The forthcoming elections – more questions than answers

181110 Elections

The BJP has lost one more seat in Bellary and the Congress has already blown the winning trumpet of the incredible leadership their “young” leader is providing to the nation!

While the BJP will go through its “Chintan Baithaks” it is time for the BJP think tank to start taking stock of what is really going on in the mind of the electorate and why the communication to its constituencies seems to be falling on deaf ears.

Clearly the opposition strategy of continuous attack on alleged corruption charges is beginning to affect the mind of the voters with the all too familiar reaction that “if there is so much smoke, there might be a fire somewhere”. The opposition strategy of going after Prime Minister Modi repeatedly is beginning to hurt the BJP.

Political niceties have been thrown to the winds and in the opposition “Arjunesque eye of the fish cross hairs” is Prime Minister Modi. From calling him corrupt to a scorpion to Hitler to an Anaconda, they have not left any negative adjective in the book.

Most opposition leaders are still trying to figure out whether it is a good idea to attack the Prime Minister who is seen as the tallest leader of the current times. They are not sure of what subjects to base their attacks on.

The so called mahagathbandhan, in its own way, seems to have found a method in their madness. Their repeated attacks are reaching the voter though whether the voter will accept their narrative is still unclear.

However, is the mahagathbandhan for real?

Can political parties with completely diverse ideologies like the CPI(M) and the Trinamool Congress or the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party really come together on a common platform? Will they ever be able to agree on a common economic agenda and a corruption free system of governance?

The smart Indian electorate recognises that they cannot have a situation where politicians play a game of musical chairs with the chair of the Prime Minister of India with the key contenders being Mayawati, Mamta Banerjee, Rahul Gandhi, Akhilesh Yadav and Chandrababu Naidu.

Everyone accepts that it would be a disaster if Mr Modi does not get a second term because the alternative of getting a new PM every year by rotation from the multitude of political parties is a frightening prospect. It is frightening to imagine a new Prime Minister and possibly a completely revamped Cabinet every 12 months!

The Congress knows that its only opportunity to survive beyond the next elections is to get aggressive. From attacking the BJP to temple visits and soft Hindutva to promising loan waivers to banning alcohol in Chhattisgarh, Rahul Gandhi is not leaving any opportunity.

Their attacks are generally centred around RSS, Rafale, Demonetisation, Crony Capitalism, GST and Non-Performing Assets. Attacking the RSS is ridiculous. Everyone associated with the RSS does not believe a word of what Rahul Gandhi keeps alleging. Those not associated with the RSS agree that Hindus can never be terrorists. Does the common voter even understand what the Rafale deal is all about?

Does anybody really believe Rahul Gandhi on matters of corruption as he stumbles through his speeches making one faux pas after another? Is it the pot calling the kettle black? What is the Congress strategy for the elections other than abusing Modi and talking about several non-existent corruption charges?

Is Rahul Gandhi now a huge liability not just for the Congress but also for the mahagathbandhan? Will the dissent within the Congress be able to get their leaders to pull together in one direction? Are the carefully laid out plans of Rahul Gandhi coming apart at the seams because no one really trusts him or his capabilities?

Is Rahul Gandhi “peaking” too early in the election game and will his quiver still be full of laded arrows by the end of the first quarter of 2019 or will he be firing blunted and used arrows?

Every decision that is now taken by the Government is questioned repeatedly by Congress politicians and their affiliated journalists who have been left out by the BJP in the last 4 years. This crescendo will get louder as the polls approach. It almost seems like a situation where Rahul Gandhi and his team scour the papers every morning to see what is the “flavour of the day” that they need to attack.

Counter attack by the BJP spokespersons is not being heard as they try to raise their decibel level and trade counter charges or worse say “well they did this as well when they were in power”.

The BJP came to power on the platform of development and removal of corruption under the strong leadership of Mr Modi. Very substantial developments have taken place in the last 54 months and it is important to keep emphasising the successes rather than go on the defensive.

The main question to ask is whether all this anti Modi propaganda and noise is consolidating the Hindu vote behind the BJP because no one really believes any of the corruption charges against Modi?

Yet, the BJP is not being able to take advantage of all its positives and is getting sucked into the mess being crafted by the gang of opposition leaders who have a single objective – to win at all costs, consequences be damned.

What the BJP can hope for is that the opposition strategy had peaked too early because it is difficult to keep telling lies repeatedly without repeatedly contradicting oneself.

Politics and elections are a game of perceptions.

Corruption is a subject that the Indian voters understand and despise. The BJP has established that the Government of Prime Minister Modi has significantly reduced corruption in the country.

Are the elections in Rajasthan Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh really an indication of what is likely to happen in the Lok Sabha elections in 2019? The Lok Sabha elections are still 6 months away. Polls being run by various news channels have very diverse results and we know that these results will keep changing over the next few months.

As someone said, development is needed for the country and the electorate expects this from their leaders. But development happens over a period of 5 years and does not win elections. Elections are won or lost based on how the marginal voters decide in the last few days.

Perceptions, falsehoods and corruption charges create doubt in the mind of the voters and need to be countered immediately and very strongly as was demonstrated by the Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister on the Vyapam matter which made Rahul Gandhi retract his statements.

Staying silent on corruption charges or waiting for an appropriate time to respond simply strengthens the lie and makes the voter question the reason for the silence.

The BJP needs some good fortune in the next few months starting with a drop-in oil prices which has started to happen. A good monsoon and more money in the hands of the farmers will suddenly change the narrative in favour of the BJP again. What the BJP also needs is for its leaders to stop talking of diversionary topics like renaming of cities and places and similar topics that take the narrative away from development and corruption.

The ruling party always must face headwinds and the opposition knows the wind is filling up its sails. There more questions than answers at this stage.

What is clear though is that the BJP needs to change its narrative and change this fast. The results of all the fundamental changes that have been made will be seen in the next five years.

This is a critical “must-win” election for the BJP.


The author is an Executive Coach and an Angel Investor. A keen political observer, he is also the founder Chairman of Guardian Pharmacies. He is the author of 5 best-selling books, Reboot. Reinvent. Rewire: Managing Retirement in the 21st Century; The Corner Office; An Eye for an Eye; The Buck Stops Here – Learnings of a #Startup Entrepreneur and The Buck Stops Here – My Journey from a Manager to an Entrepreneur.

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Manage Your Weight especially post Retirement

181109 Weight Loss in Retirement (2)

The Dalai Lama, when asked what surprised him most about humanity, answered

“Man. Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived”

Losing weight is certainly the most aspired objective of most people in the World. As one gets older, this aspiration needs to be converted into a reality to maintain one’s health.

A lot of retirees tend to let their bodies go and start to put on weight soon after retirement. They don’t have a regular schedule and they eat at all hours resulting in weight gain.

Excessive weight is the cause for a lot of diseases.

