Author: Mayur Gudka (Page 2 of 2)


Burden of the past carried onto the future
Makes future, a misadventure.

Shed the burden, shed the past
Create new hope, a beacon of light.

This is thy moment, this is thy juncture.
The one you ought to capture and nurture.

Craft it. Build it. Hone it.
Make thy future an exciting adventure.

I wrote this poem on January 7, 2020.

19 Bear Market Indicators from Bank of America

On a regular basis, I go through all my files, clippings, etc. Most things I save “in the moment” turn out to be useless shortly thereafter. So, those get chucked.

One of the interesting things I found saved from earlier was a list of bear market indicators from Bank of America. Sharing them here with you.

  1. Federal Reserve raising interest rates
  2. Tightening credit conditions
  3. Minimum returns in the last 12 months of a bull market have been 11%
  4. Minimum returns in the last 24 months of a bull market have been 30%
  5. Low quality stocks outperform high quality stocks (over 6 months)
  6. Momentum stocks outperforming (over 6 to 12 months)
  7. Growth stocks outperforming (over 6 to 12 months)
  8. 5% pullback in stocks over the last year
  9. Stocks with low price-to-earnings ratio underperform
  10. Conference Board’s consumer confidence level has not hit 100 within 24 months
  11. Conference Board’s percentage expecting stocks go higher
  12. Lack of reward for earnings beat
  13. Sell side indicator, a contrarian measure of sell side equity optimism
  14. Bank of America Fund Manager Survey shows high levels of cash
  15. Inverted yield curve
  16. Change in long-term growth expectations
  17. Rule of 20, trailing price-to-earnings ratio added to CPI is above 20
  18. Volatility index spikes over 20 at some point within the last 3 months
  19. Earnings estimate revisions rule

I found many of these to be interesting, and useful.

5 simple tips that I learned to improve my writing

Writing is an amazing habit. I try to write everyday. Most days, the writing is average or below average. Once in a while though, the stuff that comes out makes me wonder … did I really write that?

Regardless, writing on a daily basis is a habit I recommend everyone cultivate. You don’t have to write lengthy prose. Just write anything that comes to your mind. There are so many benefits to writing. Just google “benefits of writing“.

But, there are 5 tips I learned that improves my writing. I don’t always remember to implement them. When I do, it becomes a good day. Maybe, I ought to keep them handy at all times (hence this blog post).

Delete the word “that”

You believe that I’m sleeping, but I’m not.

Now, let’s try again without “that”.

You believe I’m sleeping, but I’m not.

Avoid words that end in “ing”

The food I am eating is usually very disappointing. What are you eating?

Now, let’s try it without the -ing.

The food I eat usually disappoints. What do you eat?

Remove the words “I think”

“I think, this computer is faster” becomes “this computer is faster.”

The words, “I think” add no real value to the sentence.

Short Sentences, Shorter Paragraphs

Write short sentences. Write shorter paragraphs.

This tip is from Ernest Hemingway. Most classics have long sentences, longer paragraphs. Not Hemingway. His style came from being a journalist from Kansas City Star.

His best example about short sentences and shorter paragraphs is this:

For sale: Baby shoes. Never worn.

Ernest Hemingway

A powerful six-word story.

Be positive, not negative

Another tip from Hemingway. Write what is, not what isn’t.

Instead of saying, this is painless, say, this is comfortable.

Instead of expensive, say economical.

That’s it. Hope this helps.

Life’s a Ladder

Crown’s atop
Bottom’s somber

Each step an action
Dictated by decision

Sometimes a step up
Sometimes a step down

Check you compass
Correct your course

Regardless of what’s going on
Keep on keeping on

I wrote this poem, back on May 23, 2019. Driving to work, I noticed a truck with ladder mounted on it. That ladder inspired this poem.

8 Rules for a Healthy, Happy & Long Life

These 8 rules have been observed and created over a period of years (maybe a decade or so). I expect the list to grow, as I learn more, and grow myself. For now, there are eight rules for a healthy, happy and long life.

They are:

  1. Eat with someone else whenever possible, as opposed to eating alone.
  2. Plate should have – 50-60% vegetables, 30-40% proteins and rest whatever.
  3. Hydrate Well – 8 to 10 8-oz glasses of water.
  4. Exercise moderately for 30-45 minutes 5 times a week.
  5. Spend time in nature, out in the open.
  6. Have positive interactions with friends and family on a regular basis.
  7. Make a lot of money so you don’t have to worry about it.
  8. Spend time on your passions.

Eat with someone else whenever possible, as opposed to eating alone.

We are social animals. We need interaction with others. It’s a core human need. Complete isolation is what they do in prison when they really want to punish you.

