How not to procrastinate

Photo by Stephanie LeBlanc on Unsplash

I was terrified of my grade 12 final state exams. I felt that my entire future depended on that one result: if I did well I would be set for Medical School, if not my life would take a different course.

Looking back, what I did to get ready for the exam makes little sense. During the preparatory break for the exams, I kept postponing studying the one thing that was definitely expected to be tested: the diagram of a frog’s arterial system.

I convinced myself that I wanted to get “all other” topics out of the way first and…

How paying conscious attention to our thoughts, motives, and actions can propel us into happiness

All images created by author

One day, I was talking to a close friend who said something that caught me off guard: “These days, you’re usually very negative.” I paused. I didn’t think of myself as a pessimistic person. In fact, I had just recently started posting uplifting thoughts on Instagram. I viewed myself as an optimist at the core, and I really wanted to share some of my positivity with friends and family.

I tried to brush my friend’s comment off as a superfluous one. My self-perception was so different from her comment that I wanted to prove her wrong. I figured I would…

And how to develop it

Photo by Blake Cheek on Unsplash

A sixth grader fell hard against the concrete while running to recess. Blood rushed from his knee and he started crying in pain. A student standing right next to him looked away, coolly nibbling on his apple as if nothing had happened. Another child ran from across the schoolyard to help him.

What is the root cause of the difference in people’s reactions to someone in need? Why are some more perceptive about another’s needs and wants while others may be oblivious? Why do some have empathy?

Empathy is a hidden quality that is the cornerstone of strong relationships.


Fight the feeling of getting overwhelmed by using targeted self-talk.

A sapling growing through rock crevices.
A sapling growing through rock crevices.
Photo by author

“If you want results, give the new, hard task to the busiest person on the team.” This is an intriguing thought that has stuck with me for a very long time, especially since it sounds so counterintuitive.

If you need to get something important done, why would you give it to somebody who is already very busy? Wouldn’t it be better to instead give it to a person who has a lot less on their plate?

Interestingly, over time, I’ve often seen this play out in action. I think this is so because some of the “busiest” people actually have…

Tips for saving storage space in Google Photos

I have been using Google Photos for the last five years mainly because of the free storage and AI search capabilities. It is a tool I have relied on to store my family’s most precious memories and share important moments with friends, so when I received an email from Google on November 11, 2020, announcing that the free run will end on June 1, 2021, I was sorely disappointed.

Photos had become the home for what I wanted to remember and preserve. …

How to stop spinning your wheels and reach your goal faster.

Have you ever put in lots of effort towards your goal and realized that it seems to be moving further away?

A ladder against a rugged hill.
A ladder against a rugged hill.
A quick ladder can get you to your target faster (Image by Robert R. from Unsplash)

Many times I have sat up past midnight, spending all my emotional energy and time on a task, without making progress.

I did not realize that the biggest chunk of my time went into frolicking around the task or tinkering at it, as I shied away from tackling the core. I then carried around me an air of disappointment as if I had been wronged.

I allowed my…

On Raising Teenagers

Raising children is complicated. There are no universal principles like Newton’s laws of motion that work for action and reaction in relationships. One child may respond positively to something while another may not.

I am not a great parent (as my children will happily and readily confirm), and here are a few thoughts that over the years have helped me “damage” my kids. Better late than never!

#1 Drown your Message in Self-Created Noise

Keep reminding your child of what you have already said to them N number of times. Let your meaningful message get lost in your self-created noise. Drown them in, “I…

A poster in red and purple showing the four key differences between a happy and an unhappy attitude.
A poster in red and purple showing the four key differences between a happy and an unhappy attitude.
Image by Primal Dhillon

Happiness is an attitude. It is up to you to either nurture your happy thought process and make it dominant or let the unhappy part of you take over your life.

It is easy to train our thought process to follow four pillars that create and sustain joy.


For me, the most important difference between being happy and unhappy depends on the extent to which I think about and am grateful for what I already have. Once the base state of mind is positive it is much easier to deal with worries and disappointments. My happy self keeps reminding…

The art of intentional thinking

A feather being released by a hand into a water body surrounded by mountains.
A feather being released by a hand into a water body surrounded by mountains.
Photo by Paul Gilmore on Unsplash

Our world is in our minds.

And, we have the power to make it either a beautiful place or a miserable place.

When we are having a rough day, it’s important to remember that, some things are going to make us sad or upset, but how long we dwell on them and how much we let them get to us depends, many times, on us.

Whatever we talk to ourselves about, becomes our narrative.

The thoughts that bring us down grow like snowballs. The longer we roll them in misery the bigger they get. Eventually…

Strategies for success

Shoes and legs of two people are visible with text printed on floor “Passion Led Us Here”
Shoes and legs of two people are visible with text printed on floor “Passion Led Us Here”
Photo by Ian Schneider on Unsplash

While working with parents of middle school children I realized that most parents wanted their children to be self-driven and goal-oriented. However, their parenting styles commonly fell into two extremes: some went into an overdrive of authority, while others were laissez-faire. Parents often found it hard to straddle the fine line between instilling structure and inculcating independence.

Many times we perpetuate what we learned from our parents. My parents were very function-oriented. …

Primal Dhillon

Educator, Assistant Principal, #New York City, #education #parenting #growth #innovation #edtech #empower #happiness, views my own

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