How Reading Affects Our Personal Development #WorldBookDay

World Book Day - love for reading

World Book Day – a day that celebrates reading, a day that always inspires me to renew my love for books and share it, a day that reminds me how meaningless life would be without books!

Reading has not only given me pleasure, added brilliance to my gloomy hours but has also enriched my life in various ways.

It has made me wiser, healthier, resilient and emotionally balanced. It helps me converse with the greatest thinkers and dreamers.

“The reading of all good books is like conversation with the finest men of past centuries.” – Rene Descartes

Reading inspiring stories reassures me that inspiration could be found anywhere, even in the tears of detachment. Fictional characters too have the potential to enthuse new energy into us.

Redefines anguish:

Reading gives us the capacity to understand, to absorb and to figure out that anguish, loss, grief is a universal phenomenon. Getting stuck in our suffering can block our own growth.

When you equate your painful experiences with others, they seem trivial and you learn to deal with them. The connection becomes the healing factor.

Gives a fresh perspective:

Reading drags you out of your cocoon to watch the world with a fresh perspective, which develops when you are exposed to various views.

Pain, misfortune and emotional hurts are inevitable. It is futile to immerse ourselves in the setbacks of life because sooner or later we have to abandon this baggage to move ahead.

Takes us places:

Reading helps us escape the mundane events of life, it takes us to places, which we could have never visited; it defines our purpose of living; absorb the ideas that appeal to us and then analyze them.

The best moments of our life are created by reading; the best flights of imagination are crafted by the words of a writer who can create a scenario, which transports us into the realms of our choice and stay there frozen in time.

Realities of life come alive:

Stories of guilt, horror and forgiveness acquaint us with those realities of life, which could remain hidden from us. The atrocities of the past, the oppression and discrimination recorded in the annals of history unfold before us when we read.

Even those who choose light, romantic stories get a whiff of the truths of love and life and learn that freedom to live our life the way we want to, was not always possible and is still a far cry for many.Reading quote

Connections and social relationships get better:

The magical power of friendship and reverence, social interaction and kindness is revealed through reading fiction. We can learn some profound lessons of life from fictional characters.

Reading enhances our emotional quotient, our capability of understanding people, complex human behavior and their frailties. I didn’t know how forgiveness could free us from self-imprisonment till I read about it.

Virtues of life can be felt:

Have you noticed how a virtuous character leaves a lasting impression on your mind? Nobody likes a villain who is always conniving to make life difficult but we learn to distinguish between the good and the bad from his devious ways.

“Reading is a basic tool in the living of a good life.” – Joseph Addison

Develops analytical skills:

Reading poetry honed my aesthetic and analytical skills and has made me more sensitive towards the beauties around me. It also introduced me to the finer emotions of humanity.

Has reading affected your personality? I would love to hear your perspective.

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

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

Balroop Singh.

 

 

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.

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

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.