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From the Rat Race to Financial Freedom... A common man's journey
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Happiness Unlimited...How to be happy..always !!
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Dream On...Every setback is a little nudge from HIM to Dream On
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The Autobiography Of A Stock
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Manoj Arora    About Me
Author Mission    My Mission
Credentials & Awards   Awards & Credentials

Corporate & Family Gifts   Corporate & Family Gifts [NEW]

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Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Life lessons from a dying pet

HE teaches us something in every interaction, every failure and every disappointment. But if we do not learn our lesson, HE, like any good teacher, will continue to teach us, create more situations for us so that we can learn and become a better person. How fast we learn from our disappointments, is all up to us. God is in no hurry.

It was the evening of 24th November, exactly 1 month to Christmas eve. Both my daughters have been demanding a pet for quite many months now. They were in no mood to give it up that evening. We debated on the pros and cons of having a pet at home, but ultimately they won, and I lost. The only consolation for me was that instead of a pet like Dog, which needs much more time and attention, we would go in for a caged pet. We first thought of rabbit but then decided in favor of guinea pigs. The D-Day was finalized as X-mas day. Santa will get the gift for them.

In the bargain, children were required to commit to managing their books, copies, toys and any other belongings in a way that they are kept neatly and tidily all the time. Every day from 24th Nov to X-mas eve, they made sure that they kept their promise. They truly loved pets, otherwise this change in them was impossible to inculcate so fast. Strong goals can make you do impossible things, with finesse and ease.

Of course, this was not going to be their first experience with pets. A few years back, we had a pair of birds - one of which died the first day, and we let the other fly immediately. We also kept a pair of gold fish in a small aquarium. This pair lasted around 6 months before one of them died, and my daughters could not see the dead body of the fish floating in the tank, and so we gave the other one back to the owner of the shop. Many years have passed since then. 

Finally, we got the pair of guinea pigs 2 days prior to Christmas. That night, on 23rd Dec, the kids were so excited. Both the pets were immensely cute, lovingly small and astonishingly beautiful - so much so that both me and my wife fell in love with them instantly. They must have been 3-4 months old. One of them was a pure white and the other one was a black, brown and white combination. Kids were in a different world. They fed them, arranged a cardboard bed for them in their cage, held them in their hands, played with them.  The happiness on the faces of my children was truly priceless. The usually fighting sisters were working as a team and building strategies to finalise their names. Hubble-Bubble, Humpty-Dumpty, and many others...they discussed many names...They needed more time to shortlist and close on one of the names.

They did not want to go sleeping that night and stay with their new family members, but since they had to go to school the next day, we had to push them on to their beds.

The next morning, one of the guinea pigs was fighting for its life. Something had happened to it. It was struggling to move its feet. We were all watching it very closely. The slow death seemed inevitable. After some time, it fell down, and was no more on its feet. Now, it could not even stand back up on its feet. The furry 0.5Kg body seemed too heavy for it to be lift it back on its feet. My daughters could not believe what was happening before their eyes. they were fearing the worse. The elder one thought that it might feel better if she lifts it back to its feet once. She made an attempt, but it fell again, rolling on the other side. It seemed to be losing energy every minute. It was slowly, but surely, going in the arms of death. My daughter tried again, but no difference. She was crying. All of us were.

"We did not even celebrate their first birthday. X-mas is still 24 hours away. And it is already gone" she said sobbing immensely. 
We had to gather all our internal energies to, first control ourselves, and then empathize with our children. Somehow, we sent them to school that day. They had a X-mas party in their school that day, and they had planned to show the snaps of their new pet friends to their school friends. But all their enthusiasm was now dashed to dust.

As we came back after dropping them to school, we picked up the dead body of the guinea pig and buried it at an appropriate place in the nearby park. We called up the pet shop owner and arranged to dispose off the cage and the other guinea pig back to him. We were not ready to bear the loss of another one- dying a painful death in front of our eyes.

We came back after returning the guinea pig, and then both me and my wife, started thinking about the entire incident since yesterday. Our thoughts also rolled past into incidents when the bird and the fish died, and slowly, we understood why all this was happening with us.