Besides, your body was never made to handle more than a “normal” weight. Your ideal weight can be checked quite easily on the internet or by asking your doctor.

Some people are blessed with a naturally high metabolism and an aversion to sweets. The rest of us aren’t so lucky. For those of you who may have hovered around the upper end of the height-weight standards, or who put on some post-retirement kilos, let me share with you what I’ve learned over the years.

Stop looking for the magic pill or diet. Stop believing those magical advertisements on television shopping channels that promise weight loss by simply lying in your bed. If there was an amazing pill or dietary supplement that lets you eat what you want while still losing weight, the big pharmaceutical companies would be selling it like hot cakes.

Here are some tried and tested ways on how can you manage your weight?

Be realistic about your weight loss goal – While many of us would love to reach the weight we were when we got married, often that’s not realistic. Yet I have met a friend who was grossly overweight and he decided that he would fit into his wedding shervani after 28 years of marriage. I was amazed at his determination and one year later he had lost his weight and met his goal.

Setting an unrealistic goal sets you up for frustration and failure. I have tried every possible diet and though I lost weight quickly, I put it back on even more quickly. The only sure way to lose weight is by cutting down on your food intake.

If your target is to lose 5 kilos, your target should be to lose one kilo every month. Drop your first kilo in the first two weeks and then maintain it for the next two weeks. With all the digital scales available, you can get your weight to the nearest 100 grams.

Concentrate on the calories in your diet – Losing weight is not quick or easy, but the principle is simple. It all boils down to a balance between “calories in” from what you eat versus “calories out” that you burn through exercise.

There are hundreds of wearable devices available at all price ranges that you can buy to keep track of your exercise schedule and the calories you have burned.

A reduction of 500 calories per day will lead to the loss of one kilo in two weeks. While exercise is important to your overall health and to maintaining a healthy weight, cutting calories is the key to weight loss. It is much easier to cut 500 calories a day out of your diet (give up a bag of chips and a soft drink, or a couple glasses of sweet tea) than it is to jog for 45 minutes or swim for an hour every day.

Exercise will help you to tone up your ageing muscles but only food control will help you to lose weight.

Keep a food diary – Document what, where and how much you eat. Medical studies have shown that people who keep a food diary are much more likely to lose weight. What you find from your food diary may open your eyes. Do you skip breakfast, eat yogurt for lunch then empty the entire refrigerator when you come home from work?

Do you eat a healthy breakfast and dinner, but really add on the calories by going out to lunch with your colleagues? Do you mindlessly snack in front of the TV? Do you have a few beers or glasses of alcohol every night?

Keeping a food diary forces you to be honest, but it also helps you pin-point your problem areas to help identify where you can drop 500 calories a day.

New norms recommend that you consume the following on a regular basis

  • Eat three servings of fruits
  • Eat four servings of vegetables every day
  • Eat nine servings of whole grains each day
  • Drink at least eight glasses of water daily
  • Avoid drinking both sugar and diet sodas

Make your weight loss plan – Based on your food diary, figure out where you can eliminate 500 calories a day.

Don’t make a vague commitment to eat less. Instead commit to a specific action such as giving up sweet tea, stopping that nightly glass of alcohol or taking a sandwich for lunch to work. If portion control is an issue, consider using a meal replacement product for one meal a day. Meal bars or meal replacement shakes for one meal a day can help you lose weight without compromising your dietary intake of vitamins, minerals and fiber.

Don’t give up if you slip-up – If you splurge and have a big slice of birthday cake at work, don’t throw in the towel. Keep the calories light for the remainder of the day and get back on track the next day. Your goal should be to adopt healthy diet changes that give you slow but consistent weight loss of a kilo or so every month.

Keep at it and you will definitely see a perceptible improvement in your health. And the bonus will be that you might just fit into your wedding suit again!


The author is an Executive Coach and an Angel Investor. A keen political observer, he is also the founder Chairman of Guardian Pharmacies. He is the author of 5 best-selling books, Reboot. Reinvent. Rewire: Managing Retirement in the 21st Century; The Corner Office; An Eye for an Eye; The Buck Stops Here – Learnings of a #Startup Entrepreneur and The Buck Stops Here – My Journey from a Manager to an Entrepreneur. 

  • Twitter: @gargashutosh
  • Instagram: ashutoshgarg56
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अपना वजन संभालें, ख़ास तौर पर सेवानिवृत्ति के बाद


181109 Weight Loss in Retirement (2)

जब दलाई लामा से किसी ने पूछा कि आपको मानव जाति के बारे में सबसे ज़्यादा क्या विस्मित करता है?, उन्होंने जवाब दिया

“मनुष्य। क्योंकि वह पैसा कमाने के लिए अपने स्वास्थ्य का त्याग करता है। फिर स्वास्थ्य पाने के लिए धन खर्च करता है। और फिर भविष्य के बारे में इतना चिंतित रहता है कि वह वर्तमान का आनंद ही नहीं ले पाता है; नतीजन वह वर्तमान या भविष्य में नहीं रहता; वह ऐसे रहने लगता है जैसे कि वह कभी मरने ही नहीं वाला है, और फिर वह मर जाता है, वास्तव में कभी भी न जीते हुए”

निश्चित रूप से दुनिया के अधिकांश लोगों की सबसे बड़ी आकांक्षा वजन कम करना है। हर किसी को उम्र बढ़ने के साथ इस आकांक्षा को वास्तविकता में बदलने की ज़रूरत है ताकि व्यक्ति का स्वास्थ्य बना रह सके।

कई सेवानिवृत्त लोग अपने शरीर पर ध्यान नहीं देते और सेवानिवृत्ति के तुरंत बाद उनका वजन बढ़ना शुरू हो जाता है। उनका कोई तयशुदा कार्यक्रम नहीं होता और वे हर समय खाते रहते हैं जिससे परिणामस्वरूप उनका वज़न बढ़ने लगता है।

अत्यधिक वजन कई बीमारियों का कारण बन जाता है।

इतना ही नहीं, आपके शरीर को “सामान्य” वजन से अधिक संभालने के लिए नहीं बनाया गया था। आपका आदर्श वजन इंटरनेट पर या आपके डॉक्टर से पूछकर आसानी से देखा जा सकता है।

कुछ लोगों को स्वाभाविक रूप से उच्च चयापचय और मिठाइयों के प्रति विमुखता का आशीर्वाद मिला होता है। शेष बचे हम लोग उतने भाग्यशाली नहीं हैं। आप में से उन लोगों के लिए जो ऊँचाई-वजन मानकों के ऊपरी छोर के आसपास हो सकते हैं, या वे जिन्होंने सेवानिवृत्ति के बाद अपना वजन कुछ किलोग्राम बढ़ा लिया है, उनसे मैं इन कुछ वर्षों में जो मैंने सीखा है, उसे साझा करना चाहता हूँ।

किसी जादूई गोली या आहार की तलाश करना बंद कर दें। टेलीविज़न शॉपिंग चैनलों के उन झूठे विज्ञापनों पर विश्वास करना बंद कर दें, जो आपसे वादा करते हैं कि बिस्तर पर बस लेटे-लेटे आप वजन घटा सकते हैं। यदि ऐसी कोई अद्भुत गोली या आहार पूरक होता, जो आपको वज़न कम करने के दौरान जो भी चाहिए, उसे खाने देता, तो बड़ी दवा कंपनियाँ इसे हॉट (गर्म) केक की तरह बेच रही होतीं।

यहाँ कुछ आज़माए और परखे गए तरीके दिए जा रहे हैं जिनके आधार पर आप जान सकते हैं कि अपना वजन कैसे प्रबंधित कर सकते हैं?

