Dear Sania and every Indian Girl

Sania-Mirza

My Latest article on Famous Parenting published on 22nd July, 2016

I just bought your autobiography ‘Ace against odds’ yesterday and finished it this morning. In twenty four hours, while going through your journey, I felt like being in many different shoes. I felt like your mother when I began, I could feel the consistent, effortful drive of your father, I felt like India – our country and of course, I tried to feel your determination, your fears, your quests and your responses.

Every Indian child and his/her parents should read it so that we can have more happy, confident and responsible adults for future.

Decision of Your Parents:

When your parents decided to come back from USA after spending a year there, you were barely four years old. But the decision revolved around you. They felt that they would be able to give you a better life (swimming, skating, badminton classes) in India.

You could have achieved the same results living in USA too, given your talent and determination, but your parents decided keeping your happiness in mind. There were no big dreams attached, there were no expectations being nurtured. Since you were an ‘outdoor child’ who loved to play, they wanted you to be happy learning these games. It is so essential for parents to observe their children, their interests and let them explore those areas.

Support from Parents

Your mother spent a lot of her time with you in your initial years and that presence has been the most valuable in boosting up your morale and confidence. Having one of your parents by your side must have had a reassuring and calming effect on you.

The discipline and dedication of practising every-day at a young age, balancing school work and other activities prepared you for your future hectic schedules. The vision of your father that ‘impossible feats could be achieved’ is heartening. He believed in you, stood by you and mentored you. That is commendable. But what struck me as a parent and a leader was his words during the break of your Wimbledon Doubles Final last year.

It was a divine moment in the third set when you and Martine Hingis were at 5-all and the covering of the roof (as it was getting dark) took you to green room.Without losing his calm, he told you “This is an unbelievable final. You both should be proud of the way you have fought back. Irrespective of what happens in the rest of the match, nobody can take away this from you. So go there, enjoy and give your best.” This is what most parents fail to do. They induce fear at crucial moments and make success/winning as the ultimate goal which is so detrimental in the long run. Let me accept it: I am a greater fan of your parents than you. They are amazing human beings and superb parents. More power to their breed.

Love For Tennis

You loved tennis – that’s how it all started. The fame, the awards & rewards, the media frenzy are all by-products of your passion – focussed, consistent and brutal. I call it brutal as it costed injuries, surgeries on the physical level and many necessary and unnecessary upheavals on the psychological level. Since “I love tennis” echoes in your ears, throbs in your heart and gives you goose bumps even today, you are a little legend, little in age and legend in achievements.

Destiny, talent, hard work and circumstances prepare a unique concoction for all of us. The difference between a losing and winning outcome is a very thin line.

Success and fame is incidental. Your success is not as inspiring as your consistent hard work. I salute your acute determination to come back from the brink each time you were written off or you wanted to hang your boots.

Thank you for inspiring so many by living a life laced with conviction and confidence. Continue on the same lines, little legend. Your ace against odds is needed and that too badly.

****

I am an Author, Entrepreneur, Motivational Speaker, Parenting expert based in Mumbai. Having written Bestsellers like Don’t Raise Your Children, Raise Yourself (Amazon Bestseller), Why Women Are What They Are, Come On! Get Set Go

I am running Life Lemonade which offers unique Training Programs on Life Transformation, High Performance Leadership, Women Issues and Parenting.

Connect with me on Linkedin, Twitter @drswatilodha Facebook

Also read my best articles here!

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PIVOTING: From Start-ups to Parenting

Pivot

Pivoting is the new poster word of start-up lexicon. Though it is common sense and has been proven true by many businesses long ago, it has gained currency now.

‘The idea that finally makes a business big is generally not the ‘first look and feel’ of the idea. It is the shade of the original which has been tied and dyed or tweaked to make it more consumer appealing.

Earlier, businesses diversified or ventured into a virgin direction slowly but pivoting is now about pace.

“A start-up is not shotgun. It’s a machine gun. You have to hit multiple times”, says Vipul Mishra, Cofounder, Canvasflip, a start-up that has pivoted six times in a span of one year.