This was happening again and again with us, because God wants us to learn a lesson, and we have been somehow unwilling to. He has been wanting to tell us that all the beauty we see around in the nature is to be appreciated the way it exists. The moment we try to possess that beauty, we not only harm the beauty but also will not sustain our own happiness for long. HE first taught us with birds - we did not learn, HE, then taught us with fish - we did not learn, and now he taught us with guinea pigs. Even now, it is up to us whether we learn or not. But if we do not learn, then HE will try to teach us another time, whenever we make the same mistake again. 
HE is trying to tell us that a beautiful flower is beautiful in its natural surrounding only. The moment you pluck it to "possess" it as your own, you have destroyed its beauty, and you also cannot possess it for long. A simple lesson that we never learnt till now. We decided to learn it this time, and will try to teach it to our children as well. If they do not learn it this time, they will surely get another opportunity to learn.
In the end, the dying pet incident has transformed us as human beings.
GOD has proved to be a great teacher, and we, moderate learners.


Transforming ourselves for the better is the biggest goal of our lives, because the moment we transform even by a fractional percentage, we just expanded our boundaries. This expansion of our boundaries is one of the truest sources of unlimited happiness.


Cheers


Friday, December 26, 2014

2015 Goals : 6 Best Practices that help you achieve more

It is the time of the year, when we have another opportunity to change the way we are going to live our life in 2015. As the saying goes, "Today is the first day for the rest of your life."
I present my report card for the goals I set out for 2014, and also what i am targeting for 2015. I also present six (6) best practices that help you achieve more of your goals, year after year.

Goal setting is critical and important for us to grow. It is one of our vital signs. We do not believe in any gyan unless we have experienced it ourselves. So, here is my report card of 2014. 

Not that I achieved all I set out for, but it was good to have goals that I set out for myself last year, so that I could stretch, come out of my comfort zone and expand myself. And so I did. 

A summary of what I planned at the beginning of 2014 is shown below:





The report card for 2014 and the goal setting for 2015 is as below:


When you set out your goals for 2015, some of the things that might help you to achieve your goals are as follows:
  1. Make sure you write your goals down or take a print out. Written goals channelize your mind and allows your mind to generate enough ideas to find innovative solutions to achieve those goals.
  2. Paste out the goals on a visible location in your home, car or office. Regular viewing helps your mind continue to stay focused and continue to generate new ideas to achieve them. Once the goals are out on your almirah, your family also gets involved in your goals, and that's a very healthy sign. Your children will learn goal setting, real time practically happening in front of them, rather than theoretically in a management school.
  3. Declare your goals to everyone. Do not be afraid of failing. Wear failure as a badge of honor. Remember that just by creating written goals, you have dared to attempt something that hardly 5% in the world do.
  4. Keep tracking your goals at a regular frequency every month. Life will never go as planned, and you would need to keep intervening and self correcting the path. Goal setting is just the first step. If you fail to track your goals, you are unlikely to achieve them.
  5. Publish the results from your tracking. Dont be afraid if you are under achieving. 95% of the people are not even tracking it.
  6. Prioritize your daily "To Do List" as per the goals you are targeting for the year. Achieving yearly goals is a daily thing. If your daily actions are not aligned to your goals, there are every chances of not meeting your goal.

Get started. Today is the first day for the rest of your life. It is never ever too late. Wish you all a happy goal setting for 2015. Goals should always be aligned to your dreams, which in turn is aligned to the mission of your life. If you need any help in setting up your mission, dreams or goals, you can connect with us. 

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Goals Setting for 2015 : 6 Practices that help you achieve more.

It is the time of the year, when we have another opportunity to change the way we live our life in 2015. As the saying goes, "Today is the first day for the rest of your life."
I present my report card for the goals I set out for 2014, and my goals for 2015. I also present six (6) best practices that help you achieve more of your goals, yer after year.


Goal setting is critical and important for us to grow. The fact that our happiness does not depend on achievement of those goals also needs to be very clearly understood. We need not link our happiness to achievement of goals. We can be happy and then go about achieving our goals with our best efforts and intentions.

So, here I am with the report card of 2014. Not that I achieved all I set out for, but it was good to have a goal so that I could stretch, come out of my comfort zone and expand myself. And since I was happy during the journey of achievement, a non-achievement or a partial achievement did not destabilize me.