अपने वजन घटाने के लक्ष्य के बारे में यथार्थवादी रहें-  जबकि हम में से कई लोग चाहते हैं कि उनका वजन उतना हो जाएँ, जितना शादी के समय था, अक्सर यह विचार यथार्थवादी नहीं होता। मगर मेरी मुलाकात उस दोस्त से हुई, जिसका वज़न बहुत अधिक था और उसने फैसला किया कि शादी के 28 साल बाद वह अपनी शादी की शेरवानी को फिर पहनेगा। मैं उसके दृढ़ निश्चय पर चकित था और एक साल बाद उसने अपना वज़न कम कर लिया और अपना लक्ष्य हासिल कर लिया।

अपने सामने अवास्तविक लक्ष्य निर्धारित करना आपको निराशा और विफलता दिला सकता है। जब मैंने हर संभव तरीके से आहार पालन कोशिश की है और हालाँकि मैंने वजन कम कर लिया, पर मैंने उसे और भी जल्दी वापस हासिल कर लिया। वजन कम करने का एकमात्र निश्चित तरीका है कि आप भोजन का सेवन कम करें।

यदि आपका लक्ष्य 5 किलोग्राम कम करना है, तो आपका लक्ष्य हर महीने एक किलो कम करना होना चाहिए। पहले दो हफ्तों में पहले एक किलो को कम करें और फिर इसे अगले दो सप्ताह तक बनाए रखें। उपलब्ध सभी डिजिटल स्केल के ज़रिए, आप अपना वजन 100 ग्राम के निकटतम तक प्राप्त कर सकते हैं।

अपने आहार में कैलोरी पर ध्यान देंवजन कम करना त्वरित या आसान नहीं है, लेकिन सिद्धांत सरल है। सिद्धांत केवल इतना है कि आप जितनी कैलोरी ले रहे हैं, उस “कैलोरी इन” और जितनी कैलोरी व्यायाम के माध्यम से गला सकते हैं उतनी “कैलोरी आउट” के बीच सधा हुआ संतुलन स्थापित कर सकें।

बाज़ार में तमाम मूल्य सीमाओं में ऐसे सैकड़ों उपकरण उपलब्ध हैं, जिन्हें खरीद सकते हैं, इन्हें पहननकर आप अपने व्यायाम कार्यक्रम द्वारा गलाई कैलोरी का ट्रैक रख सकते हैं।

प्रति दिन 500 कैलोरी की कमी दो सप्ताह में एक किलो तक वज़न कम करने की ओर ले जाएगी। जबकि व्यायाम आपके समग्र स्वास्थ्य के लिए महत्वपूर्ण है, वही स्वस्थ वजन बनाए रखने के लिए, कैलोरी कम करना, वजन घटाने की कुंजी होती है। 45 मिनट की सैर करना या हर दिन एक घंटे तैरने की तुलना में अपने आहार में एक दिन 500 कैलोरी कम करना (चिप्स और शीतल पेय, या मीठे चाय की कुछ प्यालियाँ छोड़ना) बहुत आसान है।

व्यायाम आपको बुढ़ापे की मांसपेशियों को ठीक करने में मदद करेगा, लेकिन केवल खाद्य नियंत्रण ही आपको वजन कम करने में मददगार होगा।

खाद्य डायरी बनाएँदस्तावेज बनाएँ कि आप क्या, कहाँ और कितना खाते हैं। चिकित्सा अध्ययनों से पता चलता है कि जो लोग कितना भोजन किया, उसे डायरी में लिखते हैं, उनका वजन कम होने की संभावना अधिक होती है। आपको अपनी खाद्य डायरी में जो देखने को मिलता है, वह आपकी आँखें खोल सकता हैं। क्या आप नाश्ता नहीं करते हैं, दोपहर के भोजन में दही खाते हैं, फिर जब आप काम पर से घर लौटते हैं तो पूरे रेफ्रिजरेटर को खाली कर देते हैं?

क्या आप स्वस्थ नाश्ता और रात का भोजन करते हैं, लेकिन वास्तव में अपने सहयोगियों के साथ दोपहर का भोजन बाहर लेकर कैलोरी जोड़ लेते हैं? क्या आप बिना सोचे-समझे टीवी के सामने बैठ कुछ भी खाते चले जाते हैं? क्या आप हर रात थोड़ी बीयर या शराब के कुछ जाम चढ़ा लेते हैं?

खाद्य डायरी बनाने से आप ईमानदार होने को मजबूर हो जाते हैं, लेकिन यह आपको अपने समस्या क्षेत्रों को दुरुस्त करने में भी मदद करता है ताकि यह पता चल सके कि आप दिन में 500 कैलोरी कहाँ घटा सकते हैं।

नए मानदंड अनुशंसा करते हैं कि आप नियमित आधार पर निम्नलिखित का सेवन करें

  • दिन में तीन बार फल खाएँ
  • हर दिन चार बार सब्जी लें
  • हर दिन नौ बार साबूत अनाज खाएँ
  • रोजाना कम से कम आठ गिलास पानी पीएँ
  • चीनी (शकर) और डायट सोडा दोनों से परहेज़ करें

अपना वजन घटाने की योजना बनाएँअपनी खाद्य डायरी के आधार पर, पता लगाएँ कि आप एक दिन में 500 कैलोरी को कहाँ से हटा सकते हैं।

कम आहार के बारे में अस्पष्ट प्रतिबद्धता न रखें। इसकी बजाय मीठी चाय छोड़ने, रात की वह शराब छोड़ने या काम पर जाते हुए दोपहर के भोजन के लिए सैंडविच न ले जाने जैसी कोई विशिष्ट क्रिया करने के लिए प्रतिबद्ध रहे। यदि इस तरह किसी एक पर नियंत्रण करना बड़ा मसला है, तो दिन में एक बार खाने के एक पदार्थ के बदले भोजन के प्रतिस्थापन उत्पाद का उपयोग करने पर विचार करें। भोजन पर रोक लगाना या एक बार के खाने में भोजन प्रतिस्थापन पेय आपकी विटामिन, खनिजों और फाइबर के आहार से समझौता किए बिना वजन कम करने में मदद कर सकता है।

