi’s philosophy of thoughts turning into words and words into actions, and more makes me wonder how one quick exchange can either make or disturb your inner balance, how it can lift one up or bring one down. All it takes is an expression, a tone, or a few words. We may all act tough, and yet we are so gentle and impressionable. We are always talking about owning our own remote, and yet getting unknowingly triggered. It is now making me go back in time and think if I may have created a negative impact, if I may have hurt a few balanced beings, if I may have ill-used my superpowers.

We are affected every minute and affecting every second. And every single time, we make a choice – to be gentle in our thoughts and kind in our words, or just generally damaging. We either pull our own self and others into the light, or say out loud in Darth Vader’s voice “Welcome to the dark side!”

Notes: I took this picture while on a bus that was on the ferry crossing the Norwegian fjords. It took my breath away as it displayed both the light, and the dark controlled by one sun. It made me think of how we have a superpower to be, become, and create both energies – positive or negative.

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peel off the layers

Once you peeled off the layers and it took 15 minutes per layer, each one of us was exactly how we were ~12 years ago. The same goofy eyebrow raises, the same less-than-acceptable jokes, the same desire to just be around, and the same ability to completely be our own selves. It was a random scatter of lives – a third kid on the way, a successful coffee shop, the cannabis industry, Dallas to Manhattan, and yet something pulled us together.

I would like to go back in time and be the same playful me, roaming around the hallways of the Engineering building and introducing myself to a bunch of strangers. “Hi, my name is Ruhi!” and boom! I had a bunch of who I later called my best buddies. I miss the night when we participated in drawing a Hitler mustache on our drunken buddy’s face. I want to laugh again for 20 minutes when a buddy mistakenly ate an entire wasabi shot thinking it was chutney. Can we still be invited to every post-exam party that Professor Komrosky threw? I would still repeat the night where we broke the car entry gate and ran for our lives.

Underneath all the layers, we are still the same – little kids wanting to be our own selves and be accepted for just the way we are.

If I could go back in time and change a thing, I wouldn’t. I would still be the same annoying frontbencher who always knew all the answers.

And I can say with confidence that none of these backbenchers would change a thing either! •evil-laughter•

feeling a feeling

The night before, he starts asking questions about when I’ll arrive. He keeps asking the question every hour until I do. When I do, he wants to secretly sneak a peak. He gets shy, hides behind walls and doors, and can’t control giving me more than a glance at a time. Almost always, I have to trick him into talking to me and physically bringing him closer. It’s a process that is gradual and patient. He wants me to catch him, he likes to come find me, and he says yes to everything I feed him.

“I love you Bui!”

When my 3 year old nephew looks at me and says these words, the world stops and all the troubles freeze for a few moments. For those 5 seconds, I become the center of his world, the cynosure of his eyes. I feel entangled in his web and attacked by unconditional love from every angle – love that doesn’t place conditions; love that springs out naturally; love that doesn’t calculate; love that flows freely.

The more I grow up, the more I wish to travel back in time and be a 3 year old. I want to love without boundaries, without dependencies, without expectations. I want to push back on this world that forces us to take up a calculator. I want to be loyal to feeling a feeling. I want to learn to love and I want my 3 year old nephew to become my teacher.

Quote

“Let no limit bind you.” – Ruhi Rastogi

ultimate cardio

10 mins elliptical, 10 mins swimming, 10 mins sauna. Just 10 mins at a time to conquer what I must conquer.

I will burn the restless calories and increase my heart rate. I must arrive at my fat burning zone; fat – something that body stores for desperate times, times that never make it in time, an illusion perhaps.

With every stroke, I will speed up and let the water chase me. Under the water, I will detoxify so when I pull out, I am lighter.

I will inhale the clever signs and I will exhale the helpless desires. I will let each pore open the door. I will let each breath let go a little more.

smile

While you are reading this, just smile. You don’t have to reason, you don’t have to resist, you don’t have to like what you are reading – just smile, smile with your cheeks touching your eyes.

pseudo cirque de soleil

I don’t know how time has flown and changed from dreading for a quiz to listening to Pitbull at the Aria resort in Vegas along with the other 2300 victims. The Ingram ONE welcome reception is at the pool side and the pseudo cirque de soleil charismatics are hired to distract us from the less-than-lustrous business conversations revolving around SMB, cloud, and the future of electronic data storage. The ingrained beats are an opportunity to upgrade my iTunes list. The luminous lights are making me squint my eyes and enjoy the platter full of accomplishments. The gin with ginger ale is making it all very easy. The perks seem sweeter since I started from nothing and pulled myself up inch after inch. It wasn’t easy or handed to me – the path came with a heavy load of speed bumps & challenges – ridicule, blame, discouragement, jealousy, and haters. But I kept my eyes on the destination, ignored the ignorants, and accelerated with a smile.

