The Journey to Growing Up: An Interview with the Bestselling Author Dr Nikhil Jain

Journey to Growing Up

While we greatly enjoy reading a piece of literature, our appreciation of it increases, if we get an opportunity to know about its author closer.

Today, I feel privileged to post an interview with Dr Nikhil Jain, author of the Amazon best-selling book, The Journey to Growing up & Other Short Stories, published on October 17, 2015. This book is a collection of short stories based on real life incidents which Dr Nikhil got an opportunity to see and work upon in an objective way being a psychiatrist himself.

Dr Nikhil Jain is a psychiatrist by profession and loves literature. He was born and brought up in Gangtok ; and for his training, he travelled to Bikaner, Jaipur, Bangalore and Florida. Besides Literature, he has interests in mathematics and cooking as well. Presently, he lives with his wife Priyanka and son Yashaswi at Rohtak.

In this interview, Dr Nikhil reveals his inspirations, literary interests, his messages for the blog readers and aspiring writers in general.

And without creating much suspense and delay now, I would like to share with you an exclusive interview with Dr Nikhil Jain, the story behind making of him as an author.

Q: Sir, tell us something about this book?

Dr Nikhil: This book, as mentioned, is a collection of 10 short stories based on real life incidents. The stories written touch the conflicts of the common man and their everyday dilemmas and challenges.

Q. When did you start writing these stories? Did you know at that time that you would publish them in the form of a book?

Dr Nikhil: I started writing these stories about two years ago.  It began as a revival of my hobby that had taken a beating during the residency (period when I did my MD) days.  The idea was to write for the sake of writing, I showed them to a few near and dear ones and slowly I got coaxed into publishing them …

Q. What inspired you to write these stories?

Dr Nikhil: I have always been interested in literature. In college, I was the Literary Secretary for three consecutive years. Later I specialized in psychiatry and as a psychiatrist I frequently have a chance to examine strife in an objective way.  This strife often comes packaged in unexpected experiences. Later in life, with some imaginative enhancement, these unexpected experiences transform into anecdotes which are related to friends as a means of celebrating new beginnings.  I wanted a larger audience to celebrate with and thus this anthology…

Q. How much time did writing these stories take?

Dr Nikhil: It took a total of two years, but I wrote in stops and starts, so an accurate estimate is difficult to make.

Q. How do you relate with the characters of the stories?

Dr Nikhil: All but one of the stories in my book are based on true life events. Some of them happened to me, others to people I know. In that sense it was easy to relate to them, but on the other hand this made the characterization difficult also, because the protagonists of the stories are common human beings and there is no sensationalism to craft.

Q. Which is your favourite story in the book and why?

Dr Nikhil: Well. I like all of them, but I found it very soothing to write “Carefree”. In terms of flow of the narration, I enjoyed the title story, “The Journey to Growing Up”. I wrote it in one sitting.

Q. How does it feel to see the book in the hands of the reader? Do you have any particular story to share?

Dr Nikhil: It feels amazing…:)

Yes, I do have the most rewarding incident associated with the book to share. It was when my cousin’s classmate reportedly hid my book in her textbook and read it while the teacher was teaching in the class. This beats being listed on the Amazon’s bestseller list (where I was for a while)…

Q. How does being a doctor differ from being a writer?  To which do you relate more closely?

Dr Nikhil: I feel doctor is in a very advantageous position if he chooses to write… He gets to view the tragedies and comedies of everyday life from very close quarters.

The two are very different professions though. As a writer you can express anguish and despair, but as a doctor you are bound to express only hope…

Q. What are your future plans? Are you planning a sequel?

Dr Nikhil: I am thinking about writing fiction this time… but I am only thinking 🙂

Q. What are the key lessons you learnt while writing and then publishing this book?

Dr Nikhil: Do not stop dreaming!!!

Q. Sir, it would be unfair on my part, if I do not ask you these questions, which are your favorite books and who are your favorite authors?

Dr Nikhil: I have always enjoyed short stories more than novels. My favourite short stories are “The Necklace” by Guy de Maupassant,“The last leaf” & “The Cop and the Anthem” by O Henry  and many –many Chekhov’s short stories.

Ken Follet, Jeffrey Archer and A C Doyle’s novels have also transported me to different worlds.

Q. Any book(s) which you would want to recommend from your personal reading list to our readers ?

Dr Nikhil: If I have to name one author, I will recommend Anton Chekov…I feel reading his works is like eating dark chocolate: a rich, profound, stimulating experience, but takes  time getting used to.