अगर आप भूल जाएँ, तब भी हार मत मानो – यदि आपके कार्यस्थल पर किसी के जन्मदिन के केक का बड़ा टुकड़ा बँटता हैं तो उसे तौलिया में लपेटकर फेंके नहीं। दिन के शेष आहार के लिए इस कैलोरी पर रोशनी डालें और अगले दिन ट्रैक पर वापस आ जाएँ। आपका लक्ष्य स्वस्थ आहार परिवर्तनों को अपनाना होना चाहिए, जो आपको हर महीने एक किलो या इतनी ही धीमी गति से लेकिन लगातार वजन घटाने में मदद करता है।

इसे अपने तक रखें और आप निश्चित रूप से अपने स्वास्थ्य में स्पष्ट सुधार होता देखेंगे। और बोनस यह होगा कि आप फिर अपने शादी का सूट पहन सकते हैं!


लेखक कार्यकारी कोच और एंजेल निवेशक हैं। राजनीतिक समीक्षक के साथ वे गार्डियन फार्मेसीज के संस्थापक अध्यक्ष भी हैं। वे 5 बेस्ट सेलर पुस्तकों – रीबूट- Reboot. रीइंवेन्ट Reinvent. रीवाईर Rewire: 21वीं सदी में सेवानिवृत्ति का प्रबंधन, Managing Retirement in the 21st Century; द कॉर्नर ऑफ़िस, The Corner Office; एन आई फ़ार एन आई An Eye for an Eye; द बक स्टॉप्स हीयर- The Buck Stops Here – लर्निंग ऑफ़ अ # स्टार्टअप आंतरप्रेनर और Learnings of a #Startup Entrepreneur and द बक स्टॉप्स हीयर- माय जर्नी फ़्राम अ मैनेजर टू ऐन आंतरप्रेनर, The Buck Stops Here – My Journey from a Manager to an Entrepreneur. के लेखक हैं।                                         

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Staying Healthy after Retirement

2. Reboot. Reinvent. Rewire Managing Retirement in the Twenty First Century

Keeping ourselves fit and healthy is important throughout our life. We owe this to ourselves. Fitness becomes even more important post retirement.

Those who are fit, feel better about themselves for a variety of reasons. In turn, this translates into a better self-image and enhanced self-confidence. These qualities have a positive effect in both your personal and professional lives. For these reasons, I would encourage everyone to strongly consider putting together a fitness program for yourself.


Before you start a fitness program, especially those who have lived a sedentary lifestyle for an extended period of time, please consult a physician. Starting a vigorous exercise regime may not be wise and you could hurt or injure yourself.

Once your doctor has given you clearance, start setting goals. Goals are uniquely personal and whether your goal is to lose 5 kilos or complete a marathon, setting goals are important. Write your goal down and the period in which you want to achieve this goal and promise yourself a reward if you achieve your objective. Consider enlisting the services of a personal trainer or a work-out buddy to help you stay focused and encouraged.

Make exercise a part of your daily life, try to get 30 minutes of aerobic exercise 5 times a week. You do not necessarily have to go to a gym to work towards your fitness goal. A morning walk, and that too with friends in the neighbourhood can be a very enjoyable experience that keeps you fit as well. Just make sure that you don’t end your morning walk at the local “chai wallah” where you have chai and samosa after your walk.

Try to spend less time in front of the television and more time outside. Consider purchasing an exercise machine for your house that you can use while you watch television or join a neighbourhood gym. Such machines can be great investments, but only if used on a consistent basis though most people I know who own such machines use them for a few weeks and then these are used to “hang the towels” after a shower! A very expensive clothes drier indeed.

We have the time when we retire. We can take the time to walk or cycle to the market instead of driving. This is a great way to get your blood flowing and accomplish your errands at the same time. Walking or cycling can be easy or difficult depending on where you live, but many people can fit it into their routine if they are willing to expend a little time and effort.

If you are lucky enough to have a small child or grandchild in your family, you can schedule time to take them to nearby parks and other outdoor activities. It’s a lot of work to keep up with small children, and you’ll work up a sweat in no time.

Housework is painful, but it needs to be done. Work at home can help burn off excess calories. Vacuuming, washing dishes and other household chores will keep you moving. It’s much better to move around in the house than watch TV from the couch.

If you have access to a gym you must work out 45 minutes a day, five days a week. You also need to do light weights to maintain your muscles. Swimming, yoga, walking and other forms of exercise are equally good. What is important is to get into a routine that you follow consistently.

Exercising for a few days and then taking a few weeks off is not what I would call “regular exercise”! Doctors believe that working out for 6 days a week could add upto 2 years to your life.

There are many little things you can do which can change your level of fitness.

Think fitness every day and you will see and feel the results


Retirement is supposed to be the time when you relax. Managing your stress is critical to stay fit.

Retirement is a time when you are older and wiser and have the answers to many of life’s questions. A lot of retirees are stressed for a multitude of reasons. With ageing come new concerns, such as managing the increased time you spend at home and with your spouse, your health, making sure that your money does not run out in retirement and managing the stresses of your children.

In addition, of course, there is a general sense of “loss.”

Based on discussions with some doctors I have listed down a few points that could help in managing stress. Of course, if the problem is acute, you should consult a doctor and medication may be required.

  • Identify the cause of your stress. Write it down and find a solution to put your mind at ease. Discuss this with your friends and see how they are coping with their stresses.
  • Find a story that inspires you. Take some time to read and make notes of your learning. Then see how you can handle your own stress.
  • Learn to meditate. Practice deep breathing until you find yourself becoming calm. It is easier to do this when you think about things in life you are most thankful for.
  • Switch to your regular routine. If you enjoy spending time in a mall browsing, do that. Malls always offer something new and different. You can simply enjoy the ambience, the shops, and the interesting people who walk by.
  • Be purposeful about taking care of yourself. Enjoy some time outdoors to lift your mood and refresh your spirit.

You must learn to let go. Release the stress.

You were never in control anyway.

Regular medical checkups

I have often met people who refuse to get medical tests done. When asked the reason, their answer is that they do not wish to know what their health related problems are. Not getting your tests done because you are don’t wish to know your problems is a short sighted approach to living a long time in retirement.

Do you have a lifestyle disease like blood pressure, high cholesterol or diabetes? Are you asthmatic? Do you have any other problems for which you are taking regular medication?

Make sure you know what your health related issues are. Pull out all your old health reports you must have filed away carefully and write down your parameters to understand your own body and its challenges.

If you have a chronic condition, it is worth your while to schedule a test every quarter or every half year as recommended by your doctor.

