Top 10 most loved posts of 2016

2016 was one of the amazing years of my life. I accomplished better than ever and wrote more than 50 posts (over 60,000 words) in the entire year.

I thought it would be awesome to compile a list of my top 10 most loved posts of 2016. For one reason or another, the posts below are the ones that generated the most views, shares, comments, and emails.

Hope you enjoy and find something useful inside like I did while writing them.

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Unboxing | MI Fitness Band – Version- 1

As you might already know, I’m a fitness enthusiast and a runner. So I like to track my fitness levels and activities like walking, running and sleep.

In this post I’m doing the unboxing and out of the box review of this MI Fitness band – Version – 1.

This particular MI Fitness band is a great starting point for anyone getting into fitness monitoring.

This band costed me Indian rupees – 999/-. I bought it from a MI.com online store. You can buy it online from Amazon.in. Just go here.

Detailed review to follow up later.

So here it is.

Unboxing | MI Fitness Band – Version- 1

This video covers unboxing, closer look at the band and brief over view of the product from design and esthetic point of view.

Please enjoy.


Let me know, which other fitness bands or products you would like to get reviewed. Please mention in the comments section below.

P.S.: This is not a paid endorsement of any kind. This is just a genuine review of the MI fitness band (version – 1). I bought it few months back from MI.com. However the link above is an amazon affiliate link which helps me keep this blog running.

Please subscribe to my Blog for more product reviews, unboxing videos and lifestyle design strategies.

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No spam, ever. Only great stuff.

Benares! Day – 3

This post is the progression of my earlier travelogue posts (Day 1Day 1 ContinuedDay 2 and Day 2 Continued) on Benares trip earlier this year, Hope you enjoy it.

Benares – Day 3

In the day 2 post where i mentioned i met a few photographers and travelers while i was having my late lunch at the Cafe Zoe near Assi Ghat. We discussed a lot on traveling, photography and life in general, among other things. Life in their countries and life here in india. It was then that i started loving my travels more, cause they made me meet people from across the world who thought like i did.

We met in the evening again on the same day. While bidding goodbyes for the night they invited me to their place for breakfast the next morning. I was so psyched to meet them again. The best part! we didn’t exchange our numbers, they just gave me their address and told me to be their in the morning.

The next morning, i was up at 7 o’clock. Got my shower and ready to go in the next half hour. Then, I started for their hotel where few of them had been living from the past few days.

It was a Welcome Heritage hotel on the far north side of the Main ghat. As i walked towards this hotel, i had to go through two really scary and shocking spots, which i didn’t know were there on my way. First was the living area of the Aghori Babas.

Oh boy! That place scared the living shit out of me. But as i digested all that was going around while crossing that spot, i made peace with it. These Aghori monks are said to be an mysterious ancient tribe who feast on human flesh as part of their rituals, as well as drinking from human skulls, chewing the heads off live animals and meditating on top of cadavers in search of spiritual enlightenment.

Here a picture of an Aghori Baba taken by an Italian photographer Cristiano Ostinelli who spent time with the tribe to discover more about their way of life. Here’s the complete article.

Aghori Baba | Photo credits – Italian photographer Cristiano Ostinelli

I wasn’t even back to my wits yet, then came the scariest moment of my Benares Trip. It was a heavy feeling of weird kind of energy when i passed by the “Manikarnika Ghat”*. I’m getting goosebumps even right now, as i’m writing this. I couldn’t even take my camera out, when i was crossing this place.

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Benares! Day – 2 Continued…

This post is the progression of my earlier travelogue posts (Day 1Day 1 Continued and Day 2) on Benares trip, Hope you enjoy it.

Benares – Day 2 Continued…

Once i crossed the Flower boat, i started heading towards north again. Then as i was just crossing an area where a pundit was doing a ceremony, just after a family arrived back to the Ghats from a boat which had gone to immerse ashes of their deceased beloved in holy Ganges. It looked like a rural south Indian family, I tried to capture a few portraits of them.

I was expecting intense emotion of grief, but most of them were having happy faces except for the wife of the deceased. I tried to talk to them and found out the deceased was in pain and suffering due to a long hold malady. So the whole family was having a relief that at least now their beloved will not have to suffer through that pain which he was experiencing from a long time. Here are a few portraits:

I call these photographs collectively – “The Faces”.