Q. Since we are bidding adieu to this year, what message would you want to convey to our readers and aspiring writers?

 Dr Nikhil: To readers: This is my first book and I might not be perfect, but I will be true and these stories will touch you.

And to aspiring writers, I will repeat what I learnt from this process, Do not stop dreaming!!!

So, my dear readers, I am very sure that you all would have greatly enjoyed the journey of the writer, from a doctor to becoming an author. And if you want to know more about Dr Nikhil Jain and his book, Journey to Growing up, then like his facebook page by clicking here. You can also place an order for his book by visiting here and if you wish to write to him after reading his book, you can write to him at

Wishing you all happy reading hours and may you all have an amazing journey to growing up!

A Book that Inspired Dr APJ Abdul Kalam the Most

Dr APJ Kalam

Credits: Google Images

“You have to dream before your dreams can come true,” believed he.

Born on October 15, 1931 in the holy town of Rameswaram, the story of this visionary leader is no less than a dream story, which underlines the importance of dreams, faith, perseverance, persistence and vision in one’s life. A pious soul, who departed for his heavenly abode on July 27, 2015, at the age of 83, proved to the world that “Great dreams of great dreamers are always transcended”.

A philosopher, scientist, nationalist and visionary leader he was, and the world known him by the name of Dr APJ Abdul Kalam.

“To succeed in your mission, you must have single-minded devotion to your goal,” said he.

At an age of eight when most of the children are still tied to their mother’s apron string, this boy, like an elder member of the family was supporting his family by selling newspapers and learning life by closely observing it. Because he believed that “Man needs his difficulties because they are necessary to enjoy success.”

Drawing inspiration from birds, trees and the sea in his childhood, and learning life lessons from his father, mother and Ahmed Jalalluddin, this boy soon matured into an inquisitive person with indomitable spirit and unflinching faith in God who became first a scientist and then the first citizen of India, serving as the 11th President of India from 2002 to 2007, and giving dreams to his nation and his powerful vision in the 21st Century.

Leaving a rich legacy of wisdom wealth stored in more than 17 volumes of books that Dr Kalam wrote, most of which are best sellers, this post highlights the book that inspired him the most and made him the Missile Man and the People’s President of India.

In his autobiographical book, My Journey: Transforming Dreams into Actions, Dr Kalam shares the list of books which always gave him solace and peace at the most disappointing and difficult moments. And Light from Many Lamps edited by Lillian Eichler Watson is the one such, among the list of his favourite books which inspired Dr Kalam the most. A classic work, originally published in 1951, served as a big source of inspiration for the missile man in the toughest moments of his life. A book of infinite wisdom and riches from the ages, served as the storehouse for giving spiritual and moral guidance and courage when he needed them the most .

Dr Kalam says in My Journey, “There has hardly been an occasion when the works mentioned in the book have not brought me solace in my hours of sadness, or uplifted me when I needed advice. If I am ever in danger of being swept away by my own emotions, this book brings about a balance in my thinking.”

Now what does this book offer?

This book offers Wisdom of the Ages.

As Samuel Johnson writes, “A man will turn over half a library to make one book” this book is one such book. Treasuring stories, letters, quotes and incidents from the lives of great men, this book makes one feel as if one has access to half a library while reading it. Divided into 10 sections, which are mentioned below, this books deals with the themes which matter most in one’s life.

1. Happiness and Enjoyment of living

“Most folks are as happy as they make up their minds to be.” Abraham Lincoln

2. Faith and Inner Calm

“Without faith a man can do nothing; with it all things are possible.” Sir William Osler

3. Courage and The Conquest of Fear

“The Things courage can do.”  Sir James M Barrie

4. Confidence and Achievement

“Men were born to succeed, not to fail.”  Henry David Thoreau

5. Self-discipline and the Development of Character

“A man’s own character is the arbiter of his fortune.” Syrus

6. Personality and Relationship to Others

“The art of pleasing only requires the desire.” Lord Chesterfield

7. Peace and Heart and Mind

“Nothing can bring you peace but yourself.”

8. Love and Family Life

“To be happy at home is the result of all ambition.” Samuel Johnson

9. Contentment in Later Years

“It is magnificent to grow old, if one keeps young.” Harry Emerson Fosdick

10. Hope for the Future

“We are just at the beginning of progress in every field of human endeavour.” Charles F. Kettering

Dr Kalam, came across this book in 1953 at a second-hand library in Madras, and soon this book become his best companion as he wrote in My Journey that “I have leafed through it and read and reread it so many times over the years that I have possessed it.” In fact, Dr Kalam read it so many times that the books had to be bounded and rebounded to keep it in its proper shape.

