Ten Simple Rituals to Be An Optimist

4 years ago, I was one of those people, who noted down the negative outcome of everything I was about to do. After I watched an insightful movie “The Secret“, something changed in me. My inner transformation was on its way. I cannot find words to thank my best friend Ashish for telling me  about this movie. Slowly and steadily, I started educating myself with self-help books and literature on human behavior and importance of positive thinking. 4 years later, I believe that I am ready to share my learning by conveying the message of self-motivation and positivism to others.

If you are currently looking to change your life around and amass self-confidence here are 10 simple ways of doing it. The list below is my top 10 favorite rituals (in no particular order).

1Love yourself tell it to yourself 

Your unconscious mind is always alert, looking out for you, but only relaying the information you require to finish the task at hand. Self-love is sometimes lost within your unconscious mind and it becomes essential to recall this every now and then. All you have to do is tell yourself how much you love yourself, how much you care for your well-being. Doing so bolsters your inner-self, you will instantly start feeling your worth in this world and this feeling produces endorphin surge throughout out your brain. Everyone in this world wants to feel loved by others, but never forget the importance of loving yourself first. You are the way you are for a reason, accept it, own it.

2Smile in the mirror eachtime, everytime 

Smiling is a one of the powerful expression humans have, one which has the power to produce endorphin in your brain. Smile is a contagious motivator and is one of the easiest ways to cheer up your spirits. Couple this with a mirror, your conscience mind will start to think everything is the best it can be and this feeling creates good vibes. Give this a try, works like a charm.

3. Pump your arms up in the air 

This is a universal body language of winning and success. A study found that even blind people use this body language to convey the feeling of winning. Doing this often gives you a boost in self-confidence and nurtures a can-do attitude in you. Pumping your arms gives you assurance that you are a winner. If things are going tough, practicing this body language can give you enough motivation to pass through the rough patch. No wonder Sylvester Stallone in his landmark boxing movie “The Rocky” does this after running up the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

4. Count numbers using your fingers 

This is one of the uncommon rituals which I happened to try out and to my astonishment, it worked. It makes one realize that time is running away and that the only way to make good of the situation is to concentrate on the task at hand and give it all we have got. This is also a great way to cool your nerves down when stressed or angry.

5. You are stronger than your problem 

Self-confidence comes from within, until you do not believe things are possible you will keep waiting for situations to get ideal and this is not how an optimist should live. Hope is a good thing, but belief is one step higher. One of my teacher’s on the topic of public speaking told that, if we feel the audience is better or smarter than us we will not be able to control our anxiety, but the moment you tell yourself that you are not afraid of the challenge the audience might pose, in way of questions, you will soon realize your talk was a good one. Believing you can, converts to believing you will.

You need to tell yourself that every problem or challenge you face is puny and that it is no match to your ability. If your ability is not at the level it should be work on it to change it, but do not work on de-motivating yourself.

6. Volunteer without expectations

Volunteer for a cause which interests you, a cause which drives you and allows you to put a smile on a strangers face. Be it visiting an orphanage or an old age home. These experiences will change the way you think, you will soon realize the needs of everyone are different. Introspect what your needs are, what makes sense to you. This introspection will lead to a heightened sense of who you are and fill you with a feeling of gratitude. Gratitude is a blissful feeling, to know you are lucky is a good feeling to experience.

7. Call your family and friends 

Call you parents or your close friends as often as possible. Such love which has been tested with time is another blessing. The people who trust and love you always want good things to come to you. They will support you with all their heart, and to know there is someone supporting you also bolsters your confidence level and builds positive vibes.

8. Think binomial 

Procrastination starts from giving ourselves choice to lose control of our discipline and actions. Most of our challenges may have well be results of procrastinating things. Thinking binomial allows you to make goals and strictly follow-up your actions. By binomial I mean,

Success: If I do as I planned

Failure: If otherwise

Be hard on yourself and follow this method. Do this for a month and  it will soon turn into one of your best personality traits: Pro-activeness.