Therefore, I suggest you eat all your meals with someone else. If you’re at home, find your spouse, partner or child to eat with. When you’re out, invite friends. When you’re at the food court at the mall, walk up to some stranger who is eating alone and ask if you can share the table with them.

Why eat with someone else? Well, isn’t breaking bread together one of the best ways to connect with someone?

Plate should have – 50-60% vegetables, 30-40% proteins and rest whatever.

When you fill your plate with vegetables and protein (preferably plant-based), your body will thank you.

I’d recommend you read two books The China Study, and Younger Next Year. Both of these should be available for rent at your local library.

Hydrate Well – 8 to 10 8-oz glasses of water.

Hydration is a cure to many ailments. Drink plenty of water everyday and watch your body, mind and spirit transform in amazing ways (especially if continued for extended period of time).

I highly recommend you make this a life-long habit. Matter of fact, all of the eight rules suggested here should be life-long habits.

Exercise moderately for 30-45 minutes 5 times a week.

Exercising keeps your mind sharp, and your body strong, balanced and agile. Experiment with different forms of exercises. Build your own exercise program.

I train hard 3-4 days a week, and I train easy for another 2-3 days a week. Important thing about exercising is consistency. Show up everyday. Workout everyday.

Spend time in nature, out in the open.

Spending time outside of the house, out in the open is an amazing way to spend you free time. Spend it with a friend, spouse, partner or child if possible.

Doesn’t matter how you do it, as long as you do it. If you can’t get out for long walks every day, spend little time outside. But, get out of your house.

Have positive interactions with friends and family on a regular basis.

Memories are what live on long after we’re gone. The rest is immaterial. Spend time with people you love, and those who love you.

Life is nothing but a collection of moments. And when you spend those moments with people you love, you turn them into memories. Those memories eventually become stories that continue living longer after we stop living.

Make a lot of money early on in life, so you don’t have to worry about it.

Most people spend their entire life trying to make money. Don’t do this. Figure out how to make a lot of money early on, so you can spend the rest of your life on your passions, having happy interactions with others, and change the world.

Spend time on your passions.

Our passions make us happy. More time we spend pursuing them, happier we become.

Daily Exercise Routine

Exercising Daily is one of the best things you can do for yourself, and for your loved ones. Today, I am sharing my quick 10-minute daily exercise routine.

  • 100 Jumping Jacks
  • 35 Russian Twists
  • 50 crunches
  • 20 Push-ups
  • 100-seconds horse stance
  • 20 alternating high knees
  • 20 dragon lunges with each leg
  • 50 bicycles each leg
  • 1-minute heavy dumbbell holds in both hands x 3
  • Stretching
    • Forward facing Split – 10 counts X 5
    • Touch left toe with right hand in split – 10 counts X 5
    • Touch right toe with left hand in split – 10 counts X 5
    • Butterfly stretch with knees to ground – 10 counts X 5
  • Lay down in complete rest position – 1 minute

Do you exercise everyday? What do you do? If not, why don’t you exercise?

Size of your happiness is equal to the size of the problem that frustrates you

You order a coffee. While handing you the coffee, the barista accidentally drops the cup. Coffee spills.

What do you do?

You order food at a restaurant. It tastes horrible.

What do you do?

You’re running late to an important meeting on the 5th floor. The elevator is full, and you’re not in it.

What do you do?

In each of these situations, you have a choice. Frustration or calm.

Each of these are a whirlpool. If you choose to get frustrated, you’ll get sucked into the frustration whirlpool and you’ll continue encountering things that will frustrate you further.

Should you choose calm, frustrating things will stop happening to you. Because calm is also a whirlpool.

You cannot control the situation. You only control your response to the situation. Frustration comes when we react to a situation. Respond. Don’t react. That response determines the level of your happiness.

When small things frustrate you, you are frustrated often. As a result, the size of your happiness is small.

When you stop getting frustrated by small things, your happiness automatically increases.

Reaction is automatic. It’s also unhealthy. Learning to respond is a way of life. It comes with practice. Deliberate practice at the beginning. Eventually, it becomes an unconscious habit.

When my children get angry or frustrated with something, I remind them to ask two questions:

  • Is this problem small or big?
  • Is this problem temporary or permanent?

Mind you, it doesn’t always work because they’re kids. But when it does, the situation is resolved within seconds. Ideas is to get them to think for a second so they can respond instead of react.

If the problem is temporary (regardless of the size of it), ignore it, or quickly solve it. The barista can always make new coffee. Chef can always cook new food, and empty elevator is just a minute away.

Point is … Unless the problem is big and permanent, there is no need to worry or get frustrated about. Even then most likely, there is a way for you to handle it.