Now to know more about this visionary and great man, it is suggested to read, My Journey: Transforming Dream into Action along with his favourite book, Light from Many Lamps by Lillian Eichler Watson.

And whenever you get time, make sure to listen to the story of this great man from Rameswaram in voice of Gulzar. And remember these lines below, when you digress from your mission and dream path.

“We should not give up and we should not allow the problem to defeat us.”

“Those who cannot work with their hearts achieve but a hollow, half-hearted success that breeds bitterness all around.”

Know the Power of Quietude Inside You!


Credits: Google images


Speak this word aloud and feel the vibration of ‘z’ sound longer in your epiglottis by placing your finger on your Adam’s apple.

The word will create a buzz in your head which will remain there for a much longer duration due to dominance of the sound ‘z’.

Extrovert people are sometimes like a buzz. They love creating buzz. They socialize, gather, party, dominate and love to be the talk of the town. They are popularly known for their gift of gab, confidence and their strong personality type. I am sure you are either one of them or have know many such people around you for their brilliant prominence, don’t you?


Speak the word aloud and you can immediately feel the liquidity of soft sounds melting slowly in your ears and creating silence around you from noise outside.

Introvert people are like silence. They are quiet and love solitude. They speak less, love their inner world, avoid too much of social gatherings, feel lonely in a crowd and give preference to their inner monologues rather than outwardly talks. If you are one such introvert, you know how the world looks at you and talks about you, don’t you?

So, this post is there to create a silent buzz in your mind which will remain with you even after you end reading this post and reflect on the thought shared in the post louder in your mind, in your precious hours of solitude.

The lead for this post comes form Mohit, who wrote one of the most popular blog posts on this site, 5 Reasons You Should Meditate if You Want to Succeed in Life.

He asked, “can I share something?”

I said, “Go ahead.”

And he wrote:

“While going through this period in my life, I have become a kind of a self selected extroverted-introvert. I could hardly relate to the majority of my peers- I consumed in philosophy and esoteric sciences, they, in the latest fashions and status quo. I was always myself and used to be a person that couldn’t stand to be alone and now, it is this thing that I aspire to be the most. I love strolling into the recesses of my mind, almost most of the times. I love exploring that thought space, the place where you lose the line between where you start and where the rest of universe is. You are all the things in that moment, there is no separation between you and that moment.

I have to admit that I am not exactly a typical hermit. I have naturally been an extrovert majority of my life so far because my mom and dad have taught me to live my life with an open heart and understand that everyone is a different, that makes it very clear that you have something genuine to offer to this world. Everyone knew my name because I talked a lot, I have always loved connecting with people and I never saw anyone as being any different from one another.

But you see now, being reserved gives me happiness. It makes me feel fulfilled. I don’t need approval of others for my happiness. I love silence. I love solitude.

For anyone seeking about introverts, I would recommend a beautiful book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain.”

Now what does this book offer?

The book shares the case studies and stories of famous people like Abraham Lincoln, Eleanor Roosevelt, Rosa Parks, Charles Darwin, Mother Teresa, GandhiSteven Spielberg, J.K. Rowling, Charles Schulz, Bill GatesBarack Obama, Dale Carnegie, Albert Einstein, Dr. SeussWarren Buffett, Larry PageCharles SchwabIsaac NewtonPablo Picasso, W. B. Yeats, George OrwellMoses, Jesus, Buddha etc. to name a few.  Now all these people, informs Cain, are introvert and they have changed the world with their significant contributions.

Being an introvert herself, Susan Cain, proposes the hypothesis that the significant contribution in the world is not made by Extroverts only, but introverts too have their major contribution in making a world a better and beautiful place to live. The world, to her is little biased towards the extroverts and, “the bias against introversion leads to a colossal waste of talent, energy, and happiness,” she strongly asserts.

In fact, when you read the book, you would feel that many of the incidents apply to you as well. Because you would find yourself hiding in her lines of words. That is the catch. Because most of us are ambiverts. We have moments and time when we love going out and meeting people and there are times when we want to be in our own shell. Whatever be the case, everything is perfect, everything that works for you. So if you become a recluse and love solitude, know that you are all right and it is just that you trying to be quiet and connecting with your inner self.

Read the book and know more about your own self. And enjoy this lively TED talk by the introvert author, Susan Cain by clicking here.

And remember next time when you sit alone and enjoy your solitude, don’t get intimidated by what others will say about you. At that time, be Quiet and remember the words of Pabalo Piccaso “Without great solitude no serious work is possible.” 