9. One minute meditation 

To have a positive mindset, you also need to have a balanced, calm, and rested mind. One minute meditation does just this, it quickly releases you of stress and in-turn makes it easier for you to relax. A relaxed mind can think, function, and act in a positive manner.

I strongly advise you to see this video from Martin Boroson, I have included this in my routine only a few months back.

10. Always keep your stomach satiated 

This ritual is one of the most important in my to do list everyday! I have observed my moods change drastically when I am hungry and usually the feeling of being tired makes me feel really bad both physically and mentally. So, I believe that to be an optimist one has to always take care of one’s diet. Eat soon as you get hungry and you will see your moods remain constant all through the day.

If someone asked me which of these rituals was my favorite, I would have to quote the essence of the first ritual.

“Everyone in this world wants to feel loved by others, but never forget the importance of loving yourself first. You are the way you are for a reason, accept it, own it.”

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Facets of Crowd-Funding

I admit, user-friendly products amuse me and innovative ideas absorb me equally. The internet for the past decade has empowered innovators from all fields not only by providing technical tools, but also by bolstering their entrepreneurial quest through financial aid; famously know as “Crowd-Funding”. Crowd-funding is not a new phenomenon, it has existed for as long as two centuries. However, for the last couple of years with the advent of increased internet connectivity, crowd funding websites are awakening this old business model. If you remember in 2012 website as big as wikipedia opted a crowd-funding model in way of user donations to survive as a free web encyclopedia.

I am a big fan of Kickstarter and Indiegogo. For the last 2 months visiting these websites has been similar to watching a thriller soap unfold. I have not backed any of the projects yet, but I cannot stop to appreciate the innovators and their efforts. No doubt, it is pure entertainment to a geek like me, period!

Crowd funding enables start-up innovators to share a platform with the end-user and the end-user gets to experience the passion the innovators share in their products. Innovators in large companies hardly get the lime light, but crowd-funding puts a face to the innovator.

But how did people evolve into crowd-funders?

Since early 2000, people were used to shopping goods online and the masses soon started trusting the online payment systems both in developed and under developed countries. All big retail stores realized that online shopping will continue and prepared for the necessary infrastructure for example, companies like ikea and walmart set up their own webshops. Faster internet speeds and mobile networks combined with a plethora of mobile devices exponentially increased internet connectivity. It was logical that internet retailers also increased their exposure and soon Amazon, ebay, flipkart did just that and provided cut throat competition to the retail industry.

So where did this evolution lead? Simple, towards websites which offered retail deals. Groupon, one such online deals giant introduced people to a new segment where one could buy stuff which he actually did not need! Again not an inventive strategy. Discount deals existed in physical stores as well. But sadly, the retail giants soon realized the playing field had already moved to the internet. Groupon took notice of this and exploited and offered best deals of both worlds; internet and physical stores.

And then came the infamous Crowd funding websites, which offered both an online shopping environment and a great deal for the project backers. Fast forward to now, and you find a long list of online crowd funding websites claiming their presence both in local and international markets.

Crowd-funding is more than just backing, people feel a sense of ownership towards the product and are proud that they made it happen. What is in it for them? Rewards! Depending on the product early backers can own what they are funding.

Makes it look like a noble cause I guess, or does it? I feel it is just another reason to satiate the wish for a new stuff. I guess life is all about the need vs. wants and in case of crowd-funding “wants” will continue to win.

Start-up companies’ own the chicken laying the golden egg! 

Crowd-funding is not for the big companies. Big companies cannot compromise product life-cycles of their existing product lines. Hence, innovation is curbed and continued delivery of products and services is rewarded by internal and external investors. A start-up company however is free of such financial commitments and repercussions, which in turn fuels innovation. However, start-ups lack funding to realize their novel ideas shape into real products. And this is where the Crowd-funding model is a savior to such firms.

A good idea can change a small company to a big company within a night. Does it not remind you of the chicken laying a golden egg? Some of the technology oriented companies born out of crowd-funding platforms will soon challenge the status quo of global giants. Take for example, “Ouya’s” gaming consoles, which achieved its target funding in 8 hours raising a whopping $ 8,596,474 before the deadline. Sony, Nintendo, and Microsoft you better look out, there is a new kid in the block with an innovative product and with over 60000 backers!

