Why don’t I set a target?

books

I know you are surprised and curious! I know you are thinking that targets or goals form an imperative part of our lives and without them we may seem like a rudderless boat, which would never reach anywhere.

There are some targets, which seem inevitable, which are like milestones and refuse to move till we accept them as realities. I know! I too had to honor them but I would call them compulsive cahoots, gnawing at our minds everyday, challenging our abilities and pushing us closer to the curve of compliance.

Setting goals for reading? Really?

What confounds me is setting targets for joy, happiness, travel, leisure and above all reading! I have heard many times…‘this year I am going to focus on happiness’…as if our focus on this fleeting emotion ever wavers!

Setting targets for pleasure trivializes the term ‘goal,’ which inspires vision and success in the chosen field. Unconditional commitments do make us determined but isn’t it better to reserve them for more important achievements?

I have always encouraged my students to set academic goals to reach the pinnacle of glorious pedestal they would like to perch on and many of them have accomplished them.

I have never set a target of reading books, as I believe we read for pleasure, not for meeting goals and invite unnecessary stress. There are many other triggers around us to cause stress.

I have never kept a count of books I have read for all these years. Completing a book and starting another one is as normal for me as changing an outfit.

While Goodreads keeps nudging me to set a target, I remind myself …’If you take a book like a medicine, it loses its charm.’ I had learnt this lesson long ago when I could not read the specified number of books for my Literature discussions! The more I tried to keep up the pace; my concentration grew less and less.

Pledging to read a book within a specified time is like a noose hanging before me, depriving me of all the joy connected with the style of the author and language of a book.

Is it all about numbers?

Reading is not just about numbers and being able to say… ‘I have read 25 books this year.’ It is more about absorbing the thoughts, savoring the words, imagining and connecting with the places. It is a breezy journey to enjoy, not a whirlwind to escape! Quality of reading enriches our experiences, not the quantity.

“In the case of good books, the point is not to see how many of them you can get through, but rather how many can get through to you.” – Mortimer J. Adlerreading-quote

It is more rewarding to read a book slowly so that we can absorb the virtuousness of our favorite character…to drench in the feelings of people around us…so that we can become a part of their world.

Is it about emotions?

Some people don’t get emotionally engaged in a book, they read it very fast, without actually stepping into the realm of fantasy, without identifying with the characters and their thoughts.

One of my friends had this habit of reading the books very fast. Whenever we would mention a book or share it, she would come out with this reply… ‘Oh! I have read that!’ At that juncture of life, as a young and immature reader, I would envy her speed. I even tried to read in her manner but honestly speaking, I could hardly enjoy the book and felt guilty too.

Shallow reading seems to be the norm of the day just to complete the resolution of reading a specified number of pages during the day. If the book is a cheap romance or a thrilling mystery, delving deep into it may be inconceivable but we get out of such books quite early in life.

Reading without any distractions around us – another challenge of modern times!

The other day I happened to be at a hospital, waiting for a procedure of a dear one to be over and to keep my thoughts positive, I had taken my kindle along with me.

I tried very hard to concentrate with chit chat going all around, two ladies talking continuously, exchanging their views on every possible topic from hair styling to cooking!

I had read 20% of the book but I want to start it again for the pure pleasure of soaking in the beautiful words, which got lost in the crescendo around me.

“If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.” – Oscar Wilde

Do you set targets for reading? Do you read faster to reach those targets? I am waiting eagerly for your perspective on commercialization of reading for pleasure.

Thank you for reading this. Please add your valuable reflections, they are much appreciated.

If you have liked this article, please share it at your favorite social networks.

Balroop Singh.

 

My Promise Of Becoming A Better Person…

Last year when I was intrinsically inspired by the resolutions of my blogger friends, I had made just one promise and that was ‘to become a better person.’

This one thought ushered in a host of memories, which revealed to me my true self and I felt the need to record some of my struggles with the enhancement of my personality.

It was not an easy endeavor as many of those memories were fraught with fears of facing monsters lurking around me but the way I have dealt with them single-handedly, removing all the cobwebs in which I was trapped has convinced me that there is always a light shimmering at the horizon.

