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Dr. Archana Bharat

Archana Bharat MA, MPhil, PhD (University Gold Medalist) is an avid reader and writer, who is greatly influenced by the philosophy of Sant Kabir. Together with her husband Shri Bharat Bhushan she is contributing greatly to Noida unit of Kabir Peace Mission.

Avoid Overspending

Sticking to a budget can be extremely difficult, particularly if your finances are tight and you are not inclined to be particularly organized or disciplined. However, you can successfully curb excess spending and keep your budget intact by following certain tips. Oftentimes, people spend money on spur of the moment purchases that they really should be saving for something else. The easiest way to avoid this bad habit is to portion out your money every time you get a pay cheque. Put your bill money (including credit card payments), grocery money and funds for other necessities in the bank. Take out in cash the remaining money which can be considered spending money. Having the funds in cash can often help you monitor your spending better as people often go overboard when buying things with a credit card because they don’t see the account balance shrinking in front of them.
Next time you head out on a shopping trip, plan to run all your errands at the same time. If you have a list of places to go and things to accomplish, you will be less likely to spend extra time shopping or browsing for items other than those on your list. Check your list before you leave your house and eliminate anything you don’t actually need. It will not only help you stay on track but will most likely make your entire outing more efficient and effective and will help you avoid forgetting something important and having to make an extra unnecessary trip.
Many people over-spend because they feel that shopping eases stress or relieves depression and they often buy things they don’t really want.
You might want to buy a device with a slick new function and you may want to upgrade your existing device. Ask yourself whether you really need it before buying it. Don’t buy something because you are worried about hurting the sales person’s feelings. Beware of sale items which make you feel that you have to take advantage of a special deal or a limited time offer.
It has been aptly said that an idle mind is the devil’s workshop. Do not allow your mind to wander unnecessarily as you might fall into the temptation of spending money to kill time. You could utilize your time in a creative and useful manner.
If you have a habit of overspending, you could let someone else take charge and shop for you instead. Encourage yourself to exercise restraint and buy only when you need something. Overspending may lead you into debt.

By Dr. Archana Bharat on 05-12-2014

Avoid Cellphone Abuse

The invention of mobile phones, their upgrades to high-end smart-phones with many popular and fascinating features, their easy availability in the consumer market and their affordability have ensured that almost every person we meet on the streets can afford to carry a cell phone. With more and more companies providing connections and SIM cards at extremely affordable rates, almost every person tries to get hold of it. Cell phones are indeed one of the greatest and most useful inventions of mankind. Cell phones help people to stay in touch with others even in different corners of the world. They come equipped with web cameras, audio and video recorders, mobile gaming, PDA, internet, video and music players etc.
But there is another darker and graver side to the story too. Widespread use of cell phones has made way for its rampant misuse too, especially by the youth, anti-social elements, terrorists and other criminals. Camera phones, that come with MMS enabled facilities are used to take unauthorized explicit photos, shoot pornographic videos etc. and spread them. Moreover, since SIM cards can be easily available and there is no proper facility for fool-proof checking of one’s records, these phones are being misused by terrorists for various activities.
The young generation is so engrossed in sending SMSes, talking over the phone and spending most of their time in the virtual world that in the real world they are gradually becoming ill-equipped and repressive. This leads to communication problems and also cause disturbances as one is always busy texting and receiving texts.
When you use a cell phone while walking through the road, you may not see a vehicle coming close to you and since its use in public places increases the reaction time, you may not get time to move away from danger. Mobile phone use while driving may cause accidents as cell phone conversation distracts the driver’s attention, increases reaction time and reduces visual field attention.
Use of mobile phones in gatherings, meetings, entertainment places etc. disturb others. Imagine, you are in a public place trying to concentrate on something or in serious discussion with your friend or enjoying a peaceful moment, when suddenly a stranger starts talking loudly on his cell phone. Your concentration breaks or your conversation ends or your peaceful moment is disturbed, you become a victim of cell phone abuse. You get irritable or annoyed with the caller. With increased use of camera phones and multimedia facilities, cyber crimes such as fraud, theft and forgery are increasing.
We should educate our children to use cell phones moderately. Mobile phones are both a boon and a bane. It is up to us to use them responsibly and make them a boon for the rest of our lives.