The ugly side of Crowd-funding

Most of the products which I have seen on such sites are either prototypes or early pilots. The sole aim of the campaign is to reach the funding target. It is almost comical when I switched watching from one campaign video to another. They all had one thing in common, more or less which summarized to “We need you to help this idea come to life. The funding will help us mass produce the XYZ “. Soon I realized every campaign was monotonous with the same message and pointed to the inability to mass produce the product.

This sets a scary precedent to exploitation of resources on the earth. If every start-up wants to mass produce their product considering that they have successful achieved their funding target, imagine the scale of resources required to manufacture the vast quantities of these products. In the field of Industrial Ecology, this phenomenon is shown to lead to a Rebound Effect; a novel solution which can in turn increase the scarcity of the resources which it vouched to safe guard. Example for a rebound effect are electric cars, which in one hand promise environment friendly transportation but when mass-produced the negative effects on the ecology stack up to be far higher than the benefits.

Crowd-funding=Civilized Ponzi scheme? 

Charles Ponzi would have been really proud of the 21st century. He would be impressed by Crowd-funding, where people are willing to give you their money for a novel idea and without a need to orchestrate an extravagant fraudulent scheme.

I just thought this quote would best suit the current context

“Crowd-funding has a brother named Taxes; both make you wait for the return on your investment” ! 

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Epitome of Modesty

Norway, land of vikings. Vikings who? the ones who plundered whole of northern Europe? Oh yes, them. That was all back in the days, in the present time the Scandinavian culture is one of the most polite and modest one would ever encounter. Culture; the english dictionary defines it as “the arts and other manifestations of human intellectual achievement regarded collectively”.  I have waited for a long time to write something about the Norwegian culture. I had to ensure that what I experienced was not just at shot in the dark, rather I was interested to see how it is spread through out Norwegian Society.

One of the reasons for Norway to have a high human development index is the level of social equality. Within the first year of my stay in Norway my curiosity about this culture began to bloom. After every astounding show of modesty by the people I met, I was humbled in ways I cannot express.

I asked my roommate at that time, ‘Sindre’, what according to him was unique in the Norwegian way of life? He in return asked me if I knew the concept of Janteloven. I knew he was on to something interesting, and I was all ears. The present social equality was result of Aksel Sandmose, a Danish poet from the 19th century who in one of his poems preached the importance of 11 rules. Basically these 11 rules of life were to ensure the land was inhabited by a collaborative, collective and modest societies in the Scandinavian region. Here is a small article about Janteloven and the Poem of Jante http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Law_of_Jante

So, how is it to experience Janteloven first hand? I have never liked pompous characters myself, and the fact that Janteloven has the same overall meaning was something which attracted me to this way of life. Sindre had also told me that sometimes the same principle can backfire since people don’t what to share what they know. Sharing something they knew might give the other person a bad perception.

Let me share my three most memorable experiences with the principle of Janteloven. After each of these experiences, I realized how my perception about the person can change in a moment while leaving me wide mouthed.

 1) Fedrik the roommate.

In month of August 2011 I had a new roommate, his name was Fedrik. The first week I saw Fedrik, we had a small 5 minute chat. I asked him what he did during the summer that year. He replied,  “I drove transport trucks and that was my his summer job”. The second time we spoke he had suited up and I was rather curious to know where he had been. He politely said, “This is my job uniform”. “Job”, I asked?. He replied, “Yes, I work for the city bus corporation during the weekends to support my studies”. I was impressed by integrity he had to not bother me with his struggle/achievement. I was starting to see a trend.

After 3 weeks, when I returned from my travel to Stavanger. I met Fedrik and was describing him how bad the turbulence was while landing. Fedrik was from Stavanger so he had previously had similar experiences himself. We started talking about how drag and the lift affect the flights. Suddenly out of the blue Fedrik explains the process with this incredible technical, logical manner, I had to just nod my head to say yes. I asked Fedrik, “By the way how did you know all these details?”. Fedrik with a smile replied, “I have a small aircraft pilot’s license”. Boom ! I was blown away when he said that. He did not even give a sign that he had a pilot license when he was trying to convince me. To this day, I have been sharing this experience as the epitome for Janteloven to my friends and colleagues .