Day 6: Be the Source, Be the Fountainhead!


Credits:Google Images


Welcome to Day 6 of the Self Challenge Week and I am with you.

Howard Roark.

For this is his name and he is one of those literary characters with whom you would immediately fall in love because of integrity of his character, because of his unwavering faith in his own self, because of his passion for his work and because of his focus on the ultimate purpose in his life.

Published in 1943, The Fountainhead is the novel which is woven around the struggle, perseverance and love of this literary character, Howard Roark, who is an architect by profession. While this fiction is a brilliant testimony of Ayn Rand’s literary genius, however, this work also serves as one of the best reads which has widely influenced the readers of all times and still continues to inspire the youth, the artists, the entrepreneurs and the Silicon Valley techies and geeks and many more individuals across the globe.

For today’s post, I have highlighted some of the most quoted dialogues of Howard Roark which reveal the philosophy and ideology of Any Rand and by reading them, you would understand why she created this Man named Howard Roark.

Read the first word of the dialogue and I am sure that you would glide effortlessly through the entire post, for that is the beauty in writing of Ayn Rand.

Love What You Do and Do What You Love

“But you see, I have, let’s say, sixty years to live. Most of that time will be spent working. I’ve chosen the work I want to do. If I find no joy in it, then I’m only condemning myself to sixty years of torture. And I can find the joy only if I do my work in the best way possible to me. But the best is a matter of standards–and I set my own standards. I inherit nothing. I stand at the end of no tradition. I may, perhaps, stand at the beginning of one.”

Your Work Has Integrity, Its Each Part Constitutes to Make it a Whole

“A building is alive, like a man. Its integrity is to follow its own truth, its one single theme, and to serve its own single purpose. A man doesn’t borrow pieces of his body. A building doesn’t borrow hunks of its soul. Its maker gives it the soul and every wall, window and stairway to express it.”

You Must Know What Matters Most To You, You Must Know Your Goal and Move Towards Your Purpose in Life

“Every form has its own meaning. Every man creates his meaning and form and goal. Why is it so important–what others have done? Why does it become sacred by the mere fact of not being your own? Why is anyone and everyone right–so long as it’s not yourself? Why does the number of those others take the place of truth? Why is truth made a mere matter of arithmetic–and only of addition at that? Why is everything twisted out of all sense to fit everything else? There must be some reason. I don’t know. I’ve never known it. I’d like to understand.”

Don’t Lose Your Soul

“If you learn how to rule one single man’s soul, you can get the rest of mankind. It’s the soul, Peter, the soul. Not whips or swords or fire or guns. That’s why the Caesars, the Attilas, the Napoleons were fools and did not last. We will. The soul, Peter, is that which can’t be ruled. It must be broken. Drive a wedge in, get your fingers on it–and the man is yours.”

Men with Vision Rule the World

“Throughout the centuries there were men who took first steps down new roads armed with nothing but their own vision. Their goals differed, but they all had this in common: that the step was first, the road new, the vision unborrowed, and the response they received–hatred. The great creators–the thinkers, the artists, the scientists, the inventors–stood alone against the men of their time. Every great new thought was opposed. Every great new invention was denounced. The first motor was considered foolish. The first airplane was considered impossible. The power loom was considered vicious. Anesthesia was considered sinful. But the men of unborrowed vision went ahead. They fought, they suffered and they paid. But they won.”

Thoughts Lead The Men of Great Achievements 

“Man cannot survive except through the use of his mind. He comes on earth unarmed. His brain is his only weapon. Animals obtain food by force. Man has no claws, no fangs, no horns, no great strength of muscle. He must plant his food or hunt it. To plant, he needs a process of thought. To hunt, he needs weapons, and to make weapons–a process of thought. From this simplest necessity to the highest religious abstraction, from the wheel to the skyscraper, everything we are and everything we have comes from a single attribute of man–the function of his reasoning mind.

First, Be a Creator and Then Give away

“Men have been taught that the highest virtue is not to achieve, but to give. Yet one cannot give that which has not been created. Creation comes before distribution—or there will be nothing to distribute. The need of the creator comes before the need of any possible beneficiary. Yet we are taught to admire the second-hander who dispenses gifts he has not produced above the man who made the gifts possible. We praise an act of charity. We shrug at an act of achievement.”

Your Work Is Your God

“My reward, my purpose, my life, is the work itself.”

Howard Roark.

To know more about the author who created this character, follow the links below:

1. Any Rand and Her Objectivism

2. The Literary Achievement of the Fountainhead

3. Any Rand Books

Day 4: A Gift That Will Make Your Life Magical Forever!

