Have You Found Your ‘Ikigai’ ?!

We all know that Japanese culture holds its own uniqueness and specialties. However, a book named, ‘Ikigai – The Japanese Secret to a Long & Happy Life’, based on a Japanese concept called ‘Ikigai’, which was originally published in 2016, has been getting a lot of social media attention of late. It was, in fact, one of the best seller books on Amazon, during the lockdown period when there was a spike in depression and anxiety due to the pandemic. Ikigai is a Japanese word composed of the characters ‘iki’ meaning "life” and ‘kai’ which translates as “result” or “meaning”. The best translation of the word into English is probably “the reason you get out of bed each morning”. Everyone, according to Japanese, has an Ikigai. Finding it often requires a deep search of self which includes a reflection on the tiniest details of your life. It’s a cross between a state of mind, an approach to personal self-development and the art of living within a community. Today, let’s have a look at a few beautiful and enriching dimensions of Ikigai.

What We Dwell On Is What We Become

The world is right now celebrating the win of Joe Biden, the 46th President of The United States and Kamala Harris, the first woman Vice President of the US. This was a much-awaited moment and today, we are taking you through the fabulous journey of Kamala Harris, the Woman of the Hour, from an Indian-origin Senator to the first black woman to be appointed as the Vice President of The United States.
Known as the “Female Obama”, first time Senator Kamala Harris has scripted history by becoming first woman, Black and Indian-American Vice President of the United States. Harris is known for many firsts. She has been a county district attorney; the district attorney for San Francisco—the first woman and first African-American and Indian-origin to be elected to the position. She now has several firsts in her role as vice president also: the first woman, the first African-American woman, the first Indian-American and the first Asian-American.
Harris was born to two immigrant parents: a black father and an Indian mother. Her father was from Jamaica and her mother, a cancer researcher and civil rights activist from Chennai. She, however, defines herself simply as ‘American’. After her parents divorced, Harris was raised primarily by her Hindu single mother. She says that her mother adopted black culture and immersed her two daughters in it.
My mother understood very well that she was raising two black daughters,” she wrote in her autobiography The Truths We Hold. “She knew that her adopted homeland would see me and my sister as black girls and she was determined to make sure we would grow into confident, proud black women.” 
Kamal once told during a lecture at Spelman College, “My mother would look at me and she’d say, ‘Kamala, you may be the first to do many things, but make sure you are not the last’. That’s why breaking those barriers is worth it. As much as anything else, it is also to create that path for those who will come after us.”
All of us have our limiting factors that holds us back. It may be our own mindset, societal frames, the unwritten rules set by earlier generations, the deep mind conditioning of people that prevails over the years and many more. But the ones who have complied to all this have never really made an impact.
What we dwell on is what we become. If you want something that you have never had, you should be willing to do something that you have never done.

Don’t Sleepwalk Through Your Life

Nathaniel Branden, a Canadian – American psychotherapist once said, “The first step towards change is awareness.” What life-long goals and dreams do you have for your life, career, health, relationships, wealth, and spirituality? Are you actively pursuing them? Or are you keeping them stashed at the back of your mind?
Most people live their life in an unconscious state. Being conscious is not about being physically awake. Many people are physically awake yet living unconsciously. They are not fully aware of who they are, the larger context of life they are a part of, and their real purpose in life. Life runs on autopilot for them, repeating the same things daily with no conscious control over them. They live through the weekdays, looking forward to Fridays and weekends, where they recharge themselves for yet another familiar routine week ahead. Living on autopilot disengages us from both our present and future.
Imagine you just drove home from work. You step out of your car, and if someone ask you how the trip was, you probably won’t remember how many times you switched lanes or stopped at a traffic light, right? But you got home safe regardless. Our brains have developed an unconscious decision-making system so we can take care of routine tasks. It prevents us from overloading. However, modern life has hijacked our lives. The mechanism that is supposed to protect us is disengaging us from living.
There is a beautiful zen story that goes like this. A man is riding a horse that is galloping very quickly. He seems to be in a hurry?—?probably heading to an important place. “Where are you going?” a man yell at him. “I don’t know. Ask the horse,” the rider replies. Sometimes, life feels like a horse we cannot control. We don’t know where we are heading or why. We are just running from one place to another, as this Zen parable captures. Autopilot is becoming the default operating mode?for many of us;?we are sleepwalking into our choices.
There is a mind exercise that Mr. Gustavo Ruzzetti, an author, speaker and consultant, once conducted to help people reconnect with their life’s purpose. It is called the “future-self meditation.” Participants were asked to ‘travel’ to the future, in their imagination, to visit themselves 1, 3, 5, and 10 years respectively, from now. The goal was to help them visualize their dreams and wishes. Each visit, at a different point in time, helps people visualize the progression but, most importantly, to understand how they overcame their fears and constraints. But to his surprise, most people found it hard to project their future; they are so disconnected from the present that they can’t dream. Living on autopilot makes us lean towards the most comfortable thinking mode.
Walt Disney used to have a series of rooms to help him and his team brainstorm their best ideas. The first one was the Dream Room, where all ideas were possible, and no evaluation took place. Pure fantasy was encouraged, no matter how fantastic or absurd. The second room was the Realist Room, where Walt and his team planned how to put the ideas into place. Lastly, there was the Critic Room. This is where they’d look for problems and openly criticize. They’d think of what could go wrong, how they could prevent problems, and what the project might cost. Walt’s system encouraged people to dream, but also to plan so they could achieve their wildest fantasy.
Most of the people, who sleepwalk through their life are actually stuck in the Critic Room. They get the flicker of a good idea, but before they can flesh it out and establish how it might work, they would have shot it down in flames themselves. It’s too hard, or too expensive, or too difficult. Or just too scary. They jump straight into criticizing things they haven’t had the opportunity to plan. They just don’t dare to dream.
Every day you choose how you live your life, whether you’re conscious of it or not. So, don’t just sleepwalk through your life. Choose to live an amazing and meaningful life!