2) Colleague at the Human Resource Department

As a work assignment a group of 12 people were heading to Tønsberg on a large taxi. On our way to Tønsberg, 4 to 5 of my colleagues started talking about football and their favorite teams in different leagues. The discussion was loud enough for all of the people in the taxi to overhear, that including our HR contact.

After the site visit we were back on the same taxi, the same discussion continued, people talking more about football. It was about 15 minutes to office when the HR joined the conversation. The whole two way trip was about 4 hours, the person who did not speak for 3 hours and 45 minutes now joins the conversation. And suddenly all the doubts and discussion points regarding player transfers, current team standings were apparently at the tip of her tongue  We were quiet amazed by here know-how of the game and the management of it. One of us asked her “How do you know all of this so precisely?” She modestly replies, I was part of Norwegian 3rd division football team!  That last 5 minutes of journey was quiet impressive, I said to myself. I got the same feeling when Fedrik reveled his talent. The HR lady too did not show her credentials first rather tried to convince us by her logical discussions.

3) A Product Manager during the day and a rockstar by the night! 

Meetings are part of every office life. In my line of work meetings perhaps are rather long, FMECA workshops can last a whole 7.5 hours. In once such workshop I met a lead engineer named Rune. After 4 sessions of similar meetings I was quiet impressed by the knowledge these lead engineers had. I got to have lunch with them and talk others things than about work. Coincidentally, Rune also looked, talked, walked, smiled exactly as one of my other Norwegian friends from Trondheim. They say 7 people in the world look the same! I found 2 of 1 set! The meeting went on and finished as planned. So, there I was on a Friday evening getting ready to leave office and planning on my Friday outing at a concert place.

The first band comes on stage, gets the introduction and a massive applause from the audience. The opening home band was a band which has performed for last 20 years. To my astonishment I saw Rune, not in the pub, but on stage with his electric guitar, tuning and setting up in the stage to be the lead guitarist for the band. Later that evening he played again with his new band.  Never did he give a slightest hint that he was a rockstar during the informal lunch. Again this experience left me totally humbled.

What I have experienced in Norway has truly taught me a new perspective to being modest while being true to what I love doing in leisure time. Work life and private life are two totally different worlds, the only way to have a good life is to balance them, make strict distinction between the two and never to criss-cross them for any reason. The way the Norwegians like to separate work from pleasure is something which I yearn to embed in my personality. A hard trait to acquire though. As a message I want to end this post with a simple quote,

 “We are who we are. Nothing more, nothing less.” 

Posted in Life lessons, Norway Diaries, Theories | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

Pen pals: Modern invisible supporters

A year ago I read a quote which was easily one of the most meaningful quotes I came across in my lifetime.  It said “A friend of everyone, is a friend of no one”.  Few days later, this quote made me introspect more about me and my choice of friends. One look at my Facebook friends list felt as I had so many acquaintances and a handful of close friends. I am pretty sure this is the case with most of us. So, I started to think, who do I talk to constantly other than family? Well, the answer was instantaneous; my pen pals.

Pen-pals whats that, you ask? 

Dictionary describes pen pal as a person with whom one becomes friendly by exchanging letters, esp. someone in a foreign country whom one has never met. The modern version of pen-pals can be as simple as our g-talk or chatting mate. Through my blog I have made a lot of pen pals. Some with whom I speak with every single day. I want to dedicate this post to three of my close pen pals Vijay, Vijendra and Dipti, they are truly my invisible emotional supporters. Two of whom I have met, and one still remains true to the definition of pen pal.

Why should we have of pen-pals? 

“Change is the only constant” is one of those quotes which stands as clear testimonial to human behavior. As we grow our interests change, as our interests change our thinking changes, as our thinking change our choices change.  No wonder we end up with a huge lot of so-called friends with hardly any contact with them for years. Even with this change in attitudes, we as humans still yearn for attention and company, and that is how we open ourselves towards new strangers and try making even more friends with whom we can continue our dialogue. And so, the cycle continues.