Gift wrapped book

Credits: Google Images


Welcome to day 4 of the self challenge week and I am with you.

Today I want to give you a gift.

It may be possible that you already have this gift, but it does not stop me from giving you this valuable gift today.

So now, you will have to promise me that not only will you accept this gift today, but will also use this gift to make your life wealthier, brighter and happier and after absorbing and using this gift, you will also pass it on to others. The beauty of this gift is: the more you share, the wealthier and happier you become.

Well, this gift was given to me by my father first when I was quite young but then I kept it in my brain’s store for quite a sometime until it was reopened by the Magic book of Rhonda Byrne.

And believe me, since then, I have always been feeling abundance of everything in my life. And let me assure you that this gift will also make you feel extremely wealthy and rich and you will feel abundance of everything in your life everyday.

So this gift is…

The gift of GRATITUDE. The Magic Book by Rhonda Byrne!

And the words which will help you to unwrap this gift are “Thank You, Thank You and Thank You.”

In words of Sarah Ban Breathnach “You simply will not be the same person two months from now after consciously giving thanks each day for the abundance that exists in your life. And you will have set in motion an ancient spiritual law: the more you have and are grateful for, the more will be given to you.”

So, just practice the virtue of gratitude in your everyday life and express your sincere thanks to all the people, things, possessions and situations which are there in your life. May be till now,  you have hardly been paying heed to abundance in your life because you were either too busy to stop, too busy to think, or too busy to see. But now when you stop and analyse, you will observe that you have already abundance of things in your life and you will feel the magic of gratitude happening in your life on everyday basis.

You will feel something which you haven’t experienced before. Your life will become a perennial source of happiness and joy and abundance and you will see the transformation taking place in your life and also in the life of people around you.

Because “Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow,” says Melody Beattie.

So just take this gift. Unwrap it by clicking the link given above. Read the lessons of the book for the next 30 days and practice the exercises given in that book.

And then something will happen, be ready to see that magic of gratitude taking place in your life on everyday basis.

Let me assure you that you will be surprised to see the abundance of wealth that you already have in your life.

As says Christiane Northrup, “Feeling grateful or appreciative of someone or something in your life actually attracts more of the things that you appreciate and value into your life.”

So, be ready to feel the magic and be grateful for all that you have in your life.

6 Lessons From Michele Cushatt’s Undone


What we want in life are perfect moments and what we receive in life are imperfect moments carrying the seeds of beauty inside. “Sometimes life’s greatest beauty shows up right in the middle of the mess.” And this is what Michele Cushatt reveals in her heart touching story, Undone, written in the middle of such mess.

Her perfect life takes birth, but only after she goes through excruciating pain and that is why life looks so beautiful to her.

Weaving the tapestry of all her imperfect moments in this book, this story of her life, took her seven years of writing and two years of editing, this time, when she was constantly making peace with all her responsibilities and her own chaotic life.

So, Undone is the story of Michele Cushatt. A story of a woman and her catastrophic upheaval in life. A story of her devastating divorce and parenting her first child. A story of her remarriage and taking responsibility of her two step sons. A story of her son leaving home, but soon coming back, for she has immense faith in her God. The story  of her cancer diagnosis at the age 39, and her confrontation with death so close, even when she had followed a healthy diet, brushed her teeth twice, exercised and lived her life, in perfect balance amidst all the turmoil.

This story is of a couple giving home to three little kids, who were in crisis, topping their life with more chaos. A story of recurrence of Michele’s cancer and her line of surgeries and recovery days. A story of a daughter facing courageously the death of her father with the pancreatic cancer, who hammered in her to have faith in God at the age of five. This story is of Michele, making peace with her imperfect life.

So, here are 6 lessons that we all can learn form Michele Cushatt’s Undone:

1. Life is full of unexpected surprises. At the age of 39. A phone call. A disease diagnosis. It was a “rare squamous-cell carcinoma” cancer of the tongue. Michele’s life changed completely after that one phone call, “like a tornado ripping through a town in just minutes but changing the landscape forever.” Ordinary days became unordinary.  What followed were weekly and monthly visits to doctor. Biopsies. PET scans. Fear. Crying. Praying. Waiting. Worrying. And Thanksgiving of that year with unknown future.

So, reading the initial chapters of this book these questions may come to your mind: do we know what is our future? Do we know what is kept in God’s store for us? Do we appreciate the unexpected gifts send by God? Do we believe, “If God does not give us what we want, he gives us what we need?”