Let us understand the basics of Pivoting

1. Don’t forget the basics – A pivot is a central point on which a mechanism turns or escalates. It could be a person or a thing on which something turns, hinges on depends.

So, pivoting means that we might change our direction of movement, that mode of balancing but the central point remains the same.

In terms of business, the core idea/sector remains the same.

YouTube started in 2005 as a video dating site called Tune in Hook Up and later pivoted to online video sharing. The core space – online videos – remains the same.

In terms of Parenting, it means that the core idea of Parenting – unconditional love, silent observation, patient guidance and constant encouragement will not change in any age.

Also, children remain the pivots of parents’ lives till they are children. For Indian Parents, it is for life.

2. It is a strategic tool – Pivoting is quickly trying different related ideas/techniques if one idea doesn’t give beneficial results. It can go positive as well as negative. It will be positive if fuelled by passion, not by desire to raise or burn money.

Changing tracks without putting enough thought into the new roadmap does not work. Also, the team behind the idea should be committed and have the expertise.

In terms of business, lot of fundraising before pivoting is generally a road to destruction.

In terms of parenting, we need to try different styles of parenting for different phases and temperaments of our children. What worked a decade ago might not work today.

Technology has given birth to new challenges and hence new parenting styles. My book “Don’t Raise Your Children, Raise Yourself (Amazon Bestseller) talks about seven parenting styles while Diana Baumrind discussed three parenting styles in 1975 and it worked in the last century.

3. It accepts failure and motivates to move on – Many promoters and founders get so attached to their business ideas that they don’t readily accept its non viability.

Investors / Mentors can show them the related avenues. Pivoting improves resistance of entrepreneurs and makes them failure friendly. It keeps them nimble and open to accept failures and quickly move to asses other workable options. A passionate and expert team gives the confidence that they will make their teamwork work, whatever it takes. Snapchat succeeded after 24 failed ideas.

Parents should encourage their children to use pivoting in life – for choosing subjects, career options or jobs. Children might not be able to figure out their area of professional interest in one go. Many a times, parents and peers push them towards choices which are trendy and lucrative but might not be appropriate for them.

Parents must accept pivoting by their children and should support them if they wish to fine-tune or alter their choices.

References:

1. http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/small-biz/startups/from-a-potent-weapon-of-business-success-is-pivoting-turning-into-a-face-saving-strategy-for-failing-startups/articleshow/52377890.cms

2. My book “Don’t Raise Your Children, Raise Yourself (Amazon Bestseller)

*****

I am an Author, Entrepreneur, Motivational Speaker, Parenting expert based in Mumbai. Having written Bestsellers like Don’t Raise Your Children, Raise Yourself (Amazon Bestseller), Why Women Are What They Are, Come On! Get Set Go

I am running Life Lemonade which offers unique Training Programs on Life Transformation, High Performance Leadership, Women Issues and Parenting.

Connect with me on Linkedin, Twitter @drswatilodha Facebook

Also read my best articles here!

Don’t Raise Your Children, Raise Yourself

Madrat DRYCRY.png

This article was first published on MadratGames on 16th May, 2016.

http://www.madratgames.com/dont-raise-your-children-raise-yourself/

Though we might feel that we are perfect parents blessed with imperfect children, let’s face it- we need to learn to upgrade our abilities to parent our children.

ONE OF THE PARENTABILITY PRINCIPLES IS TO PREPARE YOURSELF TO HAVE A CRESCENDO PRESENCE IN THE LIVES OF YOUR CHILDREN.

Though Moon doesn’t slice itself away or grows the slices back, people on the earth see it as waning and waxing. Similarly, parents don’t appear or disappear, but they should make children perceive the presence of parents in their lives as waning and waxing.

Our presence in the beginning years of your child resembles the Full Moon phase. As they grow up, our presence should move towards the waning gibbous phase. Our kids will see our presence reducing and their freedom rising while we can keep our presence intact by being observant.

By the time they enter tween age, we enter the last quarter phase where half of the Moon is visible. We let them take minor decisions by subtly guiding them to choose the right alternative. We hand over the physical reins to our children while keeping the mental reins with us. As they enter college, our presence reaches the waning crescent phase in their eyes. They become more self-reliant and self-confident but we hang on as a moral compass, as a shock absorber, as a warning bell in this precarious phase.