I don’t know what else there is but I’m enjoying every single bit of what this is – vivere nel momente

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stronger than your strongest

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No matter how good your filtration system is, you’ll always find some who will discourage you, some who will push you down, and some who will break you. No matter how much you wrap yourself with the positives, some will find a way to inject negativity. At times like these, you will need to be stronger than your strongest and believe in yourself. They will push you to the ground but you will need to climb again, and again, and again.

They might not change and they might not surrender, but eventually they will disappear. But until then, you stand up and fight.

Don’t let them scare you, weaken you, devalue you – don’t let the negativity weigh you down.

Don’t let anybody break your spirit.

sugar in a liquid state

Sugarmelon is by far my favorite fruit here in Turkey. It could be it’s bright yellow color or the outburst of sugar in a liquid state but I have a strong feeling it’s something else. Every time I walk by a rainbow display of fruits, the flavor catches my attention and decelerates my feet. It’s a mixture of what the outside woody layer entices you towards and what the inside beholds. Any temperature in your mouth is the absolute melting point for a sugarmelon, a perfect invitation.

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proper & meticulous

No matter how many lessons I learn, new problems keep floating up. I checked multiple times for all the necessary electronics I needed to carry. Camera, battery, charger, iPhone, charger, headphones – all check! No, no laptop this time. I would like to experience what it is to be as technology-independent as I securely can. Rejoicing with over-confidence, I ordered a thin-crust, easy on cheese margarita @ the LAX. I had hours to kill and so I carefully chose a spot with an electrical outlet. While appreciating the beauty of my personal pizza, inhaling the marriage of flavors, and expressing it with a subtle smile, I took out my iPhone, already fitted with the cable only to realize I forgot to bring the actual cuboid-shaped charger, damn! That moment marked an instant curve change for my smile from convex to concave. Our minds are so trained that the 4 appropriate letters came together into a word. Eventually, as we all do, I forgave myself within milliseconds and convinced myself that my parents have 2 chargers already so it’s just a matter of my arrival.

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I finished the entire OK! magazine cover to cover and felt abreast on all critical world affairs. Miley still can’t get Liam to say yes, Taylor bought a little cat, and Kendra’s husband had an affair with a transsexual during her pregnancy. JLo broke up with Casper, Kimye had an extravagant birthday bash, and Angelina is ready for 2 more. I got so intensely involved in world news that when they announced the final boarding, I realized I was supposed to exchange dollars to lira. I repeated the same 4-letter word again! I guess I’ll do that at Heathrow or in Turkey.

Flight arrived late and despite of knowing how Heathrow is no better than a corn maze, I decided to stop and let go of some bodily fluids. As a payback, I had to use all of my crossfit stamina to climb up the escalators, and run with luggage at 7 mi/hr until I arrived at the gate. It was no less than a running 650 meters with a 20 pound wall-ball up the hill.

At last, I arrived at the Turkish empire. At the visa counter, a half-bald, pre-frustrated, and not the most beautiful of them all Turkish man said “You need to go back to India to visit an embassy to then get a visa for Turkey, so come back when you’ve done that.” Yup, the same 4-letter word! I smiled and gracefully asked for someone else who I could speak to. After another WOD and gazillion doubtful looks, I crossed the immigration. My passport expiring in Sep 2014 did not make the task any easier.

And so, after all these mistakes, a dead iPhone, a real scare, and 3 hours of wait @ the airport, I was able to catch the first bus to Taksim Square at 4:00am.

All these mistakes but I told myself this is one of those letting-go, stress-free, what’s the worst that could happen kinda trip, well hmmm! I was so close to not being able to enter Turkey but at least I brought my toothbrush!

By the way, this particular blog is dedicated to my friends who refer to me as proper and meticulous.

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