By Dr. Archana Bharat on 28-11-2014

Exercise Your Right To Vote

Voting is a right that throughout history, many have fought for and sacrificed everything to achieve. It is a right that millions of people throughout the world still do not enjoy. The right to vote is a privilege. By voting we express our opinions, participate in our society and help to determine our future.
Abraham Lincoln called democracy “Government of the people, by the people and for the people”. It means that we are not here to serve our government; but that our government is here to serve us and we have the right to decide who will represent us and how we want to be represented. We, as a democratic nation have one of the greatest rights any free people can have: the right to vote. The ultimate rulers of our democracy are not the President, Prime Minister or other ministers, but the voters of this country. You may sometimes wonder that with millions of people who vote in any election, does your vote really count? Perhaps you feel that if you can’t really make a difference why bother to vote. The truth is  that your vote does count and you do make a difference every time you vote. Your vote holds your local and national leaders responsible for the decisions they make. It sends a message about the issues you think are important. Your vote affirms our rights as free citizens to elect our government and take part in democracy. Without voting, there could be no democracy. The government you elect will decide whether to raise or lower taxes, make economic policies that could affect your job and decide when or if to use military force. Voting connects citizens with their political process, as well as to one another. By taking part in an election and by expressing our point of view, we help our democracy work. By agreeing or disagreeing with our leaders we show that the political system can accept different points of view and can resolve them. Voting helps to safeguard our freedom. A democratic community can only survive if its citizens see participation in the political process as a duty and a responsibility. It is critical to understand that if you oppose a particular person, go and vote against him otherwise you will be helping him to win. Good candidates must be supported, irrespective of whether they may win or not, so that they are encouraged rather than embarrassed to stand for election. Our single vote is not important, but collectively all our votes make a huge impact we need to show the political parties that we mean business.
Vote because you care about your community. Vote because you believe in free government and want to add your voice. Vote because it is the right thing to do and it will make you feel good to participate and have a say.

By Dr. Archana Bharat on 21-11-2014

Write A Good Book

A book is the best medium to give expression to your thoughts. It is a good means of spreading your ideas and knowledge. You can reach out to people all over the world through your book.
There are numerous reasons why you should consider writing a book. If you are passionate about a technology and want the world to know all about it, you could pen it down in the form of a book for all to read. If you have a desire to do something creative and different, a book project could be an exceptionally rewarding and fulfilling process. It could also increase your credibility. By writing a book you become a ‘name’ in a given area. With a book behind you, it is far easier to reach a global audience. Thousands of people can draw inspiration from your thoughts. If you write a good novel, you can provide entertainment to so many. A spiritual book can provide solace to many with problems in their lives. An inspirational book may even change the lives of many. Writing enables you to broaden your horizons. A book can potentially allow you to move into areas such as training, consulting and presenting. It enhances your self esteem and you often learn new skills during the process or expand the ones you already possess. With increased credibility and fame you can leverage your existing career. Many authors secure new clients due to their books while others get quick promotions. It can also be a financially lucrative venture because if your book sells well you earn more royalty. You leave a legacy behind and your book is read by people of the future generations.
You must write the first chapter of the book very carefully as it could be the most important part of the book. People often determine whether they like the style of the author by reading the beginning. It must have a purpose or goal which should keep the reader interested to the end. Spread your significant message out to the world through your book. You can even solve the problems in your field through your book and gain the prestige of an author. A book will expand your exposure, add credibility and increase your opportunities in life. When your book is sold all over the world, you shall get opportunities to interact with people globally. Share your experiences to inspire your audience. Share how you overcame challenges in your field to motivate your audience. Best of all your family, your friends and your parents will be so proud to tell all their friends about your book.