The Couple!

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Life you really want comes with discipline, consistency and self-compassion, always!

Photo by Hello I'm Nik on Unsplash

Photo by Hello I’m Nik on Unsplash

Life!

It’s not a predefined path towards happiness or sadness but a way which we carve out for ourselves. It’s based on the choices we make in our voyage.

Life is not a straight line, it’s a zig-zag path. Mixed with both the lows and highs of happiness and sadness. There has not been a single fortunate person who just had only happiness in life from the cradle till the grave and no single unfortunate one who just had sadness. Everybody, every single person experiences both the emotions in his or her lifetime. Though the ratio of these feelings differs for each and everyone.

If we want to live a happy and healthy life, we need to stay happy in a bigger ratio than sadness. How can we achieve it?

Anyone can achieve it, cause happiness is a choice not a state of mind. At times there will be situations that definitely gonna make us sad, but it’s our choice to fight them or to surrender. We do have a choice to surface up from that sadness. We have a choice to be happy. But it needs strong willpower to make that choice. More than 60% of people I know as friends, family or as close ones don’t possess that kind of willpower, which results in them being in a sad state which is totally unnecessary for them. They could choose happiness over that sadness but they didn’t, because their willpower was not that strong which didn’t allow them to move on from that sad thing. So how do we deal with this?

To reach a greater goal, first, we need to take the first step. That’s the most difficult part. Most of the people couldn’t make it there, because they don’t even take that first step.

Once we have taken the first step to get started, then we need to keep on moving by taking short but steady steps. Some people, after getting started, get so excited that they move on high pace, but they couldn’t keep up that pace and get tired of different circumstances like not getting the desired results or physical tiredness etc. and eventually they stop moving. But people who take smaller steps and keep on going on a steady pace and not thinking much about the goal but the process of reaching there, eventually get there.

Taking small steps and keep on going is not easy as it may seem, but it’s better than the former one. We must practice it with discipline so much until it becomes a native habit. Who said no efforts are needed? Of course, it will take great efforts, but won’t it be worth it? If it will give you a happy and healthy life.

Haven’t you heard, a healthy mind in a healthy body? In most cases it’s true. How could you achieve it? [Here’s a good article on 7 Steps to a Healthy Body and Mind.] There is only one way to be in a routine. Just show up every day, do it every day. Practice self-compassion each and every day.

Come on, make that choice, be happy be healthy. Show up every day for the routine you want to follow. Take that first step and keep moving.

Thanks to James Clear and Anca Dumitru for inspiring this post.

 

Inspiration only reveals itself after perspiration.

– James Clear

How long does it take to save a month’s worth of expenses as your emergency fund?

I was reading through my daily reading list today and I came across some good articles which really helped me learn something on how to save emergency funds. It really came out to me as an eye opener!

Every finance advisor today advises us that we should keep aside three to six months’ worth of expenses for emergency. But very less number of people end up saving that kind of emergency fund.



What’s the reason that rest of the people couldn’t do it?

Answer is very simple to this question, cause they save very less. Suppose you are saving just 5% of money from your whole income, that means you are spending 95% of your money in your expenses. So we’ll check how much time it actually takes to save only one month’s emergency fund.
By a simple formula, which I got from an article:



So you’ll be able to save a single month’s worth expense in 95/5 = 19 Months!  Yes More than a year and a half for just a single month’s worth of emergency fund.

That’s a bad news, obviously. But there is a flip side to this situation. If we just increase our monthly saving to 10% the time needed to save the money for a month comes down drastically to 9 Months only. An exponential drop! Just Imagine, you saved 50% for 2 months so you’ll be able to get that 1 month’s emergency fund in just 2 Months!!

So the bottom line is we need to save money a little more than we usually do, if we want to save some good amount of emergency funds. How to seriously save money, you can get some help on that here. Rob Berger (doughroller.net) has explained it very well.

Here’s another link for a great article I found in Morning Star’s yesterday’s newsletter, 5 Steps to Build an Emergency Fund. Great Article.


Hope you enjoy today’s post and start saving more towards a great emergency fund goal! Good luck.