But to Michele, these were the ways of making an ordinary life extraordinary because she writes, “sometimes messy is the necessary beginning to the making of the extraordinary.”

2. Live one-day-at-a-time, but do we live that way ? Confronted with the news of her disease, Michele tried to celebrate Thanksgiving of the year with her full vivacity, completing all the domestic chores, cooking lavish feast for her family and friends and keeping her smiling face up, but deep inside her, she felt “crumbling” and crushed with passing of each day and every minute.

Since her kindergarten days she had developed faith in her God. She learnt to “pour out… lament.” She prayed, “Father God, help me. Please, help. I want to live!” She wanted to sit with someone and share her pang and her prayer was answered, again with a phone call.This time by one of her long lost friends Christine who called her to pray for her. Wasn’t this a true surprise? Christine prayed for her peace of mind and heart and for fulfilling ‘overwhelming and incomparable love of God’ in her life.

With her incessant prayers at the most painful days of her life, Michele anchored her faith in God. For “faith isn’t rooted in the past or future. It’s birthed in how we handle and approach today.” 

3. Life is making imperfect moments perfect. Michele, like all of us, too wanted a perfect life. A life with a perfect partner. To be in perfect relationship. With perfect children. Perfect health. Perfect professional growth. Perfect home. Perfect finances. And not to miss her perfect spiritual growth. Life like this, was a perfect dream for her. In short, life to be in her full control. But life, instead, offered her full of imperfect moments, disorder and personal challenges, all wrapped up in perfect meanings which she unwrapped so well in her this book Undone.

She says that, “we come to love not by finding the perfect person, but by learning to see an imperfect person perfectly.” Everything imperfect in her life soon become perfect from a distant vantage point for everyone.

4. When we see chaos, we discover peace inside. With her three new kids, the home become a new place in few seconds. With the colors, crayons, slippers and shrieks and shouting all around which she has long forgotten with her grown up teenagers now. And in this  chaos she realized that

“Peace isn’t a byproduct of control, the payout of a happy conclusion. Peace is the infiltrating, life-giving presence of a very real God. One who loves nothing more than to step into the middle of locked and darkened rooms and impossible circumstances, close enough to touch.”

5. Crisis is important in life for the growth of our full character.

In the moments of her crisis, struggle and randomness, Michele  writes:

“Just as a writer must embrace a rough draft as the necessary means to a book’s successful end, I had to learn how to embrace my life’s process. Including the countless ways my shortcomings and flaws have made me a better character in my own story.”

6. When we meet death, we know what life is. Michele writes that “it’s a horrible thing to think you have lost your life. But it’s a wonderful thing to find it again. I hadn’t realized how much I valued my breath until I though it might end. With renewed hope, I wanted to savor every moment, every morsel this life can offer.”

In life everything has a price and a value. It is the absence of that person in our life that makes us realize the truth worth of the person. Death coming too close, makes us realize the worth of our near and dear ones and our own life.

Life may be chaotic, life may be full of turmoil, life may seem full of pain and life may seem difficult to decipher but as Michele says:

“Life may be undone, but we have the reassurance that God is not done with us.”

Your Dreams Come True When You Fly Like Jonathan, The Seagull


Credits: Google Images

On this World Book Day, the 23rd of April 2015, here is my recommended reading for you. Read the ebook Jonathan Livingston Seagull by clicking on the link here.

A classic novella by Richard Bach, published in 1970, this story is of a Seagull who has vision, courage, resilience and commitment to reach to his dreams. An inspiring parable of love, truth, self-perfection, forgiveness and finding true meaning and purpose in life by breaking norms, this fable encourages you to read it multiple times and interpret it the way you want.

I know, you might have read it already, but then, I recommend you to read it again. Read it for yourself, for your students, for your family members and for your kids and share the immense pearls of wisdom tapped in pages of this book.

And here are 9 lessons that I learnt from reading, Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach, again.

1. Be Limitless in the Limited Life

You have limited years in your life, but the things that you can do in your life are limitless. So, just get rid of all your limiting beliefs, all those ideas and thoughts that discourage you, prohibit you and stop you from achieving what you want, just abort them before they are born. And then, think like Jonathan, the Seagull.

“We can lift ourselves out of ignorance, we can find ourselves as creatures of excellence and intelligence and skill. We can learn to be free! we can learn to fly!”

“Jonathan Seagull discovered that boredom and fear and anger are the reasons that a gull’s life is so short, and with those gone from his thought, he lived a long fine life indeed.”

2. Find a True Purpose and Meaning in Life 

Like Jon, find something too compelling and meaningful in your life, that forces you to transcend your own limitations and boundaries and make you one like the Jon.