By Dr. Archana Bharat on 14-11-2014

Compromise With The Situation

Compromises are part of every long-term relationship. Either due to differences in character or differences in perception, people tend to disagree with each other. However, if they truly love each other, there is no situation in which they are unable to find a solution which satisfies both of them. People who really want to be together will find ways to compromise. None of us likes to disagree but even less we like to compromise. People abhor compromise because for them it means to fail or, at least, to choose the better of two evils. By such attitude they defy the positive aspects of compromise. We should consider compromise as a healthy way to end conflict, and focus on restoring relationships damaged by conflicts. If you have to compromise during a difficult situation in a relationship, you are in a tough spot as it is not easy to cope with.
Consider how important the situation that you are compromising about is in your relationship. If you are dealing with a small but difficult issue, be generous when compromising as it is not worth damaging a relationship over trivial issues.
However, if you are compromising about a major issue, be ready to stand up for yourself. Make sure to be calm before the discussion about the difficult situation begins.
Think about the situation from your own as well as your partner’s perspective, as situations are perceived differently by different people. Sit down with your partner and begin an open dialogue. Be sure to discuss how you feel without blaming your partner. Discuss the reasons why you feel that a compromise is necessary so that he/she may be more willing to find a solution. Remember that compromise requires both give and take. It may take some time, but working together to resolve an issue will make you and your significant other into a stronger unit. Resolve the issue and stick to the resolution. You can easily destroy your credibility by agreeing to a compromise in a difficult situation and then changing your mind. You can save yourself from an unhappy relationship.
Another type of situation in which compromise is necessary is all kinds of political issues ranging from agricultural, industrial and international relationship. To reach agreement is highly important as it has a serious bearing on the future of the whole country.
Politicians have to forget about their own aspirations and keep in mind that their decisions will influence other peoples’ lives. One should always think twice not to miss the best in life, especially if it is obtainable by means of compromise. It establishes a happy and loving relationship and guarantees political and economic welfare of a country. Legal problems can also be solved through compromise.

By Dr. Archana Bharat on 07-11-2014

Do Not Pollute Our Environment

Pollution prevention is an exceptionally major global concern because of pollution’s harmful effects on the person’s health and on the environment. Environment pollution comes in various forms such as noise pollution, air pollution and water pollution. Everyone is a stake-holder as we all are inhabitants of this mother earth. Each person has something to contribute to promote effective pollution prevention awareness initiatives. Environmental protection ensures a sustainable future for generations to come. We should therefore cooperate and actively participate in making the atmosphere pollution free. Individually we can help combat pollution in our own immediate environment. Most countries have already addressed the issue by passing some form of pollution prevention acts and measures.
Averting the onset of pollution in any area, be it on air, water or land could be the start and the simplest preventive solution to the problem. This calls for a conscientious effort to adopt good practices or habits by the people, the passage and proper implementation of appropriate government laws and the strict compliance especially by potential industrial pollutants. If there are no pollutants, there will be no pollution but somehow industrial development comes with the burden of pollution. The cost to business and its commercial ramifications make the simple preventive approach quite complicated and difficult to implement. However, this seemingly difficult situation does not deter environment protection advocates to pressure their dream of a clean and green environment. We can help them by following certain simple measures. To reduce sound pollution, keep the volume of your TV or music system low, honk the car horn sparingly, discourage use of loudspeakers and avoid the use of band and crackers in wedding processions.
To prevent air pollution, keep smoke emission from homes, factories and vehicles to a minimum. Stop smoking. Use unleaded petrol in your cars, keep your car properly maintained. Never use open fires to dispose of wastes. Industries should use fuel with lower sulphur content. Industries should monitor their air emissions in compliance to the prescribed standards.
You may reduce water pollution by not dumping garbage near communal taps, wells and other water bodies. Immerse holy idols in authorized places. Industries should refrain from disposing their chemical wastes in water bodies. Wash your car on a grassy area. Recycle and reuse materials and do not use plastic bags. Save all forms of energy like electricity, petrol and water. Plant trees and use natural resources sparingly. Everyone can help by adopting good and healthy practices. Every action of a person with regard to his surroundings has an effect on the environment. By becoming aware and doing the right action, we can be part of the solution to this problem.