A summary of what I planned at the beginning of 2014 is shown below:




The report card for 2014 and the goal setting for 2015 is as below:


When you set out your goals for 2015, some of the things that might help you to achieve your goals are as follows:

  1. Make sure you write your goals down or take a print out. Written goals channelize your mind and allows your mind to generate enough ways to find solutions to achieve those goals.
  2. Paste out the goals on a visible location in your home, car or office. Regular viewing helps your mind continue to stay focused and continue to generate new ideas to achieve them. Once the goals are out on your almirah, your family also gets involved in your goals, and that's a very healthy sign. Your children will learn goal setting real time practically happening in front of them, rather than theoretically in a management school.
  3. Declare your goals to everyone. Do not be afraid of failing. Wear failure as a badge of honor. You dared to attempt something that hardly 5% in the world do.
  4. Keep tracking your goals at a regular frequency every month. Goal setting is just the first step. If you fail to track it, you are unlikely to achieve them.
  5. Publish the results from your tracking. Dont be afraid if you are under achieving. 95% of the people are not even tracking it.
  6. Prioritize your daily "To Do List" as per the goals you are targeting for the year. Achieving yearly goals is a daily thing.

Wish you all a happy goal setting for 2015. Goals should always be aligned to your dreams, which in turn is aligned to the mission of your life. If you need any help in setting up your mission, dreams or goals, you can connect with us. 
You can also read the chapter on Page 124 ~ Define and Track Your Life Vitals - Mission, Goals and Strategy - in the book "Happiness Unlimited"

Goal setting is your life line. However, never make the mistake of linking your happiness to achievement of goals. Just be happy right now, during the journey and make your best attempt at all your goals.

Cheers



Thursday, December 18, 2014

Mutual Fund SIPs and their Capital Gains Taxation

Systematic Investment Plans Or SIPs is a very convenient and most commonly used method for most investors to enter the equity market via Mutual Funds. By understanding the tax implications of SIP transactions, you can time your withdrawals accurately and save on taxes.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Happiness Unlimited features in CWB magazine - Another bestseller on the way !!


Since the launch of the book Happiness Unlimited, it has been getting rave reviews. You can read some of them by clicking here. The book also recently featured in the "Complete Well Being" magazine.



It has been 3 months now, and the book has received some rave reviews since its launch. Click here to read some of those comments. You can read some of the comments from its happy readers on Flipkart by clicking here

Not only that, the book has now stabilized into the Top 40 books on Happiness (current Rank # 35) among the 3,500+ books available on Happiness. It also enjoys a rating of 4.9 on Flipkart and 4.7 on Amazon.

Recently, the book also got featured in the leading well being magazine in India - "Complete Well Being" and again got some awesome response.
You can read the featured section of the magazine in the page below
The Happiness blog hits has been going up every month. 
The blog now has 4,500+ hits and is becoming popular every day. Some of the most popular posts on the blog has been attracting beautiful questions and clarifications. You can also subscribe to the blog by clicking here.

The You Tube videos have been increasingly becoming popular. You can subscribe to the YouTube channel by clicking here
We also recently introduced the Whats-App Service to answer your questions real time. We want you to elevate your life. We want our society to be elevated.

It is a slow and steady uptrend. It is not a race, but a marathon, where mouth publicity has been the prime driver for an author like me, who comes with no clout, marketing or celebrity status. It happened exactly the same way with my first title "From the Rat Race to Financial Freedom".

People have been connecting with us to increase the happiness content in their lives. So can you, for whatever you are doing today makes no sense if there are unhappy moments in your life. Each unhappy moment is a life not fully lived.

Cheers








Wednesday, December 10, 2014

What is Capitalised Ground Rent?

If you are liable to pay Ground Rent for your plot or flat, understanding the Capitalized Scheme can potentially help you save tons of money...read on...


What is Ground Rent?
As the name suggests, Ground rent is the rent paid for taking the ground on lease from the land owner. Typically, in case where you leasehold a land or a property from government authorities like DDA (Delhi Development Authority), you ought to pay a fixed ground rent annually.

Who is liable to pay ground rent?
All allottees on "Hire Purchase Basis" are liable to pay Ground Rent till the execution of conveyance or Capitalized Value under the special scheme is paid to DDA. Once the capitalized value of Ground Rent is paid to DDA, all previous dues of Ground Rent and/or interest thereon, if any, are not required to be paid.

How much is the Ground Rent?
Ground rent is payable annually in advance @ 2.5% of the cost of land as given in the Allotment cum Demand Letter in respect of all allotment on lease hold basis. 