In this age of super fast connectivity, contacting people gets easier but still we feel there is a hidden barrier to make the effort to contact our long-lost friends. Barrier such as superiority complex, inferiority complex, attitude changes, need for personal space and so on. More the reason to have pen pals, to whom we have nothing to explain, to whom we owe nothing to. A simple “log off” widget would do the trick if we need some space! I however do not advice it. With first hand experience I would say, you will be known as a rude pen pal !

Everyone needs a guide, a critic, or an ear which can listen to what one has to say. A pen pal does these exact things. I truly believe in such relationships. It lets us be utterly frank at times which might come across as sheer rudeness yet gives us the liberty to have personal space when required. No pressure, no commitments. Tell what you feel, without the fear of being judged. Having some mystery within ourselves the relationship grows slowly but stays strong for years. I see my life being enriched by my pen pals and I wish the same for you. I appreciate you a lot dear, Vijay, Vijendra and Dipti, my best wishes always with you guys 🙂

  “One does not need 400 friends to share a smile or some tears, few good ones can do the trick !” 

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Four simple steps towards rapport building

During my one year work life as a sales engineer in India, I was fortunate enough to have met quite a huge number of customers. Most of who were total strangers and some repeat customers. As a student of human interactions and body language, I was always interested to learn the art of rapport building. After a year of having such constant interactions with total strangers, I realized there was something common in most of these conversations. Some conversations where I consciously tried to continue the talk in wane, while others where I unconsciously without any extra effort could convert the short conversation to long meaningful one. Now after 3 years of practicing this art, I feel confident enough to document the steps I constantly use to build positive relationships.

I want to mention that to some this technique might seem “Manipulation” rather than “Rapport building”. I want to be upfront and inform the reader that I use this method with the best moral intentions and never to make a fake gesture to a stranger. So, a small disclaimer, if it does not work for you, you are free to refute this.

According to me any conversation can be sustained if these 4 simple points are satisfied. Also I believe these have to follow a strict flow as mentioned below.

1) Give a compliment

2) Ask questions

3) Zero in on the common interests

4) Appreciate the passion shared on his/her interests

1) Give a compliment

Human beings try to hide behind labels. Labels such as designation,  organization, personal interest and so on. If you are quick enough to spot one of these labels which the person associated himself with, you have a upper hand in the conversation and this point can actually be the icebreaker. A compliment to these labels will help build a instantaneous trust between you and the person.

Here is an example, during a visit to a pharmaceutical company, I casually noticed the garden in front yard of the reception. As I finished introducing myself to the purchase manager, I used my previous observation and said ” Sir, the garden outside was really well done, the small stones patterned as a company name, very creative”. He lit up in enthusiasm after listening to this. I saw this as the opening to my visit that day, the conversation lasted close to 25 minutes. And that is when I realized if you need to make someone interested to what you have to say, you need to attract him to something which is of interest to him. Meanwhile, his/her unconscious mind is listening to what you have to say. Thats the beauty of a simple but effective compliment. A half hearted compliment is never recommended. It would do more harm than good to your cause. So, always try to observe something in detail before you start the conversation.

2) Ask questions

As trivial as it may sound, questions are the base for any conversation. We as humans are programmed in our unconscious mind to “respond” “act” and “react” to any external stimulation. Nothing else stimulates human mind better than questions. Questions in a conversation can be of 2 types. A Static question (single node) and active-dynamic questions. A question which has a short and crisp answer. These questions usually have straight forward answer and do not lead any subsequent questions. But a dynamic questions are the ones which are formed by cues in the conversation. Answer to one question which can lead to another interesting one. Hence, any conversation with many dynamic questions is bound to be effective.

Lets say, two people talking to the reception at a hotel asked the receptionist, “Are there any clubs in the hotel”. The answer to this may just be yes or no. And such questions are static one nodal questions, with predetermined answers. But if the question was “What services do you offer”, (clubs, swimming, gyms etc.) such questions have more answers and this is your time to build a rapport with the receptionist.