By Dr. Archana Bharat on 31-10-2014

Give Useful Advice

It can be very hard to give good advice to people who are under stress or are distressed. One of the trickiest aspects of advice giving is that advice can be more of a band-aid than a true solution to someone’s problem. Some situations warrant straightforward advice, while others require a more in-depth analysis of a person’s habits and patterns. First of all determine whether your advice is appropriate. When someone approaches you with a problem they are having, it is important to ascertain what they are really asking from you. Listen carefully and try to empathize with them. We often assume that people are asking for advice when all they really want is someone to hear them out for a few minutes.
When people are very emotional, they often are not ready for any feedback or advice so you may just listen to them patiently and try not give in to your natural problem solving instincts. Often, just helping someone organize the issue in their own mind helps lead them to their own solution.
After you have heard the person out, make sure they are clear on your style of advice. Let them know that you may have to say things they disagree with or that are hard to hear. If they appear to be open to your advice, move on. Diagnose the problem and try to articulate each option for solving it. Let them weigh these options on their own. Ask them what the best solution is. People often know what the best solution is, but it is often the least savoury choice. They may have omitted the most obvious solution most likely as it may be the most painful option.
People sometimes seek advice as a way to validate or invalidate the conclusion they have already come to; the only option they have is the least tasteful.
Once you have laid out the options, work with the person to really visualize what the natural consequences, tangible and emotional of each option are. They will see that there are positives and negatives to each option.
Ultimately, since you will not have to live with the consequences, you cannot make the decision for them. Offer them support in whatever decision they make and let them know that you will be there to discuss later on. We all need to be reminded sometimes that problems come and go and we survive. A truly good friend will be there for you through it all.
Your good advice may serve as a ray of hope in the darkness surrounding your friend and may change his life for the better. Facing life with a positive approach can do wonders.

By Dr. Archana Bharat on 24-10-2014

Utilize Old Things

In most homes there is a lot of stuff that nobody uses. You do not want to throw it away but, really, you cannot use it anymore. With a little bit of creativity you can turn these old things into something wonderful and useful. If you are on a budget or dislike the thought of shopping for new supplies, then take the creative route. Dig out all the old things in your house that are no longer in use and convert them into productive items. Reusing old objects is economical and environmentally safe. Anyone can achieve this feat with a little imagination and effort.
The rock garden of Chandigarh is a glorious example of old things being artistically converted into a beautifully decorative landscape.
At home, gift wrapping paper can be reused if you take care not to rip open a present and tear the paper to shreds. Save the wrapping paper for using it another time. You can embellish it with ribbons, sequins and stickers to give it a new look. If you have leftover cloth after making a dress or quilt, you can make use of it in stitching your baby’s dress or cushion covers.
Sometimes people end up with a large collection of decorative trays or plates gifted by family and friends. You can get plate hangers and display these on the walls of your home or use them for gifting them to people.
Pictures from old calendars can be framed and hung on walls. Old calendars can also be used as wrapping paper or be spread on shelves of your cupboards. You can take out the unused pages from your child’s notebook and bind them together to be used as a rough note book. The old school books of your elder child can be bound and used by your younger child. Do not throw old pens. Just change the refills and reuse them. 
In case you have a pet at home, you can create a comfortable resting place for them by using old blankets, sweaters or towels. Empty tissue boxes also need not be thrown away. You can reuse them for storing plastic bags. A great use for old fabric is to add some beads, buttons and new fabric to create new cushions for your living room couch. Use old clothes to teach your children to do needle work or make dolls. Old torn fabric may be used for cleaning the house. Old sarees can be used for making beautiful new quilts.
You can polish and change the fabric of your old sofas and other furniture to give it a new look. Making new candles from old, used candles by melting them is a fun craft project. Old pots and pans make for a great potted plant. Making new things from something old is always fun. With a touch of creativity and spirit, you can find a new use for your old things. So reuse, recycle and redecorate. 