As the curtain was coming down on another year, I got the opportunity to introspect… how much could I come up to my expectations?

The definition of being a ‘Better Person’ could be different for all of us but I had set 6 benchmarks, which I have been working on.

Allow Yourself To Be A Better Person
My New Book

I am delighted to tell you that a single resolution has helped me immensely in putting together my observations and experiences in the form of a book, which I am ready to release. Some of the chapters are the same that I have shared with you but this book is for all those readers who don’t come regularly to read my blog and even those who would like to ascend the steps of personality building, one by one.

My conviction is that self-help is the best kind of help as teachers and therapists can only show us the way. We have to move ahead with our own steps, if we stumble and stagger, we have to rise with our own efforts in whatever journey we undertake.

When I self-published my first book, I was not a blogger and was unaware of the challenges of wading into the realms of publication. Ignorance is bliss and so I didn’t even realize where I could have floundered!

Then I discovered blogging! The happiness of sharing my emotions and reflections was enough to keep me afloat! On the way I met some wonderful blogger friends who guided and supported me with their wisdom and expertise. Some even reviewed my books.

My thoughts go back to some of my oldest blogger friends Vishnu, Harleena Singh, Marie, Lisa and Somali, who stood by a newbie to offer valuable advice and reviews. Alka went a step further by uploading one of my books’ cover on her blog to help me in its promotion. Christy invited me to tea at her blog to talk about my poetry. Dear friends, I take this opportunity to express my gratitude once again and look forward to your support this time again.

I have many lovely author cum blogger friends whom I met recently and would request all of them to be a part of this endeavor.

Please spread the word. Share this post at your blogs and all the social networks please.

Give a shout out to your friends who would like to become a better person.

My book is now live at Amazon.com

You can click on the link to look inside or grab your copy.

Thank you for reading this. I look forward to your love and support.

If you have liked this article, please share it at your favorite social networks.

Balroop Singh.


 

My First Love

Love For Books

For Book Lovers Day
I stepped back into time
To meet my first love
Whom I could see only in the library
Who slipped into others’ hands
And smiled at my impatience!
 
Who gave me many competitive hours
To keep pace with friends
Whose love seemed greater
Who devoured books, binging blatantly
While I chewed calmly
Hugging my luminous love
 
Drifting into those days
When nobody ever read for me
When craving continued to haunt
Promises with self, multiplied…
‘I would always read for my kids
I wouldn’t miss the bliss!’
 
When I could actually read
Really read and soak in ecstasy
As there were eager faces
Looking at me
Expecting me to put emotion
Into each word
 
Snuggling and sharing
The love for little stories
Feeling all important
Forgetting all worries
Immersing into the pleasure
Oh! The joy of reading together!
 
And then the hours flew
We didn’t even notice
Love for books deepened
But cuddles turned to momentary hugs
Tide of time swiftly carried them away
Now my grand kids share my first love!
© Balroop Singh
All rights reserved.

You can click on Sublime Shadows of Life by Balroop Singh to read more such poems.

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Thank you for your support. Please add your valuable reflections, they are much appreciated.

 

 

My New Book Explores The Connection Between Emotions And Relationships

Are you emotionally healthy? Do you take pride in your relationships? Do you nurture your relationships with care? Have you passed the test of stormy weather that keeps knocking at our doors to warn us that relationships are brittle?

Many such questions keep cropping up in our minds.

Some of the answers bring an audacious awakening.

We wish we had known these questions well before facing a break up.

We wish we had the time and maturity to deal with our relationships.

It is human tendency to take all relationships for granted. Probably we pick that up from our basic relationship with our mother whose unaltered and unconditional love never fades.

We forget that relationships need care and attention; they require a constant sprinkling of sentiments to sparkle.

We forget that relationships are connected with emotions and the latter are extremely molten…flowing at will, just like an animate volcano or a stormy sea.

The sea of emotions keeps becoming wider and deeper if we don’t dive in to take stock of what requires attention.