“Do you have any idea how many lives we must have gone through before we even got the first idea that there is more to life than eating, or fighting, or power in the Flock? A thousand lives, Jon, ten thousand!”

And then…

“For most gulls it was not flying that matters, but eating. For this gull, though, it was not eating that mattered, but flight.”

3. Explore the Unknown like Jonathan

Be yourself and find what motivates you and keep going.

“You have the freedom to be yourself, your true self, here and now, and nothing can stand in your way.”

Find what you true passion is like Jonathan did.

“Why, Jon, why?” his mother asked. “Why is it so hard to be like the rest of the flock, Jon? Why can’t you leave low flying to the pelicans, the albatross? Why don’t you eat? Son, you’re bone and feathers!” “I don’t mind being bone and feathers mom. I just want to know what I can do in the air and what I can’t, that’s all. I just want to know.” 

4. Be an Indefatigable Learner 

You will stagnate, if you do not learn everyday. In this digital age, information becomes obsolete too fast, so don’t stop. Never cease to learn. Ask yourself everyday, what is the new thing that I have learnt today? And follow what Jonathan did.

“One school is finished, and the time has come for another to begin.”

5. Have Goal, Purpose and Vision in Your Life

Keep moving on the path of your dreams and see what others can’t see. They are limited with their vision. You are not!

“Don’t believe what your eyes are telling you. All they show is limitation. Look with your understanding. Find out what you already know and you will see the way to fly.”

6. Move on, Even When Others Say You are Wrong

Don’t be discouraged when others say that what you are doing is not worth.

“Jonathan sighed. The price of being misunderstood, he thought. They call you devil or they call you god.

If your vision connects deeply with you purpose in your life, then follow your heart. In your pursuit, you will come across many dreamers like Jonathan came across, later on his high flights.

7. Take Consistent Actions and Pursue Your Goals with Passion

Become one with your Goal and life’s mission.

“He was not bone and feather but a perfect idea of freedom and flight, limited by nothing at all.”

“Your whole body, from wingtip to wingtip,” Jonathan would say, other times, “is nothing more than your thought itself, in a form you can see. Break the chains of your thought, and you break the chains of your body, too.”

8. Move on Even When You are Alone

Don’t stop. Don’t quit. Keep your momentum. Even when you are alone, just move on.

“Overcome space, and all we have left is Here. Overcome time, and all we have left is Now.”

“We choose our next world through what we learn in this one. Learn nothing, and the next world is the same as this one, all the same limitations and lead weights to overcome.”

9. Share Your Success Story and Design a Path for Others to Follow

“You have to practice and see the real gull, the good in everyone of them and to help them see in themselves.That’s what I mean by love.”

After reading this story, I know, you will feel like Jonathan, the Seagull. And if you think like you are one such, then you are absolutely right. Like Jon,  you too have those dreams and wings inside you. But sometimes, situations, circumstances, experiences and people in your life, may stop you from taking that long flight that you so much yearn and deserve. So, this story is for you to remind you of your dreams.

It reminds you that you too have the wings of your dream and they are there so that you can take flight and find a newer world for yourself. This story is for your kids so that you can tell them how much you love them and how you want them to be Jonathan Seagull of their life. This story is for your family. So that you, as a family can decide that you too, all together have a beautiful dream to realize.

So, be the Jonathan of your life and take your much awaited dream flight!

Keller Series #2: Lessons Learnt From Helen Keller and Her Teacher


Credits: Google Images

While reading Helen’s Biography, The Story of My Life, you feel unveiling of some great secrets from the inner recesses of her life; however, in the process, you also get intrigued by many such other mysteries which enforce you to explore more, about the other aspects of her life. The same thing happened with me. After reading Helen’s description and laurel for her teacher, I felt more inquisitive to know about Miss Anne Sullivan, the teacher behind making of the great Helen Keller. And after discovering more about her teacher, I felt like finding another life’s treasure. So here I am , writing and sharing, my reading treasure with you.


As the saying by William Arthur Ward goes that, “The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. And the great teacher inspires.” And the same goes true for Helen’s teacher, Miss Anne Sullivan.

Remembering this day, the day when her teacher came, Helen wrote that “THE MOST IMPORTANT DAY I remember in all my life is the one on which my teacher, Anne Mansfield Sullivan, came to me. I am filled with wonder when I consider the immeasurable contrast between the two lives which it connects. It was the Third of March, 1887, three months before I was seven years old.”