The ideal way to this is to prepare a set of model questions, which you might ask during the conversation. As time goes, you will soon realize that some questions you ask within your household are usually dynamic and hence the conversations with family stay lengthy and very easy to make. So, always aim to ask dynamic questions.

3) Zero in on the common interests

This is where a conversation either gets better or sadly falls apart.  Rapport building is all about trust and common interests shared between two people.

As simple as it may sound the common interest you share with the person can play a very vital role in the conversation. But you may ask how could you know their interest? Remember the 2nd step gave you answers to your questions. These answers are the ones you need to be aware of and improvise to know more about the person. This however is a very tough task, specially, during short conversations. So, I use this when I want to know the person better than just a stranger. As I call it “Into the friend-zone step” !

During a conversation, I came to know that the person likes a certain football team. The tone of his voice changed and he seemed very enthusiastic about it. That was my opening, I put inn a puny information which I had gathered from the news about the team. This stirred a very good discussion. This small thing, fueled the conversation more. People like to talk about their interests, when they do talk, let them finish and listen to them. “You know a conversation went great, when you had to speak less than the person opposite to you” 

You are certain to be more closer to them now, simply because they trusted you enough to talk about their interest. He/she invested her time to talk to you about themselves. He /she will now either wait for your opinion or your judgement. Look who is in the top of the conversation again? !

4) Appreciate the passion of the person

I try to end conversations on a good note with this step. It is my way of boosting the rapport by making sure that I express my appreciation for his/her time and thoughts. This sets up a great positive vibe, which will certain fuel friendly atmosphere whenever you meet the person next time. Again, do not give fake appreciation, you will never know if the person also is playing this game with you. So, try to be honest with your appreciation, it will hit the right chord every single time. Make it meaningful, short and respectful.

“People like to talk about their interests, when they do talk, let them finish and listen to them. Remember, It is your turn next”

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Ride to “Hell”, pun intended!

20th of June, is quiet a special day to many people. To me it was the day when I got hit in the bum from a patient doctor! The year of 2012 I decided after 25 years that, I will make it a memorable one, one which I can remember forever. So, I thought why not let my actions speak and wanted to go on the long awaited biking trip to a small little town next to Trondheim airport called “Hell”.

My Polar made me smile 🙂

The day started early with breakfast, a simple but healthily bowl of oat meal. As I see any trip is going to be the best ever if one has enough food and water to keep the energy flowing. So, I made sure I packed extra sandwiches, extra 750 ml of water, and extra protein bars just in case. Plan was to take a break every 40 minutes.

Oat Meal- Best breakfast ever!

Go do something

This was my first long distance solo ride. I was pretty unsure of how my body would work under sudden stress of such a trip and the amount of water I would need. Neither did I know the exact route to the place. But I remembered a saying from Aron Ralston, “If one waits for a better day with good weather and conditions, the dawn of that day will never been seen.” The ride started from my home at Magnus den Godes gate near the NTNU university. The first pit stop was to be at 11 kilometers near Ranheim. I took that break and ate my small sugary snack and some water.

On the way, I saw a look alike bridge of “Gammel Bru”, similar to the one in Trondheim. So, I took a little de tour to check it out. It was a camping area for campers in the outskirts of Trondheim.

The next stop was after 23 km I repeated the same ritual of eating a small snack and water. Every small snack I had was so helpful, the energy to pedal suddenly increased. But, soon after I started regretting my decision of not fixing the front derailleur of my bike before the journey. I was constantly stuck in the gear ratio of 2 in the front and 8 in the back derailleur. To add, all of this was while climbing steep mountain slopes. It was soon enough when I felt the chain acting weird with contant clicks, I prayed for it to not break of deform because I did not have a spare chain or a chain tool to fix it. My biking shoes with cleats were no doubt the best accessory to have for such a trip.