The webby waves entangle us unless we learn to deal with them.

I have been floundering and learning every moment, often on the verge of emotional inhibitions. I have always emerged stronger. I have been sharing my thoughts and emotions with you for almost two years now.

It is time to launch a book on emotions.

emotional truths

Welcome to the launch of my third book.

This book will guide you how you can keep pace with embellishing your thoughts and channelize your emotions, which can be trained to veer into a positive direction.

This book will infuse a new thrill and vitality into all your relationships. Happiness will seem a real possibility.

Healthy relationships depend on emotional quotient and emotional balance, which can be nurtured.

Can we stop the flow and speed of emotions? Can we learn from their radiance, their cheerful bounce, their twists and twirls? This book unravels their depth and resilience in handling the stormy weather, which is knitted into the fabric of all our relationships.

We look around and feel – ‘Nothing is perfect’… dreams get shattered, hopes are belied; aspirations delude and the opportunities elude us. The clouds have the power to conceal the sunshine and our radiance fails to ignite positive thoughts.

This book will answer all those questions; give a new hope to your dreams and usher in a new dawn.

“I don’t want to be at the mercy of my emotions. I want to use them, to enjoy them, and to dominate them.” – Oscar Wilde

I am sure nobody would like to be at the mercy of anger, impatience and impetuousness, which play havoc with our relationships.

I am sure you would bless me after reading this book as it focuses on appreciation, calmness, emotional resilience and people.

If you have liked to be a part of this launch, please share it at your favorite social networks. I would like my book to reach all your friends.

Please click on the link:

You can download a FREE copy of this book for the next three days – from 14 August 2015 to 16 August 2015, midnight.

Thank you for your support. Please add your valuable comments, they are much appreciated.

Balroop Singh.

Confessions Of A Writer Who Loses Track And Feels Disillusioned…

counter-writers-block

I have been trying to write a book, trying to compress most of the experiences of my life, honestly into it but each time I go back to those pages, some kind of darkness descends on me.

I get wedged in those dark corridors. I feel stifled.

My thoughts veer into those unknown crevices where I have buried many setbacks, a thousand emotions and disappointments, which have been struggling to wriggle out.

I have endeavored to approach it from a different angle, interspersing it with fictional characters and situations to camouflage the darker moments but each time I have returned disillusioned.

My progress has been dismally slow; I lose the inspiration just after writing a few words. Meanwhile I have completed two books. My poetry flows most naturally and this has been a good reminder that I lack the will to come out of those long, narrow alleys, face sunshine and move forward.

The hope

But sunshine has been my lifeline, my motivation, and my most trusted friend who has always provided me the impetus to welcome positive thoughts.

I have been pondering who is the real culprit and why this unknown entity lurks around me…

There is one main character with ghost like eyes, prying at me all the time, holding my hands, scaring the life out of my fingers, paralyzing them, shooting at my thoughts, stealing all the ideas, showing daggers and making me quit.

Each time its approach is different. Sometimes it visits me right in the morning, even before I open my journal, exerting a strange power over my actions, distracting me into some meaningless activities.

The vice like grip of this monster holds all the words that seem to drift away, leaving me powerless.

There is always a villain, I reassure myself. I have the liberty to portray this villain in the darkest shades.

Devilish influenceLove Of Writing

Whenever I move ahead with this argument in my mind, I can race through some more pages, which reveal many more fiends, glowering at me through the words.

I refuse to give up. Nothing can bog me down. I continue to write. A day will come when all these devilish characters would stand exposed.

They will lose their hold on me one day.

Do I regret having buried them? Probably that was the only solution at that time.

Probably I didn’t have the maturity to handle their power at that juncture.

Now I can’t let them keep visiting me. Now I need to extort them out of my life. Words are more powerful than the sharpest weapons.

So I have been using just words.

“If I waited till I felt like writing, I’d never write at all.” – Anne Tyler

Thank you for reading these random thoughts. I know you too have some. Please share them.

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Thank you for your support. Please add your valuable comments, they are much appreciated.

Balroop Singh.