Your doctor will advise you on what medication you need to take on a regular basis and how often you need to get your tests done.

On the other hand, given today’s commercialization of the healthcare, your doctor may recommend that you take several tests that may not even be relevant. Be very careful when your doctor recommends very expensive tests.

Get a complete medical checkup done when you retire. Remember that no one can monitor your health better than yourself.


The author is an Executive Coach and an Angel Investor. A keen political observer, he is also the founder Chairman of Guardian Pharmacies. He is the author of 5 best-selling books, Reboot. Reinvent. Rewire: Managing Retirement in the 21st Century; The Corner Office; An Eye for an Eye; The Buck Stops Here – Learnings of a #Startup Entrepreneur and The Buck Stops Here – My Journey from a Manager to an Entrepreneur.

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सेवानिवृत्ति के बाद स्वस्थ बने रहना

2. Reboot. Reinvent. Rewire Managing Retirement in the Twenty First Century

जीवनभर अपने आपको तंदुरुस्त और स्वस्थ बनाए रखना काफ़ी महत्वपूर्ण है। हम अपने प्रति खुद ही देनदार हैं। सेवानिवृत्ति के बाद तो स्वास्थ्य का महत्व और भी बढ़ जाता है।

जो तंदुरुस्त हैं, वे इस वजह से कई बातों में ख़ुद को बेहतर महसूस करते हैं। जो उनकी ही नज़र में अपनी छवि को पुख़्ता करता है और आत्मविश्वास बढ़ाता है। ये गुण आपके व्यक्तिगत और पेशेवर दोनों जीवन पर सकारात्मक प्रभाव डालते हैं। इन कारणों से, मैं सभी को प्रोत्साहित करता हूँ कि वे अपने लिए दृढ़ता से फिटनेस कार्यक्रम तय करने पर विचार करें।


फिटनेस कार्यक्रम शुरू करने से पहले, ख़ासकर वे लोग जिन्होंने लंबे समय तक आराम-तलब जीवन शैली व्यतीत की हैं, कृपया चिकित्सक परामर्श लें। कई बार ज़ोर-शोर से व्यायाम अभ्यास शुरू करना भी बुद्धिमानी नहीं हो सकती है, बल्कि आप खुद को आघात या चोट पहुँचा सकते हैं।

एक बार आपके डॉक्टर आपको मंजूरी दे देते हैं, तब आप लक्ष्य निर्धारित करना शुरू करें। लक्ष्य विशिष्ट रूप से व्यक्तिगत होते हैं, भले ही आपका लक्ष्य 5 किलोग्राम वज़न कम करना हो या मैराथन पूरी करना, कोई लक्ष्य निर्धारित करना महत्वपूर्ण है। अपना लक्ष्य और जिस अवधि में आप इस लक्ष्य को प्राप्त करना चाहते हैं, उसे लिख लें और यदि दी अवधि में आप अपना उद्देश्य प्राप्त कर लेते हैं तो अपने आप को इनाम दें। आपका ध्यान केंद्रित कराने और प्रोत्साहित करते रहने के सहायक के तौर पर व्यक्तिगत ट्रेनर या व्यायाम के साथी की सेवाओं को शामिल करने पर विचार करें।

व्यायाम को अपने दैनिक जीवन का हिस्सा बनाएँ, सप्ताह में 5 बार एरोबिक व्यायाम के लिए 30 मिनट निकालने का प्रयास करें। आपको अपने फिटनेस लक्ष्य की दिशा में काम करने के लिए जिम ही जाना जरूरी नहीं है। सुबह की सैर, और वह भी पड़ोसी दोस्तों के साथ बहुत ही सुखद अनुभव हो सकता है जो आपको फिट भी रखता है। बस इतना ध्यान रखें कि आपकी सैर पास के “चाय वाले” की गुमटी पर ख़त्म न हो, जहाँ आप सैर के बाद चाय के साथ समोसा भी ले लें।

टेलीविजन के सामने कम से कम समय और बाहर अधिक से अधिक समय बिताने का प्रयास करें। अपने घर के लिए व्यायाम मशीन खरीदने पर विचार करें, जब आप टेलीविजन देखते हैं तो इसका उपयोग कर सकते हैं, या पास के किसी जिम में जाना शुरू कर दें। ऐसी मशीनें बहुत अच्छा निवेश हो सकती हैं, लेकिन तभी जब इनका लगातार उपयोग किया जाता हो, हालाँकि मुझे पता है कि ज्यादातर लोग ऐसी मशीनों का उपयोग कुछ हफ्तों तक करते हैं और फिर उसके बाद इनका इस्तेमाल नहाने के बाद “तौलिए लटकाने” के लिए होने लगता है! ऐसे तो वास्तव में यह बहुत महंगा कपड़े सुखाने वाला उपकरण है।

जब हम सेवानिवृत्त होते हैं, हमारे पास समय होता है। हम इस समय का लाभ बाज़ार तक चलकर या साइकिल से जाने में कर सकते हैं, बजाए कि गाड़ी निकालें। इससे आपका रक्त संचार भी होगा और साथ ही यह आपके कामों को पूरा करने का शानदार तरीका है। आप जहाँ रहते हैं उसके आधार पर चलना या साइकिल चलाना आसान या कठिन हो सकता है, लेकिन बहुत से लोग अगर थोड़ा समय निकालते हैं और प्रयास करने की इच्छा रखते हैं तो इसे अपनी दिनचर्या में लाकर तंदुरुस्त रह सकते हैं।

यदि आप इतने भाग्यशाली हैं कि आपके परिवार में कोई छोटा बच्चा या पोता/पोती है, तो आप उन्हें पास के पार्क और अन्य बाहरी गतिविधियों के लिए ले जाने का समय निर्धारित कर सकते हैं। छोटे बच्चों के साथ रहने में बहुत मशक्कत होती है और आपका पसीना बहने में ज़्यादा समय नहीं लगेगा।

घर के काम कष्टदायी होते हैं, पर उन्हें करना पड़ता है। घर पर रहकर काम करना अतिरिक्त कैलोरी जलाने में मदद कर सकता है। साफ़- सफ़ाई, बर्तन धोना और अन्य घरेलू काम आपको चलायमान रखेंगे। सोफे पर बैठकर टीवी देखते रहने के बजाय घर में थोड़ा चलते-फिरते रहना बेहतर है।

यदि जिम आपके पास, आपकी पहुँच में है, तो आपको दिन में 45 मिनट, सप्ताह में पाँच दिन काम करना होगा। आपको माँसपेशियाँ मज़बूत बनाए रखने के लिए हल्के वजन उठाने के व्यायाम भी करने की आवश्यकता है। तैरना, योग, चलना और व्यायाम के अन्य प्रकार भी समान रूप से अच्छे हैं। महत्वपूर्ण है कि आप लगातार नियमित रूप से किसी व्यायाम का पालन करें।