By Dr. Archana Bharat on 17-10-2014

Lead a Simple Life

A simple life has a different meaning and a different value for every person. It means eliminating all but the essential, finding peace within yourself and spending your time doing what’s important to you. It means getting rid of the clutter so you are left with only that which you value most. However, getting to simplicity is not always a simple process. It’s a journey, not a destination and it can often be a journey of two steps forward and one backward. Clearing the clutter from your home and from your life is easier said than done. We are often emotionally attached to our possessions. This attachment goes beyond our needs and we find it difficult to let go of nostalgia. When we are free of physical clutter, it frees our minds as well. The less we have, the more attention we can give to those things we own and truly need on a regular basis. It is pretty amazing how little we actually need. We only need abundance of the mind and the soul.
Nothing external can give us permanent and true happiness. We actually have all we need to be truly happy, within us. The art of having less but enjoying our lives more, involves a few simple changes in perspective. First we must understand where our true values lie and focus on them. Then, we must take time to enjoy the simple things and slow down and see what’s right in front of us.
There is a saying, “The best things in life are free”. Spending time with family and friends, laughing, enjoying the antics of a pet, seeing a child smile, experiencing intimate and heart-felt moments with a loved one – these times are precious and free. Money brings comfort and there is absolutely nothing wrong with enjoying that comfort but we should ensure to spend money only on things that matter to us. If you focus on enjoying the simple things you do every day, you can find so much happiness. In order to live the life you love, you have to love the life you have. Take time to be grateful for what you have and be content with all the small gifts in your life. It’s easy to speed through your day and not notice the little things. Slow down and fully immerse yourself in the subtle joys of this moment. Life is so precious, yet we spend our most valuable resource – time, on things that are not important to us. Go outdoors and enjoy the beauty of nature, read a good book.
Our outer world is a reflection of our inner world. By cleaning out and simplifying our outer space, our inner space will open up like a flower. When we open up physical space in our environment, a tremendous feeling of peace can dwell within us and we can find true happiness.

By Dr. Archana Bharat on 10-10-2014

Ask For Forgiveness

Truthfully saying that you are sorry and asking for forgiveness is a difficult task. Pride gets in the way most of the time. It becomes the stumbling block. When you get angry with someone and a confrontation leads to the digging up of past problems and an exchange of harsh words, both of you will feel hurt and you may end up not talking to each other for a while. Sometimes you really do not intend to say hurtful words, nor do you want to even utter those words because they can be meaningless but they just come out in the heat of the argument.
Asking for forgiveness releases a person from the agony of being hurt and burdened. It does not really matter who started the argument. The main thing is that someone should be brave enough to make the first approach and ask for forgiveness. If someone else asks you for forgiveness, be generous enough to forgive. Think of an apology as a commitment to the relationship rather than an act of weakness. Acknowledge your actions without making excuses. Share your feelings about what happened but avoid blaming, exaggerating or saying empty words. Listen patiently to the other person’s response without getting defensive. Be honest and only apologize for things you truly feel responsible for. Don’t apologize just to make an unpleasant situation go away.
Practice what you are going to say until you are comfortable to say the words. You do not want to start your apology only to say the wrong things and start another argument. Take responsibility for your part, how you hurt the other person rather than give any attention to how they hurt you. Be vulnerable and reveal your own sadness or remorse for causing them pain. This fosters emotional healing. Say it in writing if a personal confrontation is scary. Offer to make amends if appropriate. Do not be discouraged if you aren't completely forgiven the moment you apologize and give the other person some time to sort out his or her feelings. In the meantime, seek every opportunity to do good to that person even if he is stubborn.
There is no need for an emotional outburst. Sincerely ask for forgiveness when the other person has had time to calm down and is willing to listen. Strive to avoid the causes that brought about the problems.
Asking for forgiveness is a sign of strength. It should not be considered a weakness. There is a famous saying – “To err is human, to forgive divine”. It helps repair relationships, strengthens family bonds and relieves your heart and mind.

By Dr. Archana Bharat on 03-10-2014