Oasis of Learning

Co-Creating More Purpose and Joy!

Working with Affirmations

The word affirmation comes from the Latin affirmare, originally meaning “to make steady, strengthen.”

An affirmation is usually a sentence or phrase that you repeat regularly to yourself and to let the universe know of your intention. It is advisable to practice a set of affirmations for 21 days.

A client of mine approached me and told me that her son was facing problems in studies and his chances of flunking the exams were very high. She kept on saying that, “He is not good in studies. He is a slow learner”. I counseled her and told her to just chant this affirmation, “My son is healthy, happy and smart. He is able to tap his inner wisdom and use it to prosper in life”. I also counseled the son and worked with him separately. Today that boy is working as an intern in one of the top hotels of India.

Working with affirmations is very simple.  You need to sit in a comfortable position and repeat the affirmation at least 11 times in a very slow manner. The best time to practice affirmations is when you get up or when you are about to go to sleep. You can still practice affirmations at any point during the day. Some people like to say the affirmations and some like to work with them by saying them mentally. Both are equally beneficial. Choose whatever works for you.

You can take a print of affirmation cards and paste in front of your desk or use them as a desktop background or screen saver.

Six Core Needs

According to Anthony Robbins, we are all driven by the need to fulfill six human needs basically. These 6 basic human needs are not just desires or wants, but profound needs which serve as the basis of every choice we make.

1. Certainty

This is the need for security, comfort and consistency

2. Uncertainty

This is need for variety, challenges

3. Significance

The need to feel important, needed, wanted and worthy of love

4. Love and Connection

The need for feeling connected with and loved by other human beings

5. Growth

The need for constant development emotionally, intellectually and spiritually

6. Contribution

Giving beyond ourselves and giving to others

It is all in your hands

In a village there used to live a wise old man. People really respected him and used to seek his guidance from time to time. Everyday people would gather under a tree next to his house and ask him questions and listen to his teaching. There was a young man in the village who was jealous of the wise man. He decided to teach the old man a lesson. One day he caught a humming bird and went up to the old man. He asked him,” I have a bird in my palms. Can you tell me if the bird is dead or alive, if you are so wise?”. He planned to crush the bird if the old man said that the bird was alive and open his palms if the old man said that the bird was dead.

The old man thought for a minute and said,” It is all in your hands”.

Which accent is the best?

Accent is a characteristic way of speaking based on a person’s ethnicity, mother tongue, location, peer group and work.

Ann Cook, a renowned Accent Trainer says that Accents are neither good or bad... they are just different.

If a person feels that he or she has a lot of Mother Tongue Influence and people find a little hard to understand him or her then Voice and Accent Training can really help.

In case you are in the field of training or public speaking or if you have foreign clients it makes sense to work upon your voice and accent. The way you speak and modulate your voice is a part of your personality and it helps you to create an impact. People pay more attention to you if you modulate your voice as per the situation and can create an excitement and interest in the mind of the listener.

Like the way we go to a gym and build our body muscles, we can also work upon our speech and sound more impactful. One can either join a Voice and Accent course or work with a coach to learn the intricacies of voice modulation and accent.

There are three dimensions of an accent:

  1. Articulation: The way we say our vowels and consonants sounds. (In India people sometimes have issues with S/Sh, Z/Zh and V/W sounds)
  2. Pronunciation: How we stress a part of the word. (Syllable Stress)
  3. Intonation: The music of the language... the rhythm, pace, pauses, highs and lows...

Becoming aware of these three areas can really help you to become aware of your speech patterns and work upon your opportunity areas.

Power of Behavioural Skills

I used to work as a Voice and Accent Neutralization trainer many years ago. When I would get excellent feedback from the participants I would really feel good. In the year 2004, my learning leader asked me to focus on behavioural skills. I conducted a session on Assertion Skills and I got a feedback that made me realize the power of behavioural skills.

After a week from the session a participant came to meet me in the trainer’s room. She asked me if she can talk to me for some time. I said, yes and this is what she said – “Atul, I want to thank you for the session. You know, I have always been a submissive person. Last year I got married and my found that my mother-in-law is very dominating. I didn’t know what to do. Yesterday, for the first time I said no to her in a very respectful and assertive manner and she was surprised. I feel, now I have the power in me to face this world.” She had tears in her eyes.

In my mind I was thanking my learning leader who patiently reviewed the course multiple times and told me to focus again and again on two questions - How is this information going to help the participant? How will participants use this in their lives?

To this day whenever I draft any module, I keep these questions in my mind.

Personal Mission Statement - Example

Emotional Bank Account

An emotional bank account is an account of trust instead of money. It’s an account based on how safe you feel with another person.