What if you default paying the ground rent?
In case of default in making the payment of Ground Rent by the stipulated date, the allottee is liable to pay interest at the rate of 10% per annum. 

How long do you need to pay ground rent?
The Ground Rent is payable till such time the property remains on lease hold basis. Once the property is converted into free hold, the Ground Rent is not payable.

Do people default on ground rent?
Almost 60% of the population never bother to pay ground rent for years together. This lapse is either because either they are not aware of it, or they simply ignore it. The government also does not have any strict followup on this rent collection. Whatever be the reason, the ground rent keeps accumulating with late fees and interest charges, and the lease holder will be required to pay the entire accumulated amount whenever he or she plans to sell the house or convert it into free hold.

Liberalized Scheme for payment of Ground Rent
As a simple and easy system to clear the dues of ground rent, a one time payment has been introduced under the scheme "Capitalized Ground Rent". Under this scheme, allottee is required to pay only 7.5% of the cost of land as indicated in the allotment cum demand letter on account of capitalized value of Service Charges in respect of new allotment and 5% in respect of old allotments in respect of unpaid & future dues. Thereafter allottee is exempted from paying Service Charges in future.
Remember that the ground rent under this scheme is 7.5% + 5% of the "cost" of land, and not the "price" of the land. In most cases, the "cost" turns out to be drastically low, thus making this a very efficient mechanism for one time settlement of ground rent.

Is the scheme optional?
Yes, this scheme is 100% optional. The allottee who does not opt for the "Capitalized Ground Rent" would continue to pay the ground rent as per original terms and conditions of the allotment cum demand letter.

If you are owning a leasehold property, make sure you find out whether this scheme can help you save tons of money, before you decide to pay the next ground rent.

Related Posts:



Cheers

Manoj Arora
Freedom can buy you.... what money cannot !!


More on "From the Rat Race to Financial Freedom"

Monday, December 08, 2014

Getting started is critical

How critical is starting something new, even if there is not enough clarity on the way forward? Extremely critical. In fact, in most cases, getting started is the only way successful people get going....Read on..

Thursday, December 04, 2014

New Kisan Vikas Patra KVP 2014 Vs other Debt based investments

Kisan Vikas Patra (KVP) has been in news off late considering that it has been revamped and relaunched by the government with some seemingly attractive features...but is it good enough? Have a look at the comparison between the revamped KVP and other commonly available investment tools...

Interest Rate
KVP offers 8.7% taxable returns. If you compare this with any commonly available Fixed Deposit, it will be anywhere in the range of 8.75 to 10% (also taxable). So, if you have a bank account and can get a Fixed Deposit (FD) done, there is no attraction of KVP as far as interest rate is concerned. Post Tax Returns from other Debt based instruments like PPF, EPF and MFs are far higher.

Taxability
Interest earned via KVP is fully taxable. This is the biggest drawback of the KVP on date. On the other hand, interest earned through other debt based instruments like Debt MFs are either very low or EPF/PPF where the interest is completely tax free.

Liquidity
Minimum lock in period is 2 years 6 months, while there is no such restriction on Fixed Deposits. Other debt instruments like PPF or EPF have lesser liquidity but offer tax free returns. Debt based MFs are much more liquid. So, it is better to put your money in other debt instruments than KVP

Minimum Investment
Rs. 1000/- is the minimum investment required to purchase a KVP. Here is where it scores. You might find it difficult to open a FD with small amounts as Rs. 1000, though regular SIPs in debt based mutual funds might be a much better idea. So, it is often useful for very small investors like farmers who do not have access to SIP mutual fund investments. The name, Kisan Vikas Patra, is hence justified.

Maximum Investment
There is no limit to the maximum investment. Though PPF has an upper limit of investment, FDs and EPFs and Debt based Mutual Funds do not have any such limits.

Availability
Currently, it is available only at Post Offices, but the government has plans to make it available at PSU banks. The idea was to encourage the rural population who may not have a bank account to get connected to their post offices for these KVPs

Summary
Considering all the above factors, KVPs are designed to enable the rural population into a habit of regular savings and hardly offer anything attractive for the urban population who already have a bank account and can go and open a Fixed Deposit at any stage. So, if you have a bank account, you can safely stay away from KVP 2014 as of now, and ignore all the hype surrounding it.