कुछ दिन व्यायाम करना और फिर कुछ हफ्ते नहीं करना, इसे मैं “नियमित अभ्यास करना” नहीं कहूँगा! डॉक्टरों का मानना है कि सप्ताह में 6 दिनों तक व्यायाम करना आपके जीवन को 2 सालों तक बढ़ा सकता है।

ऐसी कई छोटी-छोटी आदतें हैं, जिन्हें आप कर सकते हैं, जो आपके फिटनेस के स्तर को बेहतर बना सकती हैं।

हर दिन फिटनेस के बारे में सोचें और आप ख़ुद परिणाम देखेंगे और महसूस करेंगे


सेवानिवृत्ति वह समय माना जाता है, जब आप आराम कर पाते हैं। तंदुरुस्त रहने के लिए अपने तनाव का प्रबंधन करना महत्वपूर्ण है।

सेवानिवृत्ति ऐसा समय है जब आप वृद्ध और बुद्धिमान होते हैं और आपके पास जीवन के कई सवालों के जवाब होते हैं। कई सेवानिवृत्त लोग कई कारणों से तनाव में रहते हैं। वृद्धावस्था के साथ कई नई चिंताएँ आती हैं, जैसे कि घर पर आप ज़्यादा समय बिताते हैं और वह भी आप अधिकाधिक समय अपने जीवनसाथी के साथ होते हैं, आपको अपने स्वास्थ्य की चिंता सताने लगती हैं, आप यह तय कर लेना चाहते हैं कि आपका पैसा सेवानिवृत्ति के दिनों में ख़त्म न हो और आप अपने बच्चों के तनावों का भी हल खोजने की उलझन में होते हैं।

इसके अलावा, ज़ाहिर है, “नुकसान” की आम भावना भी होती है।

कुछ डॉक्टरों के साथ चर्चा के आधार पर मैंने कुछ बिंदुओं को सूचीबद्ध किया है जो तनाव प्रबंधन में मदद कर सकते हैं। बेशक, यदि समस्या तीव्र है, तो आपको डॉक्टर से परामर्श लेना चाहिए और आपको दवा की आवश्यकता हो सकती है।

  • अपने तनाव के कारण को पहचानें। उसे लिख लें और अपने मन को आराम देने के लिए समाधान खोजें। इस बारे में अपने दोस्तों से चर्चा करें और देखें कि वे अपने तनाव का सामना कैसे कर रहे हैं।
  • वह कथा खोजें जो आपको प्रेरित करें। पढ़ने के लिए कुछ समय निकालें और जो आपने सीखा उसके नोट बनाएँ। फिर देखें कि आप अपने तनाव से कैसे पार पा लेते हैं।
  • ध्यान धारणा सीखें। जब तक आप खुद को शांत न महसूस करें, तब तक गहरी साँस लेने का अभ्यास करते रहे। तब ऐसा करना अधिक आसान हो जाता है, जब आप जीवन में उन चीजों के बारे में सोचते हैं, जिसके प्रति आप सबसे अधिक आभारी हैं।
  • अपनी नियमित दिनचर्या में परिवर्तन करें। यदि आप मॉल में जाकर कुछ नया देखने-खरीदने में समय बिताना पसंद करते हैं, तो ऐसा करें। मॉल हमेशा कुछ नया और अलग पेश करते हैं। आप केवल वहाँ के वातावरण, दुकानें और उन लोगों को देखने का आनंद ले सकते हैं जो वहाँ घूम रहे होते हैं।
  • अपना ख्याल रखने के बारे में एकाग्र रहें। अपने मन को प्रसन्न रखने के लिए कुछ समय बाहर निकलिए और अपने आपको तरोताज़ा कीजिए।

छोड़ो-जाने दो, की बात आपको सीखना चाहिए। तनाव मुक्त रहिए।

वैसे भी आप कभी भी नियंत्रण में नहीं थे।

नियमित चिकित्सा जाँच

मैं अक्सर उन लोगों से मिलता रहा हूँ, जो चिकित्सा जाँच कराने से इनकार करते  रहते हैं। जब उनसे कारण पूछा गया, तो उनका जवाब होता है कि वे अपनी स्वास्थ्य संबंधी समस्याओं के बारे में जानना नहीं चाहते। अपनी समस्याओं के बारे में कुछ न जानने की मंशा से आपका परीक्षण नहीं कराना, आपके संकुचित दृष्टिकोण को दिखाता है, जिसकी वजह से आप सेवानिवृत्ति के लंबे समय को देख नहीं पा रहे हैं।

क्या आपको जीवनशैली संबंधी बीमारियाँ जैसे रक्तचाप, उच्च कोलेस्ट्रॉल या मधुमेह है? क्या आपको दमा (अस्थमा) हैं? क्या आपको कोई अन्य समस्या है जिसके लिए आप नियमित दवा ले रहे हैं?

सुनिश्चित करें कि आप अपने स्वास्थ्य संबंधी मुद्दे जानते हैं। अपनी पुरानी स्वास्थ्य रिपोर्टों को बाहर निकालें, जिन्हें आपने बड़े करीने से कहीं दस्तावेज बना रखा होगा और अपने शरीर और इसकी चुनौतियों को समझने के लिए अपने मापदंड खुद लिखें।

यदि आपकी हालत गंभीर है, तो आपको डॉक्टर द्वारा अनुशंसित हर तिमाही या हर आधे वर्ष के परीक्षण निर्धारित कर लेना आपके लिए उपयुक्त है।

आपके डॉक्टर आपको सलाह देंगे कि आपको नियमित आधार पर कौन सी दवा लेने की आवश्यकता है और आपको कब-कब परीक्षण कराते रहने की आवश्यकता है।

दूसरी ओर, स्वास्थ्य देखभाल के आज के व्यावसायीकरण दौर को देखते हुए, डॉक्टर अनुशंसा कर सकते हैं कि आप कई परीक्षण करें जो प्रासंगिक न भी हों। जब डॉक्टर आपको बहुत महंगे परीक्षण कराने की सिफारिश करें, तो बहुत सावधान रहें।

सेवानिवृत्त हो जाने के बाद अपना पूरा मेडिकल चेकअप करा लें। ध्यान रखें कि कोई भी आपके स्वास्थ्य की उतनी बेहतर तरीके से निगरानी नहीं कर सकता है, जितनी आप खुद कर सकते हैं।


लेखक कार्यकारी कोच और एंजेल निवेशक हैं। राजनीतिक समीक्षक के साथ वे गार्डियन फार्मेसीज के संस्थापक अध्यक्ष भी हैं। वे 5 बेस्ट सेलर पुस्तकों – रीबूट- Reboot. रीइंवेन्ट Reinvent. रीवाईर Rewire: 21वीं सदी में सेवानिवृत्ति का प्रबंधन, Managing Retirement in the 21st Century; द कॉर्नर ऑफ़िस, The Corner Office; एन आई फ़ार एन आई An Eye for an Eye; द बक स्टॉप्स हीयर- The Buck Stops Here – लर्निंग ऑफ़ अ # स्टार्टअप आंतरप्रेनर और Learnings of a #Startup Entrepreneur and द बक स्टॉप्स हीयर- माय जर्नी फ़्राम अ मैनेजर टू ऐन आंतरप्रेनर, The Buck Stops Here – My Journey from a Manager to an Entrepreneur. के लेखक हैं।

  • ट्विटर : @gargashutosh                                     
  • इंस्टाग्राम : ashutoshgarg56                                            
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Should Startup Entrepreneurs have a Coach?

