And why read me?

Why read me?

Because you will feel better, I guarantee it.

Positive words, good thoughts, dot connections that bring out the chuckle inside you — when you are done reading.

P.S. These words are also records for my young daughters to read someday. Words hidden in plain sight.

Karthik Rajan is the author of the “connect the dots” short story-letter, available at this link.

My All Time Most Viewed Stories

  1. How to Be Ridiculously Likable (This Really Works)
  2. Dopamine and Words — The Intimate Connection to Happiness
  3. What It’s Like to Use Beautiful Words, According to Science
  4. What Makes a Ridiculously Awesome Life…


What is your measure for happiness?

“Let us make up our own game,” I shared with my 7-year-old. She was equally animated.

The tiles on the floor gave me an idea. The game was simple (see picture above) — speak aloud a positive word and jump forward.

And the words trickled — good, excellent, fabulous, delighted and more. As we crossed each other, we turned 180 degrees and continued by jumping backwards facing each other. We played the game, back and forth, for a couple of rounds.

Soon, positive words were in short supply and so, we switched to “something…


5 words, That’s it

I am a collector of hidden treasures in plain sight. Words — simple, ordinary words — used slightly differently can uplift our conversations.

1. Something vs. Anything: What I learned from Doctor’s language.

Prof. John Heritage of University of California, Los Angles studied how patients responded to a simple follow-up question, “is there anything else we need to take care of today?” To compare the results, one set of doctors used a small twist, “is there something else we need to take care of today?”

The something option provided statistically significant increase of reporting concerns. You are welcome to dwell into the technical details of the research here.

I discovered…


Blogging | Writing | Marketing

7 year hindsight is a wonderful thing to crystallize what really works

Photo by Sidekix Media

I have been blogging for 7+ years. I have more than my share of viral moments. I have a truth to share — I have not figured out, a priori, what blogs work viral magic.

However, when it happens, things are in my hands. My motto for those moments — maximize the celebrations through interactions.

Here are my 5 things.

1. Add your blog to your own publication — not someone else.

This may be the most contrarian advice you hear. But it works for me. Every writer aspires for his work to be read. The geek in me is always discovering better hypothesis to test. Here is one that works.

Start…


Parenting | Inspiration | Life Lessons

I don’t know but I am willing to listen to your why.

Photo by Emily Morter

Something was amiss.

One Sunday, four years ago, my family visited one of our frequented restaurants. At 4 PM, we were the only ones at that odd hour. The hostess, also the owner of the restaurant, led us to our seats. My wife and I sensed that she was not in her elements. Pensive would be an apt word.

All through my time at the table eating tiffin (light meal), I was wondering — did we do something wrong during our previous trips? She was at the other end of the room. …


Their boss resisted but gave in to the company pressure to fire them as they violated ‘radical’ transparency policy. The internet is ablaze.

Photo by Thibault Penin on Unsplash

My mom is visiting. We were taking a walk. I shared with her the day news that set the internet chatter ablaze : Netflix fired three senior film marketing executives for venting on slack.

She didn’t seem interested. I asked her why. She said, there is only one winner in a gossip/ hearsay. The smart one who listens and figures out about the person who is gossiping — “if they say this about others, what would they say behind my back!”

One way to interpret her statement — it takes two hands to clap.

Is complaining about your colleagues a fire-able offense? Netflix says yes because it’s against their ethos.

Hollywood Reporter reported that the trio…


Does this even matter? Apparently yes, by a long shot.

Photo by Marc Schaefer on Unsplash

In 1992, Ann Landers, a popular advice columnist, complained vocally — I got more letters on the toilet paper issue than on Persian gulf war that was ravaging at that time.

Her cardinal mistake — in 1986, she was asked about her opinion on the subject on which way a person should position the toilet paper when replacing a finished roll. She replied “under.” Her assertion was so controversial that it generated a record-breaking 15,000 letters in response.

People have strong feelings about toilet paper orientation. This rollover issue has an extensive Wikipedia entry, viral videos and record-breaking outcries.

What research shows about how to orient toilet paper

The…


And my aha story on what matters

Photo by Mateus Campos Felipe

Couple of years ago, I visited India for a wedding, an elderly woman in her late 80’s or early 90’s was seated in the front row with a vantage view of the proceedings. As I was walking by, she gently clasped my hands. I bent over to hear her words, she pointed to something and asked me — “what is that stick, looks like my walking stick?” I looked up to trace her view , “ha, that one, it is called the selfie stick — to take your own photos.”

Selfie Sticks in India: Pursuit of Happiness across Generations

She gave it a deep thought and said, why is…


It all starts in childhood.

Photo by S O C I A L . C U T

Have you wondered what drives civilizations and why people are afraid to die? Philosopher Stephen Cave has.

In his book, Immortality: The Quest to Live Forever and How It Drives Civilization, delves into 4 stories we hear or experience — as early as childhood.

1. The Elixir Story

“… in every culture in human history there is some story of an elixir of life or a fountain of youth that promises we can live forever. But actually if we look back through history, the one thing that all elixir drinkers have in common is they’re all now 6-foot under.”

2. The Resurrection Story

“It accepts that I’m going…


It was against every belief I had about a successful blog

Photo by Designecologist from Pexels

You press the publish button on what you think would be interesting for others. You sit. You wait. You tap your fingers in anticipation. All you hear is crickets.

Sometimes, you do the exact opposite and it goes viral. That’s my recent story.

First my belief system.

I broke my Mom’s only request when I started to blog

The month was August, the year 2014. I saw a small icon show up on my LinkedIn profile. It was an icon for a pen — an icon that gave me the gateway to pepper the digital space. …

Karthik Rajan

Stories to fuel your mind. Theme: life’s hidden treasures in plain sight. Goal: Warm tone, solid content, crisp stories. About me: one google search away.

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