Covey identifies six ways to make deposits (or reduce withdrawals):

1) Understanding the Individual. This means listening intently to what the other person is saying and empathizing with how they may feel. It’s important to care for others and act with kindness toward them.

2) Keeping Commitments. How do you feel when someone arrives right on time when you have a meeting? How about when people simply do what they say they will do? You build up an emotional reserve by keeping your commitments.

3) Clarifying Expectations. We are not mind readers, and yet we consistently expect others to know what we expect of them. Communicating our expectations can help create a higher level of trust. When we ask for what we want, and we get it, we can then trust a little more.

4) Attending to the Little Things. Don’t you find that the little things tend to become the BIG things when they do not receive our attention? Doing the little things is how we honor and show respect for others. Small kindnesses, a smile, a little extra effort, a hug, doing something you didn’t “have” to: these are the things that build trust.

5) Showing Personal Integrity. Integrity is the moral floor upon which trusting relationships are built. When we operate with sound moral character, it makes it so easy for others to trust us.

6) Apologizing When We Make a Withdrawal. We will make mistakes; it’s part of life. But when you see you have violated a trust, sincerely apologizing is how we make a deposit to counteract the damage we have done.

As a leader keep a track of the transactions you have with others and see if you are investing in the Emotional Bank Account or making frequent withdrawals? 

Handling Sessions with Large Number of Audience

  1. Get to know the administrative arrangements of the venue and see if some outdoor activities are possible.
  2. Would you have access to some volunteers who would be able to help you move the mic around, collect chits and other such activities.
  3. Focus on a ppt based session which has billboard text and pictures.
  4. Prepare a manual with exercises and reflective questions.
  5. Choose your videos wisely.
  6. Have a power packed approach and make the audience react to your content by asking:
    • Are you with me?
    • Yes or No?
    • Raise your hand.
    • Reflect and think of..
    • Quickly pair with your partner and share…
    • On the handout you have I want you to write..
    • On the chit you have I want you to write..
  7. Think of some outdoor activities provided you have support, props and space…
  8. Use lot of stories..
  9. Have a list of names of the participants and call random people to share and participate in various demonstrative activities
  10. See if the space allows you to have triad work. (two participants practice a technique via a role play and the observer records the observations… have a format for observation)..
  11. Have lot of Caselets planned to go round the focus areas…
  12. Always have a mindmap for the participants in their handouts.
  13. Have scripted roleplays…

Daily Prayers

Serenity Prayer

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,

Courage to change the things I can,

And wisdom to know the difference.


Worthiness Prayer

God, grant me love and acceptance for myself.

Help me to see and feel that I am worthy of all the goodness in life.

Allow me to embrace success and happiness in my life.


Gratitude Prayer

God, I thank you for everything in my life.

I express my gratitude to all the wonderful people who enrich my life and give it more meaning and happiness.

I am thankful to every experience of my life to make me a stronger and wiser person.



We all want many things in our lives and we often wonder why we don’t get those things.  A big part of it has to do with the concept of deserving, or as Louise Hay terms it, “deservability.”  If, at the deepest core of our being, we don’t feel we deserve to have what we wish for, that belief will block those things from coming into our lives.  We end up settling for less than what we truly desire as a result of our limiting beliefs.  To achieve our goals in life, it is necessary to work on our beliefs as well as take concrete actions towards that which we want.

Lot of people have the potential to do remarkable things in life. They also have the ability to do those things. If they don’t feel worthy of those good things in life, then in spite of their efforts they might not be able to achieve those things.

Start with these affirmations:

  • I am worthy.
  • I deserve.
  • I enjoy all the pleasures of life.
  • I let of anything that does not serve me.
  • Abundance finds it way easily in my life.
  • My life is filled with love and gratitude.

Deservability- Inner Work

Once you start practicing the affirmations, you can also do some inner work for worthiness. Sit in a comfortable place where you have least disturbance.

Answer these questions:

  1. What are my beliefs about being successful and happy?
  2. What holds me back to be successful and happy?
  3. If I reflect on my parents’ life what messages do I get regarding success and happiness?
  4. What exactly I want from life right now?
  5. Am I allowing these things to come to me?
  6. What steps do I need to do to get out of my comfort zone?
  7. Am I willing to let go of my limiting beliefs about deservability?
  8. If I have to plan a life I want how would it be?

Write a detailed description of what you expect from your life. Write it in present tense.

Example: I have a wonderful life and a job that I love. My colleagues appreciate my work and get along with me nicely. I am recognized for my work. I have the flexibility of time at my work place.

View older posts »