180908 Business Coaching

Business Coaching, is a direct one-on-one interaction between two individuals in a regular and structured conversation. This is done to address and handle business challenges faced by one individual by drawing upon the experience of another individual. Coaching is done in an environment of complete trust where all matters ranging from work to personal challenges may be discussed once the comfort level starts to increase.

Every Startup Entrepreneur needs a coach.

A majority of Startups all over the world are founded by young men and women in their twenties and possibly in their early thirties. While their ideas are excellent and their energy levels are great, most startups start to falter within a couple of years because of poor / inadequate systems, over aggressive scaling up, weak financial planning, insufficient focus on people management, weak governance or poor execution of their revolutionary ideas.

At the same time, thousands of managers are retiring from the corporate world at the “young” age of between 60 – 65 years after spending almost four decades in specialized or general management positions in major and smaller corporations. At this stage of their lives they clearly have at least another decade of work inside them.

Retirement of senior managers is happening in all parts of the world and is a consequence of the superannuation policies of the employer rather than the competence or the age of the individual. These people know what it is like to run businesses and tackle the challenges of building businesses. They have functional expertise in finance and accounts, budgeting, packaging, branding, sales, human resources, governance, legal matters and general management.

With a little bit of training, most of them can become excellent coaches.

Therefore, logically, there is a huge opportunity to bring together the vision of the Startup Entrepreneur and the experience of the older manager in an unobtrusive and non-threatening manner for the entrepreneur. Older individuals can connect with the entrepreneur as coaches (or in some cases as employees), depending on the need of the individuals.

Not every superannuated individual has the energy or the risk taking capability to start a business enterprise on their own. At the same time, the older managers, in the twilight of their careers, are not yet ready to hang up their gloves. Most of these older individuals would be reasonably financially secure. They are looking to give back their life’s learnings while staying occupied, and earning some money (which could be in the form an equity option as well). Further, they will be much more stable for a startup. They will not resign and walk away in a hurry because they did not like the way they may have been spoken to or because another exciting opportunity has come up.

For the entrepreneur, it is a very lonely job and there are very few people he can trust. Most young entrepreneurs need a sounding board in a non-threatening manner with someone who has no agenda with the individual or the business. Given the significant work pressures Startup Entrepreneurs face, they need someone to discuss their issues and allow them to vent.

They will not say what the startup entrepreneur wants to hear and after a long work innings, hopefully, they would have learned how to manage their personal egos in front of the young team that they wish to be a part of.

A coach should see their success in the success of their younger colleague and not attempt to score brownie points directly with the teams.

In addition to watching the back of the startup entrepreneur and guiding them when the ship invariably hits troubled waters, a coach will also bring in strong subject matter knowledge from the domains they would have spent decades working in.

Most startups face issues in the following areas and an experienced professional can provide invaluable inputs for the startup team.

Some of these areas outlined below.

People Strategies – Most entrepreneurs struggle with their people strategies. The people who started off with the entrepreneur may not be the best to take the business to the second and third level. Even the entrepreneur needs to stay ahead of the curve to manage a fast growing business. A coach can evaluate the people and help in identifying new resources at each stage of the growth.

Business Planning and Review – Startups are famous for making plans and then not meeting them! A good coach can work closely with the entrepreneur and the top management team to develop an achievable business plan and more importantly, hold quarterly reviews. This will ensure that the entrepreneur and leadership team is held accountable for what they commit in each quarter.

Good Governance Practices – All Startups should normally be started with the objective of building a strong and stable business which can mature into an institution. A coach will ensure that the entrepreneur will build good governance and transparent practices in the organisation.

Even something as mundane as ensuring board meetings are held on time and minutes are properly recorded is an area where startups have been known to slip up.

Fund Raising – While most startups are looking for funding from Angel Investors and Private Equity Investors, there is a large opportunity for raising funds from banks though debt and working capital financing. A coach with a strong finance senior background will bring in much needed contacts and experience to reach out to the banking system.

External Relations – Most businesses, irrespective of the sector they are addressing, need a strong connect with the external world. These connections could be with bureaucrats, politicians, environmental activists or the local councilor. An experienced coach will have the patience to handle these external challenges. This could also include developing a strong public relations contact programme with the print and visual media.

Legal Processes – In addition to hiring legal help during formation and fund raising, most businesses are faced with a lot of legal challenges. Once again, an older and more experienced coach will bring wisdom in handling such matters. Which cases to pursue and which ones to drop is a critical decision to save valuable managerial time, resources and of course, money.

Playbook / Standard Operating Procedures – In the hurry to get started, very often standard operating procedures get lost in the detail. These need to put in place very early in the game so that mistakes are not repeated. An experienced manager tasked with this will be able to put in place such a manual / playbook that would serve the company well into the long term.

Having mentored several startup entrepreneurs, I have seen the value a coach who has “been there done that” can provide to a startup entrepreneur.

I have often said that the combination of young energetic legs with grey hair would be a win-win combination for all Startups. To draw a parallel from hockey or football, the entrepreneur is the centre forward rushing to shoot goals and win while the older manager is the goal keeper who will protect the companies turf and ensure that self-goals are not scored!

What is important for both the parties is to mutually select the right set of individuals. What is important is to develop mutual trust and confidence between the two individuals to build a win-win combination for the success of the business.

In other words, every Startup Entrepreneur needs a coach.

Experience Never Gets Old!


The author is the founder Chairman of Guardian Pharmacies. A keen political observer, he is an Angel Investor and Executive Coach. He is the author of 5 best-selling books, Reboot. Reinvent. Rewire: Managing Retirement in the 21st Century; The Corner Office; An Eye for an Eye; The Buck Stops Here – Learnings of a #Startup Entrepreneur and The Buck Stops Here – My Journey from a Manager to an Entrepreneur.

  •  Twitter: @gargashutosh
  • Instagram: ashutoshgarg56
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Retirement – Today’s 60 is yesterday’s 40

2. Reboot. Reinvent. Rewire Managing Retirement in the Twenty First CenturyIn a country which is the “youngest” country in the world, where over 700 million of us are under the age of 30, we have an increasing number of people who are growing old as well.