The size of your happiness depends on you. No one else. Are you going to respond or react? Are you going to choose calm or frustration?

The Beggar on the Street

Beggar on the street, I paid no heed.
Walked my merry way, thinking of my day.

Her smile I missed, request I dismissed.
Day was busy, end came hasty.

Beggar on the street, I paid slight heed.
Still she sat, a captivating sight.

I asked her the reason, it was simply life’s season.
Money was not her need, work it was indeed.

Respect is what she earned, work is what I offered.
Beggar on the street, no longer exists.

By the way, this is not a real story. Just a poetry, I wrote this back on January 24, 2020.

Six Asset Classes to Cultivate for Success

Money is what usually comes to mind when we think of assets. It’s not the only asset class though.

I believe there are six asset classes. They are:

  • Knowledge
  • Experience
  • Time
  • Health
  • Money
  • Relationships

These are not listed in any order of importance or priority. If I had to choose the most important of these assets, I’d go with Health. Time would be next.

Better health and longer time horizon can give me a much better chance of acquiring the other four assets.

Money is usually a by-product of the other assets, especially knowledge, experience and relationships. But, you can also use money to develop your other assets.

Knowledge is available widely these days, usually for free as long as you have the time and desire to pursue it.

Experience can be easily gained too. All you have to do is offer to do “it” for free, or for a testimonial. That reminds me. Anytime you get a testimonial for your work, ask for these five bullet points.

  • What work did I do for you?
  • How did you find me?
  • Why did you choose me to do the work over other people / candidates?
  • As a result of my work, what changed in your life / business?
  • How likely are you to work with me again, and who would you refer me to?

Time is the only limited asset we have. And, it decreases as we get older. It is also the most unpredictable asset. I’ve had people in my family die in their 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s and 70s. And, there are also people in my family who are 90+.

It is important that we use the time we have today, wisely. It is important that we focus on activities that make a lasting difference, bring us long term happiness. It is important that we don’t squander time with meaningless activities or things that won’t matter soon after we do them.

Health is by far the most important asset in my opinion. It takes a time, discipline and knowledge to build a body with sound health. By the way, you body can communicate with you and tell you what it requires. Listen to it closely. Experiment when possible, and strengthen it.

When it comes to health, I have my own SEEDS Wellness formula. It’s a simple formula that works extremely well for me.

  • Sleep well
  • Eat well
  • Exercise well
  • Drink well
  • Socialize well

When you focus on doing these five things well, you will automatically develop a healthy body, mind and soul.

Relationships is by far the toughest asset for me to cultivate. I unfortunately can’t give you much in terms of advice here. But, I do know they are very important in building a fulfilling life.

So … what are your thoughts on assets? Can you think of other assets one can cultivate? Or, are most other assets simply a subset of the ones listed above?

Also … got any advice on relationships?

How do you decide who to vote for?

The 2020 election is called historic. Anytime a president is elected, it’s a historic moment. This election did have the largest number of voter turnout in the United States. According to Bloomberg, at least 161 million Americans voted in the 2020 election, the largest number of voters in a U.S. presidential election in history.

Most people these days align themselves with the “party” rather than understand what each candidate stands for. I don’t like that. Neither do I align myself with a party. For, I perceive that to be the stupidest thing to do – vote for somebody just because they are a candidate of a certain party. Stupidest thing ever.

I voted for democrats as well as republicans this past election, and every other election.

The natural question you may ask is, how do I choose who to vote for?

I have five distinct criteria. Equal weight of 20 points is assigned to each criterion, totaling to 100 points. They are:

  • Is the candidate qualified?
  • Is the candidate experienced?
  • How do my personal values align with the candidate’s values?
  • How would I rate the candidate’s character?
  • How would I rate the candidate’s integrity?

I didn’t always have these criteria. I built them over time. I only had the first two in 2008, added the third in 2012, and added the last two in 2016. I assume they will be modified in the future, as I grow as an individual myself.

Here’s a fun statistic: Every presidential candidate I have voted for since 2008 has lost the election. The only exception is 2020. Joe Biden won the election.

The only power I have is the power to vote when it comes to Politics. Beyond that, I don’t concern myself with who won, who lost, what happens next, etc. All that is irrelevant. I simply go about my business until the next election cycle.

When it arrives, I do my research on each candidate, rate them using the criteria above, and put my vote in. And then again, I forget all about it.

Point is … focus on the things you can control. Don’t concern yourself with the things you don’t have any control over.

When Donald Trump was elected president, many people became angry and violent. They held protests of all kinds – violent and non-violent. I do not understand how protesting helps. One day, I might. But, as of today, I don’t.

Anyways, what I really want to know is … how do you decide who to vote for?

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