Gratitude Is Scientific

Earlier this month I got a chance to spend a few days at my childhood home. I visited that place after long and got to spend some time there after many, many years. While browsing through my childhood memorabilia and hostel trunk box, I ended up finding my old diary there. I definitely need to thank my mother for this. She has carefully preserved some precious moments of our childhood despite changing cities and countries multiple times. 

I have spent a considerable amount of my childhood days in hostels. In that era of no internet and no mobile phones, our prime mode of communication with families and friends used to be letters. Handwritten letters :). And the most favorite bedtime activities were reading and writing. Writing in a physical diary :). If you are someone of my age group, I can already see a smile on your face reading these lines. Did it remind you of your diary or letters :)? Aren’t these memories precious? To me, it was like finding a treasure trove. Finding my old self, reuniting with the little dreamy girl that I was.

Those who know me in person, know that my childhood was not easy by any parameter. It was tough. Coping up with crises, challenges, and facing one adversity after another. But what amazed me going through those pages of my old diary was the hope and gratitude that the little girl in me had. It did mention the bad days. It definitely highlighted challenges. But every night, that little girl of my childhood ended her day positively, with a reflection post and a thank you note to the almighty.

Pages after pages, the diary exuded HOPE. And,

Dreams

Resilience

Strength

Peace

Gratitude

Life has indeed come a long way for that dreamy little girl. She didn’t get everything that she wished for, but she definitely got many things to be thankful for. 

What I experienced going through those old pages were beyond words. Those notes were a stark reminder of two things for me:

• Journaling is powerful 

• Gratitude is scientific.

Those pages reminded me that even though days were insanely tough but I somehow always ended up meeting people who helped me move ahead. The circumstances might have been full of challenges but I always found a way out. I was blessed with great teachers, good friends, and a very supportive mother & brothers. I was thankful for every little help they offered. 

Or was it the other way around? Because I was thankful, I ended up getting more help?

At a metacognition level, the more I think about it, the more I believe it was the other way around.

Scientifically speaking too, I think there is some truth behind this fact. When we express gratitude and receive the same, our brain releases dopamine and serotonin, the two crucial neurotransmitters responsible for our emotions, that make us feel ‘good’. These chemicals enhance our mood, making us feel happy from the inside. Maybe another reason, why despite all the hardships, I was still happy and full of hope?

Things changed, Adulthood happened. Dreams started to accommodate others, confidence shattered. Reality smacked in the face. I ended up being in very adverse circumstances where I had to face criticism for every small thing. Blamed for things that weren’t my fault. I was listening to too many people, giving value to too many opinions. I know, I know, recipe for disaster. But many times, we don’t realize how disastrous the recipe is unless we get to gulp down the broth :). More on that later. (And I will, as my resolve for 2021 is to write on topics beyond work. Topics that are closer to my heart, topics that shaped up who I am. And topics on which I think I can be of help to someone). 

Along the way, I did realize the need to rewire myself. I needed to get back to my old self, to the girl who stood tall despite all the odds, to the girl who was full of dreams, hope, and gratitude for everything she had. I have taken many small steps in the last two years in this direction. I need to do a lot more.

But finding this diary at the beginning of the year was like serendipity. Going through its pages reaffirmed that the path that I have taken a couple of years back is perhaps in the right direction. The old journal acted like a reminder to self when I needed it the most.

I know journaling is a fancy thing now. Empathy, mindfulness, and gratitude are the buzzwords that people throw in every second sentence. But we also know how many people practice these in reality.

Very, very few.

I know of folks who speak big things about gratitude on Linkedin. But in reality how very few of them have genuinely felt thankful or expressed their appreciation to people in their personal lives. It could be spouse, parents, siblings, house help, or anyone. The general tendency is to take personal relationships for granted or undervalue them. They post fancy quotes on gratitude on social media. But when they receive gifts from someone in the family or at work, their first reaction is not to be thankful for the gift they got but to be critical about what they got. I know of people speaking of empathy every now & then but when it comes to giving, they donate only their old discarded stuff. Even when they can afford it, there are very few who have the heart to donate.

There are enough pieces of evidence on the neuroscientific impact of gratitude and mindfulness in both our professional and personal lives. However, to experience the impact, in reality, we need to internalize these deeply. It’s not easy, but doable! I would be back soon with another post in this series discussing the same. 

Have a meaningful 2021!

Hope is a magical thing

2020 – the year of extraordinary challenges, and unexpected chaos. 

The year of unprecedented crisis and unimaginable loss.

The year that made the whole world standstill.

The year that made us reflect, reset, and refill. 