Robbed of her sight and hearing as Helen was, it was next to impossible to teach and groom her, but it was her “soul’s sudden awakening,” which her teacher brought, giving her voice and listening power, which even after many years of her death, people can read, listen and get inspired from her voice of immortal soul.

Helen’s life before her teacher’s coming was like a ship without ‘compass or sounding-line’ and not knowing how close or far it was to the ‘harbour’ as she wrote, but upon her arrival she mentioned that, “Gradually I got used to the silence and darkness that surrounded me and forget that it had ever been different, until she came-my teacher-who was to set my spirit free.” And in that sudden moment of joy she felt outburst of life, ““Light! Give me light!” was the wordless cry of my soul, and the light of love shone on me in that very hour.”

But initially it was not a fairy tale for Sullivan, instead it was no less than unfolding of challenging episodes in the drama of her life. Although, she expected the erratic behavior of her student, but there was something more than to that drama, which she found beyond her dismay.  But for all this, Anne was well prepared and thoroughly trained at Perkins Institute of Blinds and during her former life years , where she herself had suffered from Trachoma and loss of vision until operated later on.

So, not only did she handle her brat student with compassion, love and patience but she also took the best move of taking her away from home to suit everything in the best for her student’s pursuit of knowledge, growth and development.


Before Miss Sullivan could embark on her journey with Helen, she found severe disciplines issues with Helen. Helen was not only stubborn, restless and tireless in her day today activities but also disobedient in many ways. So, one of the first things which Miss Sullivan did was to tame her habits without crushing her spirits , which she wrote in one of her letters to Mrs Hopkins.

“How to discipline and control her without breaking her spirit. I shall go rather slowly at first and try to win her love. I shall not attempt to conquer her by force alone; but I shall insist on reasonable obedience from the start. One thing that impresses everybody is Helen’s tireless activity. She is never still a moment. She is here, there, and everywhere. Her hands are in everything; but nothing holds her attention for long. Dear child, her restless spirit gropes in the dark. Her untaught, unsatisfied hands destroy whatever they touch because they do not know what else to do with things.”

And then she writes, “I suppose I shall have many such battles with the little woman before she learns the only two essential things I can teach her, obedience and love.”

And within few months of progress she did teach to Helen new words, table manners and daily chores and thus was truly entitled as a Miracle Woman.


Soon with her love, compassion and perseverance, Miss Sullivan taught her unruly student what it means to know the world, what is the power of words. And that was the moment of epiphany in the life of the teacher and the taught together. Writing in her letter to Mrs Hopkins, she confessed that, “I thought my heart would burst, it was so full of joy.”

Describing this break-through, which got imprinted in the mind of  Helen so well, she wrote in her story that “Suddenly I felt a misty consciousness as of something forgotten-a thrill of returning thought; and somehow the mystery of language was revealed to me. I knew then that “w-a-t-e-r” meant the wonderful cool something that was flowing over my hand. That living work awakened my soul, gave it light, hope, joy, set it free!”

This was the dawn of knowledge in her life. Excited and thrilled with this discovery, she soon returned home with her teacher and with great inquisitiveness touched each object as if it was calling her and was breathing alive and quivering “with life.”

That day she learnt many words which she could not remember all but some of them she wrote were mother, father, sister, teacher and many more. She was on the day, the happiest child and “for the first time longed for a new day to come.” For this was the magic of her beloved teacher, Anne Sullivan.

And then her knowledge journey began and she wrote, “Long before I learned to do a sum in arithmetic or describe the shape of the earth, Miss Sullivan had taught me to find beauty in the fragrant woods, in every blade of grass, and in the curves and dimples of my baby sister’s hand.”

And this is what her teacher taught and inspired to her. To feel, to live and to enjoy each moment!

  • So be thankful to all those teachers who have taught you and have brighten your life with knowledge light. Be grateful to them, for all the good and all the bad. For the bad must have taught you how to be good, at least in some context.
  • Remember that in pursuit of knowledge, it is important to have discipline. Discipline will allow you to focus on the tasks and lessons that you must learn. Without focus, you may keep on wandering for long!
  • With the right kind of knowledge you develop a new perspective and understand that compassion and love are the two most important virtues to learn. And understanding how to be happy and be content in pursuit of knowing one self.

Thus lives of Helen Keller and Anne Sullivan teach us to have indomitable learning spirit and unflinching faith in one’s own abilities to surmount any obstacle. So be confident and take your knowledge  stride at the earliest.

Know that God always has a surprise knowledge gift pack wrapped in for us every day. So, unpack it, enjoy it, appreciate it, read from it and save its learning in your Life’s ledger every day!