Presence of parents reaches a new Moon phase once the kids become financially and emotionally independent. In the west, it happens early and in east, this phase might pass with a blink. But this phase should come for some time to see how children fare in life with the help of wisdom accumulated over the years’ sans the active guidance of parents.

In spite of rising nuclear families, Moon Parenting believes that grand parenting is genuinely ‘grand’ parenting.

The beauty of being parents begins now. We enter the waxing crescent phase by visiting them or helping them in the hour of need. Our presence increases when our children marry and become parents themselves. If our children saw us respecting, valuing and taking care of our parents, they would certainly value us.

In my opinion, our children can get the best return from their lives if they have us around as grandparents for their children. This is the first quarter phase where Moon is again half visible. We become a wonderful bridge between our children and grandchildren as we reach the waxing gibbous phase. With the foundation of right values and balanced life-style, we reach the full Moon phase in our twilight years. This is the time when we need the warmth of our children.

If we are a good role model, our children will certainly be with us emotionally, if not physically.

This crescendo presence parentability principle is based on Indian family system. The self-sufficiency of Indian family system gives amazing emotional security, day-to-day mutual convenience and value addition.

A child does not demand to be born. We choose to have a child. We should choose it when we are ready for it, when we can give our crescendo presence in their lives.

This is an excerpt from Dr. Swati Lodha’s bestseller book titled – “Don’t Raise Your Children, Raise Yourself

About the Author

Don’t Raise Your Children, Raise Yourself

DRYCRY

It’s Out.
My Mother’s Day gift to my mom and my daughter.

Download the Kindle App on your laptop or phone (iOS/Android) or directly use your Kindle. Please log in to your Amazon account and purchase the book.

Check it out here: https://www.amazon.in/DONT-RAISE-YOUR-CHILDREN-YOURSELF-ebook/dp/B01FBFBEKI/279-4301953-7093903?ie=UTF8&ref_=tsm_1_fb_lk

DON’T RAISE YOUR CHILDREN, RAISE YOURSELFHow often do you feel inadequate and helpless as a parent when you are not sure about your actions as parents? Don’t you wish there was an “owners manual” for parents that would give you the insights, the knowledge, the skills and the…AMAZON.IN

After reading this ‘Un-Parenting’ Guide, parents will feel empowered as Parents and Mentors to their children.

The book offers Parenting advice for Parents at different junctures of their Parenting journey. It defines the meaning of Parenting in digital age.

It helps them find out their dominating Parenting Style and ways to make it better.

As a Parent, it motivates you to adhere to 10 Parentability Principles to sharpen your parenting competence. These tips make every mother and father more honest and real in their parental role.

Ask yourself why you want children” is the most sensible question to answer before deciding to become a Parent.

Concept of Crescendo presence” helps them understand the perennial nature of parenting with the varying degree of our physical and emotional presence in the likes of our children and our Parents.

“Disambiguate your childhood memories” is another advice that we completely ignore as Parents.

“Strike a balance and admit your mistakes” is one simple empowering advice for all parents,

“Children don’t do what Parents say, they do what their Parents do” is a reminder to be responsible and disciplined as Parents.

Twenty five lessons in the form of five value, five truths, five foundations, five commitments and five rights form the core of proper upbringing from the beginning.

If you want to raise your competence as Parents, then this book could be your dream book.

If you want your daily dilemmas as Parents answered, then pick up this book.

Learn – How to be a Parent of Digital Age

Explore – Your Parenting Style

Improve – Your Parentability

Be a MOON PARENT with “Don’t Raise Your Children, Raise Yourself”

My Self-Publishing Journey Begins…

picccccAfter publishing three books in our traditional ways with fair amount of success in terms of books sales and readers appreciation, I have finally reinvented my writing journey.

I chose the transition because:

1. Traditional publishers try to make you feel like they are doing a great favor to you by publishing the book. You feel petty and inconsequential, more so if you are a non-fiction author.

