Let me hear something different.

©2013 Nim Gholkar All Rights Reserved
Last night, I arrived back in Sydney after a four day long trip to beautiful Cairns. There is something about Queensland and its warm, tropical feel that always tugs at my heartstrings. It is good to get away from the hustle and bustle of daily life in Sydney, and just being amidst those swaying palm trees soothes and calms the soul. Every visit to Queensland ( and I go there quite often through work) helps me not only recharge my worn out batteries, but also helps me get a better perspective on what really matters in life.

I have a tradition that I follow whenever I travel. It is a tradition passed on as a legacy by my late grandfather. He travelled extensively, and before each flight, he would buy a book from the airport bookshop, and note on the first page a brief outline of his trip (eg. flight details, destination etc). I now do the same. Yesterday, as we walked into the airport lounge for our flight back to Sydney, I made a quick detour to the bookshop. On these occasions, I am never certain what I am going to end up buying. I usually stand in the centre, and throw a sweeping glance around the shelves. If anything strikes my fancy, I pick it up, do a quick browse of the blurb and the first few lines and if all is well, it is a definite purchase.

The first book that seemed to leap out at me was ‘Life Lessons from The Monk who sold his Ferrari‘ by Robin Sharma. I was fascinated by the image of a monk poised on a wooden log, staring out peacefully into the horizon, surrounded by calm blue water. I quickly skimmed the pages, and what I read was an amazing insight into human life and nature. I simply had to buy the book. Without waiting to see what else was on offer, I paid at the counter and walked out with a book that has influenced me deeply.

During the 3 hour flight, I read without pause. I have been a life-long student of the art of motivation and self-help. Over the years, I have read countless books written by the great philosophers of all times as well as motivational books on leadership, time management and the art of living. As I read the short chapters in this book, each reflecting a quality or trait that leads to an enhancement of living habits, I promised myself to regularly practice not only what this particular book was teaching, but all the wonderful teachings I had read over time. The chapter I decided to start my ‘walk the talk’ programme with was titled ‘ Use your commute time‘.

I spend a lot of time driving. Whether it is to and from work, or dropping off the kids to different activities, a huge chunk of my days is spent in the car. Sydney traffic is notorious, and sitting in a traffic jam for minutes that tick by painfully is not my idea of fun or relaxation. I usually resort to switching on the radio and catching up on the news. Being a busy mum, I don’t often get time to read a newspaper, and the car radio is often my only means of keeping up to date with what is happening around the world. Recently, though, I was starting to get disillusioned by what I was hearing on the radio. Depressing local news, followed by depressing national news, followed by increasingly depressing international news. I would often reach my destination with a sinking feeling of desolation after everything I had heard during the car trip. The radio was beginning to chip away at my normally optimistic nature. Something had to change. I found that change when I picked up ‘Life Lessons from the Monk who sold his Ferrari’.

Following instructions in the chapter called ‘Use your commute time’, I marched into my local library last night and asked the librarian for audio books of motivational talks. She looked puzzled and it was clear no one had ever asked her this.

‘Do you mean talking books? Novels narrated into a cd?’ she asked.

‘No, I mean a cd where motivational leaders speak. I want to listen to something uplifting when in the car’

‘Let me go and search’ she said and vanished amongst the many shelves.

At last, she came up with a 4- disc series of a leadership and how-to-follow your dreams talk by an australian speaker. I grabbed it with delight. It was exactly what I was looking for.

On the way to the supermarket last night, I listened to my first ever motivational audio book. Although I have read countless self-help books, this was the first time I was listening to the same messages in the form of an audio book. I cannot begin to describe the amazing impact it had on my senses. Instead of listening to the soul-scarring radio updates of the killings and torture around the world, I listened to a wonderful guide who taught me all about reaching out for the stars. When I reached the supermarket and got out of the car, I felt rejuvenated and optimistic. It is amazing the kind of impact radio has on our well-being. I realised that yes, I had missed out on listening to what was happening around the world. But I would find that out eventually anyway, because someone or the other, either at home or at work, would update me during a conversation.

For all those who are tired of listening to a constant barrage of miserable news, do occasionally switch off the car radio, and listen to an uplifting motivational cd. It will do wonders for your soul 🙂

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