Just like the baby boomers in USA, India too has its post-independence children, born after 1947. The oldest of these children will be in their early to late-sixties in 2015 and a majority of these pre-independence kids may probably still be working but thinking of the impending retirement.

Looking back on the years gone by I am sometimes amazed at the resilience and persistence exhibited by us mere mortals in our lives. In our effort to make ends meet and prepare for our future we are often forced to endure thankless and sometimes abusive work environments for years on end. Stress becomes our new best friend as we attempt to pay never ending day to day bills while somehow also providing for big ticket expenses like education, clothes, cars and weddings. We are forced to delay the pursuit of our own interests and passions because there is either not enough time or not sufficient free money.

As I pondered over and debated my own reality, I was curious about my peers’ attitudes toward retirement

I spoke with many friends, both men and women over 60 who were either already retired or were just starting to think about it. What I found most shocking was the level of denial and postponement in thinking about the subject of retirement. While many people had been diligent about saving and investing, few had considered the psychological jolt that usually accompanies the end of an active working career.

My first realisation was that I would have a much greater degree of freedom under my control. I don’t have to do but I do what I please to do. I have therefore redefined retirement to mean “Reaching a stage in life when one has the freedom to do what one wants.” I am reminded of an old poem I read

At ten, we have just fun

At twenty, we are still naughty

At thirty, we think lofty

At forty, we get shifty

At fifty, we confront reality

At, sixty, we seek serenity

Author – Unknown

However in today’s day and age, the retirement paradigm has changed completely from what we have seen with our parents and probably our grandparents. While the message may be the same, the ages have certainly changed over the past three decades.

“Yesterday’s 60 is today’s 40” said a close friend to me when we were discussing getting older.

“Age is only a number” said another

So working in our regular jobs as employees till we are between 60 and 65 is something we can normally expect to do as per ore terms of employment.

When I started work in 1979 at the age of 22 the retirement age in my company was 52 years and I used to think that three decades was a long way off. A few years later the retirement age was raised to 55 and like me, a lot of young managers in the company complained about how top management was interfering with our careers by allowing the “oldies” to stay on for another 3 years! Today as I approach 58, I wonder what it would have been like to have retired when I consider that I am at the peak of my career.

As we reach the age of superannuation or retirement, I see so many of friends becoming insecure and afraid of becoming irrelevant. When it is time to retire, we forget what we told ourselves. What has changed in the last three decades that we are afraid to slow down or pace of work or recognize that our minds and bodies are ageing?

Most of us would have achieved what one set out to at the start of one’s career or we would have accepted that what one has achieved is all that is possible in the career that we have chosen. We would have also seen the push coming from our younger colleagues in the work place to move aside to let the youth brigade move forward faster.

There is no point in agonizing over the past because there is nothing that we can do about it. I have always believed in looking ahead with a positive frame of mind.

Yet most people if they have led a relatively healthy life will, with modern medicine see our life expectancy increase significantly. Our parents would generally be well into their eighties and we could expect them to live in to their nineties. Given the right set of genes, there is no reason why we would not live to at least 90 years of age, maybe more if we have not abused our body too much.

Retirement is not the end of the world.

It is the beginning of a new and more fulfilling life without the stresses and strains, the pulls and pressures we had when we were young. We may have looked forward to retirement but a fulfilling retirement will not just happen. You have to plan for it and you have to plan by including the most important person in your life, your spouse. Unless both of you are in agreement with your plans, prepare for dissonance in both your lives.

At the same time, I realized that with ageing parents, the baton for the next generation was passing to me. The next generation of children in my family was looking up to me. When I visited their homes, I would be seated first. I would be served first at dinner and when I spoke they would listen attentively. It was difficult to handle this contradiction. On the one hand I was beginning to feel less relevant at work and in the society that I knew and on the other hand I was being respected more by the next generation.

I have met several people and discussed with them their challenges and their thoughts as they faced retirement. I have spoken to people in their thirties and forties as they agonised over making plans for the retirement of their parents. I have spoken to spouses who are preparing for a life with a much more inclusive husband post his retirement and I have spoken to husbands who have had very successful career and spouses who are wondering how life will be for the two of them now that both of them have “all the time in the world to spend together”.

Let me draw a parallel to retirement with a setback.

It is a stop in our life and we need to restart with a new direction and with renewed vigour. Think back to a recent setback or disappointment in your career or personal life. Think about how you felt. How long did it take for you to bounce back? Did you formulate an action plan? Did you blame yourself, or others? Did you eat a big plate of sweets or ice cream to give yourself a “sugar fix”?

How you handle a setback defines who you are. Let’s say there are two ends of the spectrum – the optimist and the pessimist. You may be at any point of the spectrum.

  • The optimist experiences a challenge. They see it as a temporary situation, something that they’ll get past. An optimist will often make a plan for recovery, and take action. An optimist looks to the future.
  • A pessimist is at the opposite end of the spectrum. They see a problem, and the problem affects every aspect of their life, and no solution to the problem is in sight. There is usually someone to blame for this problem. Have you ever tried to help a pessimist solve a problem? They will argue with you that every possible solution will not work. There is no happy future, all is hopeless.

A pessimist will say that an optimist is not realistic. Maybe that is the case. However, perhaps that slightly unrealistic view is what allows the optimist to meet the challenge head on and succeed.

How can you move along your place on the retirement spectrum to be on the positive side as you look to reinvent, reboot and rewire your life?

Examine your behaviour pattern. Be honest with yourself.

  • When a challenge arises, step back and see it for what it is. Look for the opportunity within the challenge. Sometimes the opportunity is merely the experience gained from getting through it.
  • Don’t let the problem become your life.
  • Move into action to resolve the problem immediately. Make a plan and get started.
  • Believe in yourself and your power.

Cast off society’s belief about aging and retirement. Optimists may have greater success, health and happiness. Pessimists may experience a self-fulfilling prophecy of unhappiness and despair. You choose your spot on the spectrum from where you will make the start to rebooting your life.

In conclusion it is my belief our new life ahead can be the adventure of a lifetime. It doesn’t have to be a permanent rest. Ask yourself whether your negative beliefs about retirement are getting in the way of how you really want to live the “third half” of your life.


The author is a Political Commentator, an Angel Investor and Executive Coach. He is an entrepreneur and the founder Chairman of Guardian Pharmacies. He is the author of 5 best-selling books, Reboot. Reinvent. Rewire: Managing Retirement in the 21st Century; The Corner Office; An Eye for an Eye; The Buck Stops Here – Learnings of a #Startup Entrepreneur and The Buck Stops Here – My Journey from a Manager to an Entrepreneur.

  • Twitter: @gargashutosh
  • Instagram: ashutoshgarg56
  • Blog: |