 2. Traditional publishers are slow and editing takes forever. I had a bitter experience with a known publishing house which very quickly signed on the dotted line and then kept changing editors on the manuscript for six months. After that, they informed me that they are short of editors and will need time. They dilly dallied throughout the contract period of one and a half year with an apology email sent to me. 

3. The royalties paid as peanuts make you feel that you write only because you want to. You pay to your publisher even to buy your own books. My first book sold more than a lakh of copies with a national award but I still need to buy my own books (at a discounted price) for my workshops.

4. Self-publishing has empowered me as an author and I have connected with an amazing set of authors who have become self-publishing phenomena in their respective categories.

I am new in this space and I am waiting to explore this new space with my book “DON’T RAISE YOUR CHILDREN, RAISE YOURSELF”. As soon as I upload it next week on Amazon, I will discover new readers and a whole new digital world. Though the number of e-book readers in India is very less, I am hopeful that my book will appeal to a global audience and I won’t miss the traditional publishing.

Waiting for a redemption, I am already writing my next one.

 E-Book.jpg

Age Is Just A Number! And Other Life Lessons From ‘The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel’

This article was first published on Womens Web on 20th April, 2016

Age Is Just A Number! And Other Life Lessons From ‘The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel’

The-Best-Exotic-Marigold-Hotel-e1461138966506The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel teaches us that age is just a number – we can seek and find happiness, or try out new things at any age.

I happened to watch The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel before watching its prequel The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. The film grew on me gradually as I enjoyed and lived each character through my second and third date with the film.

I cherished some simple yet profound lessons from this colorful and charming ensemble film.

Parenting

Maggie Smith’s sharp tongued yet affable Mrs Donnelly becomes a true mentor to the brash and ambitious Dev Patel aka Sonny. She teaches him by not offering advice. She helps him explore the American world by being with him yet allowing him to make mistakes enough to learn but not to land him in trouble.

She writes a letter to him at the end where she says that she was writing it to the children she never had. She proves that parenting is an emotion, an energy which bonds the parent and the child through a selfless, nurturing connect. “I am not helping you when I am here, so that you can act when I am not here” is the most empowering lesson from a parent to a child.

Her trust in Sonny comes forward when she says, “He makes many mistakes, but none when it matters.”

“I don’t do advices. I do opinions,” is her lesson in being confident and authentic.

Love

Judy Dench as Evelyn and Bill Nighy as Douglas prove that their ‘love for life’ helps them realize their love for each other. Evelyn asks, “How many lives can there be?” and answers herself, “As many as we want”.

Love needs friendship, respect and freedom in the long run and it is beautifully proven by Evelyn and Douglas.

Entrepreneurship

The floor scrubber for forty years takes the challenge to get funding for a hostel cum hotel for seniors and confidently speaks to the Evergreen owner. Sonny, though melodramatic, wins over through his honest aspiration and childlike optimism.

His risk taking and fierce resolve reflects in his focussed attention on expanding his business. Dev Patel as an eccentric and exuberant youngster reminds us of so many start up mavericks of today.

Leadership

Life is the biggest leader of all. Celebrating life by accepting the building blocks handed over to us and using them continuously and effectively is the key to be a self-leader. All the senior citizens from Britain prove it by starting a new life in Jaipur. This new life is not a retired existence but an invigorating beginning before the final end.

“There is no end of life, only the end of a story,” is what we absorb.

Deeper Lessons

The first film focused on the struggles of the elderly for these Britons who chose to come to India not because they wanted to but they had to. The ‘sorrow’ of the first film changes to ‘purpose’ in the second film.

All the senior people who think every second – “Do we have enough time?” learn to add purpose to each moment. Mrs. Donnelly tries to become a parent which she never was, Evelyn becomes self-reliant at 79, which she never experienced as a sheltered, naïve housewife. Honesty between the bartender and his wife at this age speak volumes about the need of companionship and fear of loneliness. It encourages older people to never give up till the last day.

Age is merely a number, it is purely incidental that we pick up years while living. Giving happiness to ourselves and others can be done like a warrior, till the last breath.

What do you think?

Image source: youtube.