25 x 25

A personal reflection on living life by the pomodoro technique.

In his introduction to the well-recognized book, The Success Principles, Jack Canfield emphasizes that his principles do work. But he emphasizes: for the principles to work, you have to work the principles! And the secret to success with the pomodoro technique is just that.

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This is My Fight

Propaganda. Racism. Poverty. Discrimination. Rebellion. Genocide.
Narcissism. Blackmail. Lying. Corporate fraud. Conspiracies. Bureaucracy. Scandals. Theft. Forgery. Incompetence. Abusive leadership.
Sexual harassment. Alcohol. Drugs. Pornography. Prostitution. Addiction.
Infidelity. Backbiting. Neglectful parenting. Betrayal. Sociopathy. Domestic violence.

All covered by a heavy layer of pretense to keep things running. This has been an adventure of a year for me.

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Reading Non-Fiction

The book to read is not the one that thinks for you but the one that makes you think. – Harper Lee

I have always been a story reader and my interest in non-fiction is fairly premature. I am developing it, in favour of my ardent pursuit of knowledge. I find that it is much more challenging than reading fiction and offers a vastly different experience. With a story, I start from the beginning and it just carries me through to the last page. I tried the same with my non-fiction reading choices but did not have as much success. So, I decided to go a little deeper and figure out how I can make the most of my non-fiction reading experiences. Here are some tips and tricks that I gathered and applied to improve:

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Coffee, Please!

Once, a daughter complained to her father that her life was miserable and full of problems. She was tired of fighting and struggling all the time. It seemed as if just when one problem was solved, another one soon followed.

Her father, a chef, took her to the kitchen. He filled 3 pots with water and placed each one on a high fire. Once the 3 pots began to boil, he placed potatoes in one pot, eggs in the second pot, and ground coffee beans in the third pot. After 20 minutes, he turned off the burners, and put the potatoes and eggs in separate bowls, and poured the coffee in a cup.

Turning to his daughter, he asked, “What do you see?”

“Potatoes, eggs, and coffee,” she hastily replied.

“Look closer,” he said, “and touch the potatoes.”

She did and noted that they were soft. He then asked her to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg. Finally, he asked her to sip the coffee. Its rich aroma brought a smile to her face.

“What does this mean?” she asked.

He then explained that the potatoes, the eggs, and the coffee beans had each faced the same adversity – the boiling water. However, each one reacted differently to the situation. The potatoes went in strong and hard, but in boiling water became soft and weak. The egg was fragile, with the thin outer shell protecting its liquid interior, until it was put in the boiling water. Then the inside of the egg became hard. However, the ground coffee beans were unique. After they were exposed to the boiling water, they changed the water itself and created a new liquid.

“Which are you?” he asked his daughter. “When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a potato, an egg, or a coffee bean?”

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A Beautiful, Terrible Thing

I was glued to my phone for two days just reading this book. It had been a while since I read anything and coming back to something so engrossing reminded me why I love to read so much. In A Beautiful, Terrible Thing, Jen Waite shares her personal experience of finding and investing several years into a perfect, loving relationship and its demise at the hands of a husband who turns out to be a very unfaithful “sociopath”. The book follows two timelines, alternating between the good and bad phases, distinguished by the day she reads one incriminating email. And that too when she was recovering from labour and learning to care for their three-week old daughter! She goes on to find out that her husband continuously had affairs throughout the duration of their relationship.

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Cranberry Almond Biscotti

Cooking for oneself and family is healthy and therapeutic. The process gets me to relax and I know better what we are eating, especially with diet controls needed in the house for sugar and salt. I am not great in the kitchen but I am learning. I am perfecting my knowledge a few recipes and techniques at a time. I love biscotti as a delicious snack with tea or between meals. It was only my second time making biscotti so there were plenty of hiccups. I even tried to make a video to share a part of the process with you but it was too bad to share. Cooking something edible, hopefully also delicious, is important for me and a good source of growth and motivation. I know I will get better at that with time and patience. For now, try and enjoy this recipe.

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