This year has been exceptionally tough for many in ways more than we can ever imagine. The general mood across the globe has been gloomy and stressful. 

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The value of shareworthy content: Spotify Wrapped

It’s that time of the year. It’s time for Spotify Wrapped :).

See, I told you yesterday, it’s December, the month when we will be bombarded with year-end reflection posts. Some that we will be looking forward to. And some that we wish we hadn’t seen.

Spotify Wrapped is an interesting example of that. Some laugh at it, some love it, and some hate it. But despite the love and hate relationship with it, people share it. And as a product marketer, that’s the most intriguing part of it for me. 

The moment I spotted #2020Wrapped in my Spotify app, I headed to Twitter. And as expected, it has been trending on all social channels. Full of funny memes, as well as happy messages. 

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Stories humanize brands: Lessons from B2B brand storytelling

In my last post, I mentioned how festivals bring out some of the best marketing campaigns of the year. From Diwali in India to Christmas across the globe, we get to see brilliant films and creatives during this time of the year. The year 2020 of course has been different. Pandemic has changed the rules of marketing to a large extent. But the festive spirit is still alive in the market. I’m sure we will get to see a lot more brilliant marketing stories in the next one month.

Two participants from my last workshop messaged after reading this post. Their feedback – it’s easy to evoke emotions and build stories around B2C brands. How about B2B? This is one question that makes me smile. I get this question asked in almost every session, especially when I am interacting with tech companies. And every time my answer remains the same 🙂 –

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Storytelling lessons from a two and a half minute film

I’m sure by now, we all have seen this new Christmas ad by Coca-Cola. It’s beautiful, meaningful, and most importantly

It stays with you!

It’s like watching a complete film in two and a half minutes. 

It has drama. The kind of drama that has anticipation mingled with uncertainty. 

The central character goes through conflict, challenges, climax, and finally a happy ending. An ending that leaves you teary-eyed and pulls at your heartstring.

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Ephemeral Content: How To Use It Effectively In Your Marketing Plan

Between my last post and this, nothing much has changed in my LinkedIn feed, as far as stories are concerned. I see a few folks using it, but I am yet to experience something unique or share-worthy. I plan to try it soon and will hopefully get some data in a couple of weeks. In the meantime, here’s the second part of the post on “Ephemeral Content” and how to use it in our marketing plan.

Before we proceed further, what exactly is Ephemeral Content Marketing?

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Ephemeral Content Marketing- Kanupriya Sindhu

The Rising Popularity Of Ephemeral Content

LinkedIn launched stories a few weeks back. I can already see it picking up in my own network, and on the platform in general.

Ephemeral content is on the rise like never before. Started by Snapchat but made mass by Instagram stories, there is something very captivating about the short-lived form of content these days. I am yet to try LinkedIn stories. But if I observe my own behavior on other channels, especially on Instagram, I am more active with stories than posts. 

While I knew the answer for the same, but before jotting down this post, I carefully evaluated my own behavior on why I like stories more? The answer is clear and it’s the same for me, as it is for many of you – it’s quick and not “permanent”. I don’t have to worry about the long-lasting impression of my posts and the imprint that I am leaving on the web. I like that it’s in the moment and not long-lasting.

And that’s the beauty of ephemeral content – quick, in-the-moment, and transient.

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100th Post on Medium

Today I complete my 100th post on Medium! Yay!

This is beyond the 600+ posts that I have on my personal blog since 2003. My first post on Medium was 5 years back in 2015, and that means I have averaged around 1.6 posts per month there.

Is this sufficient to get noticed on Medium considering the volume of content that gets published on Medium now? I know it’s NOT. But it’s still a win for me, my own small personal win. To be able to dedicate some time to write despite all other madness in life.

Writing consistently requires effort, and that too a lot of it. 

To add to that, just writing is not enough these days. A whole lot of work needs to be done for content distribution and reach too. 

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Restart Writing: How to generate content ideas

In case you’re expecting this post to be about tools, well, there will be some mentions below. But before we move to tools, let’s discuss the power of “I” in generating content ideas.

It’s wonderful to know that the last post resonated with many of you. The most common response that I received was – realization is there but how to restart? Sometimes the mind is too blank or blocked to think about a topic or, where to start from?

I don’t have any formula for this but I am happy to share what works for me when I get stuck with ideas and thoughts. I simply start with “I” on my notepad.

While I am using the word “simply” but trust me this “I” is very powerful when it comes to my writing process.

This “I” leads to myriads of thoughts and opens up the opportunity to multiple trails.

I think
I read
I watched
I traveled
I observed
I felt
I …

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