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Archive for the ‘bucket list’ Category

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A friend shared an interesting article yesterday. It’s an op-ed by David Brooks which was published in the New York Times on Apr 11, 2015. The article is titled The Moral Bucket List. I could relate to it so much as I have been blessed with people in my life who radiate an inner light. They are always there, ready to reach out, when you need them the most. They are also open and vulnerable, which makes them human and someone who is not afraid to ask for help when they need it. If you have such a person in your life, let them know. Even better, become that someone for yourself and others. Peace!

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“But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.”

– W.B. Yeats

I have a dream – that one day I will travel all over the world working with and helping social sector organizations achieve their goals. I would love to work with the local communities on community development and, in the process, meet local people and learn about local cultures. Life is too short to be spent at one place, interacting with a limited number of people. Using one’s skills and experiences to help others – now that’s something worth doing. One day, some day, I will do that. I will find a way to turn this dream into reality. One day. Some day.

Till then, I’ll keep my dream alive by frequently reminding myself about it. This post being the first step in this direction.

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Master at least 20 basic hip hop moves by Aug 13, 2015.

I LOVE to dance. Period.

Despite having multiple childhood injuries in both knees, I have always found a way to dance. The sedentary lifestyle and age has shown its effects on my knees. Still, I refuse to let go of my love for dance. As a kid, I used to watch my elder brother and his friends learn to break dance. Those were the days when Michael Jackson aka MJ was a craze. My brother was an MJ fan and was learning to break dance with the help of another guy from the neighborhood. The dance training sessions were held on the roof of our residential building. Some of us younger kids watched them and, after their session was over, practiced the moves. More recently, I have wanted to learn Hip hop dance dance but wasn’t sure if my knees would let me learn the moves.

Teacher Found: While procrastinating and running away from an official report, I found Benjamin Allen‘s dance videos on YouTube. Like a true teacher, he has taken the dance style and made it approachable for beginners, people with two left feet, and those with knee injuries but a passion for dancing (i.e. me) 🙂

Target: Benjamin has given me the hope that I can definitely learn at least 20 moves, if not more. Therefore, I have set myself a target to learn at least 20 basic hip hop moves and master them over the next 2 months. I can already pull off a few moves but not with the kind of ease and finesse that I want. Hence, the emphasis on not just learning but mastering the moves. That is, practice the moves so much that they come naturally to me and look clean.

Challenge: My knee injuries make it challenging for me to keep balance and shift my weight smoothly. However, I will take this dance challenge and convert it into an opportunity to improve coordination and balance.

Risk Management: Knowing my tendency to procrastinate and get bored with things quickly, I have decided to identify my 20 moves and create a schedule for learning those moves. Progress to be monitored, on weekly basis, against the planned schedule; course corrective actions to be taken, as and when needed.

Deadline (for developing the schedule): Jun 12, 2015

Keywords: Master; at least 20; basic; Aug 13, 2015

Fingers crossed!

P.S. The image above is one of my favorite pics. The move, the energy, the finish, the colors, the mood – perfect! To the dancer (whoever thou art), God bless you.

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For quite some time now, I have wanted to go to other developing countries as a volunteer. This experience will provide an opportunity to contribute to the development projects in another part of world. At the same time, it will help me connect with people in these countries at a personal level allowing me to learn about their culture while sharing with them about my own culture. This dream became more pressing after I volunteered with PMI’s Community Service Project where we helped set up a small garden in the Starlight Park Elementary School in Phoenix. We were attending a PMI volunteer leaders’ conference (PMI North America – Leadership Institute Meeting) and were fortunate to be part of this onsite volunteer activity. What an amazing experience! I learned how to sand, stain, and install a wooden garden bench. To see a rough bench surface turn into a smooth surface, making sure no splinters were left to harm the kindergarten kids, was a new experience for me. Even though it was a weekend and the students from the low-income neighborhood were not in attendance, we had the chance to meet a few of them as they welcomed us. I feel connected to the school, the students, their families, the school administration, the community, and my fellow volunteers. Isn’t it sad that when we think about USA, we think of it as a monolith where everyone is living a dream life. But such interactions allow us to see firsthand the country, its people, and their challenges. How much impact we can make if we came closer to each other and interacted as ‘human beings’ first.

Driven by this urge, a few days ago I explored the online global volunteer opportunities. However, most of them require financial input (upwards of USD 2,000 for one week volunteer visit). I did register at Global Volunteer Network (GVN) as a volunteer. I was (and still am) planning to save money to volunteer with GVN. This morning, I received an email from GVN telling me about their special holiday season gift certificate offer whereby I can ask my family and friends for support via a gift certificate to go abroad for volunteering with GVN. The deadline for this offer is Sunday Dec 14, 2014. I thought about it and decided to give it a go.

Rarely have I asked anyone for a gift as I like giving gifts more 🙂 However, asking for gift certificates for my GVN application seems worth it!

How to donate

For those who’d like to donate to enable me to volunteer through GVN, you can purchase a pre-paid GVN gift certificate via this link.

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