Gammel bru look alike- Camping Are

Cycle way








As soon as I reached “Malvik” my mental map knew I am half way to Hell! The gradients started getting steeper and the downhills were literally heavenly, giving me time relax and cool my body down. I soon took my 3rd break and ate another snack. Soon after that, I saw the sign “Hommelvik”, I pumped my wrist I knew this was the last little town before I reached Hell. As a beginner cyclist, I soon realized the pumping wrist ritual was too early! The crazy steep mountain from Hommelvik to Værnes were awaiting me. Lesson learnt: You are not there until you are there! 

“A lucky break” I said when my front derailleur slipped back to 1st socket and I could adjust my back derailleur to around 2-3. That slope after Hommelvik I can never forget, I kept on motivating myself by warning myself, I stopped pedaling now, I would regret the decision later of letting go. I tried concentrating on my breathing and soon after 10-15 minutes of uphill with a speed of 5 km/h. I reached the top and a downhill ride welcomed me. I took a 5 minute break to collect my breath.

The relaxing downhill

The second steep climb was next, I again kept talking to my self do not walk, pedal pedal pedal. All this was at the 30 km mark of the journey. This last part of the trip I don’t remember that well, I guess the adrenaline was high. At this top I got to experience the Trondheim Fjørd in a totally different perspective, one where the horizon met the fjørd. It was incredible to feel the sense of calmness around the fjørd.

Trondheim Fjørd 1

Trondheim Fjørd 2

Trondheim Fjørd 3




















The downhill followed, I could sense I am there and then I saw the board “Hell”. For the second time I pumped my hand in the air. This time I was sure I was there! It was a Wednesday afternoon so, I could not find anyone to take a picture. After 20 minutes of loitering around the station, I found one employee working in the train station to take a picture of me in Hell! I told him how desperately I wanted to make this trip and how happy I am that I finally made it.

Way to Hell

Thanks to my Mongoose

The million dollar journey !

Shopping in Hell














The return journey was both easy and difficult. I knew if I can do it once, I can do it again. But soon realized my average speed dropped from 17 km/h to 15 km/h and that meant that I was getting tired. One the way back it was close to 3pm and I found myself cycling along with a bunch of primary school children. They were faster than me! After somehow pedaling through the group, I took a break and ate my lunch with 15 minutes break to relax my calf muscles. The calf muscles were starting to get soar after 45 Km. I took another 2-3 breaks before finally making it to the outskirts of Trondheim. The last 5 kms to home were quiet slow due to the city limits and traffic signals.

Ride map: Credits google maps

Happy birthday to me 😀

This adventure was a special one to me. I have decided to do something crazy and risky on every birthday of mine from this year. I am sure my mom will be terrified of this day. But a promise to self is a promise oneself!

End of the day everything teaches us something, those two mountain tops were easily 5 times the distance and gradient I ever climbed. I came to know how much I limit myself and how strong the human body can be.

To keep looking down and pedaling is just a bliss of an experience. I guess that is why they call it “digging deep”. All in all, that was a “Hell” of a ride- pun intended again!

Total distance

Total time

Maximum speed

Average speed

“One does not get to appreciate the top, until one struggles at the bottom.”

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We learn from small things, don’t we?

For every day of my master thesis stay in GDF SUEZ , I wanted to document the erratic climate of Stavanger by taking one picture a day through the cabin window. This post is a short update of all the good and bad times of my challenging assignment, the tale told through the office window.

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You might realize something meaningful from these pictures. We have great sunny times in our lives, where nothing can go wrong for us and some dark misty days where everything seems to be a far from what you need. A silver lining is that we will not remember how happy or how sad we really were during those times.

Why I say this? Ok, let me try to ask you a rhetorical question, Do you remember how you felt when you graduated? or when you were rejected for a job application? do you really? The closest answer one can give in my opinion is “That was the best feeling” Or “That was so worst”. But I am here to say, that feeling will not last long. Cherish those feelings whenever you can, there are many more good times and bad times to be seen. Life is long. Someone once said, When you are very happy or very sad, you have to tell yourself “This time shall pass”!

If you are going through some good or some bad times currently this quote should comfort you a bit.

“Time is great balancer in life. It makes us forget how great or how worse we once felt in our lives.” 

Posted in Life lessons, Norway Diaries | Tagged , , , , , , , | 4 Comments