Never Stop Learning

Tom, a wood cutter, once approached a timber company for a job and fortunately he got the opportunity.  The pay was very good and so were the work conditions and for that reason Tom was determined to do his very best.
The owner gave Tom an axe and showed him the work area. The first day he cut down 18 trees. His boss was extremely impressed and said, “Well done. Keep it up. You are our best wood-cutter yet.” Motivated by his boss’s words, he tried even harder the next day, but he only cut down 15 trees. The third day he tried even harder but only cut down 10 trees.
Day after day he cut down fewer and fewer trees. His boss came to him and told him that if he did not chop down more trees each day, he would lose his job. Tom needed the job, so he tried harder and harder. He worked during his lunch breaks and tea breaks, but still he could not cut down enough trees. “I must be losing my strength” he thought to himself. He worked over-time, but still it was not enough.
Eventually his boss came to him and told him he was fired. Tom was really upset, but he knew that he had worked as hard as he could and just did not have enough time to chop more trees. He sadly handed his axe back.
The boss took one look at the axe and asked, “When was the last time you sharpened your axe?”
“Sharpen my axe?” Tom replied, “I have never sharpened my axe. I have been too busy trying to cut down enough trees.”
This story throws light on one of the most important aspects of living a meaningful life and that is, continual learning! ‘Sharpening the axe’ refers to increasing your personal and professional productivity, by having a balanced strategy to renew yourself in the physical, social, mental, and spiritual aspects of your life.
We often overwork ourselves amidst the overwhelming tasks at hand. As a result, we feel drained, exhausted and our productivity declines. Repeating the same things over and over won’t yield different results. If we want better results, we need to learn better ways.
Learning is not just the education that you receive at school and college. Every experience in life is an opportunity to learn something. Reading a new book, picking up a new hobby, overcoming a fear, asking for feedbacks, learning from experts – there are numerous ways of learning and acquiring new skills.
Abraham Lincoln, regarded as one of the most important presidents in American history, once told, “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.”  The business tycoon and the chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, Mr. Warren Buffet credits his great money decisions to his voracious reading habit. In fact, when Warren Buffett was once asked about the key to success, he pointed to a stack of nearby books and said, “Read 500 pages like this every day. That’s how knowledge works. It builds up, like compound interest. All of you can do it, but I guarantee not many of you will do it.”
Learn continually – there is always ‘one more thing’ to learn. Henry Ford, once told, “Anyone who stops learning is old, whether they are twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps on learning not only remains young but becomes constantly valuable.”
Learning is a treasure that follow its owner everywhere. And, the most beautiful thing about learning is that no one can take it away from you. An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.

Time is Precious

Imagine you had a bank account that deposited 86,400 INR each morning. The account carries over no balance from day to day, allows you to keep no cash balance, and every evening cancels whatever part of the amount you had failed to use during the day. What would you do? Draw out every dollar each day! Right?!
We all have such a bank. Its name is ‘Time’. Every morning, it credits you with 86,400 seconds. Every night it writes off, as lost, whatever time you have failed to use wisely. It carries over no balance from day to day. It allows no overdraft so you can’t borrow against yourself or use more time than you have. Each day, the account starts fresh. Each night, it destroys an unused time. If you fail to use the day’s deposits, it’s your loss and you can’t appeal to get it back. There is never any borrowing time. You can’t take a loan out on your time or against someone else’s. It is yours to decide how you spend the time, just as you decide how to spend the money. It is never the case of us not having enough time to do things, but the case of whether we want to do them and where they fall in our priorities.
When Benjamin Franklin was the President of USA, he was working consistently but people were complaining that he was not doing this and that, he was not meeting them, etc. He got fed up with this, so he started noting down and observing himself. He made a diary and he wrote a list of worth doing tasks, less important tasks, least important tasks, and avoidable tasks and he tick-marked the finished tasks daily. After a week, he perceived, he had been working on less important and avoidable tasks more than the worth doing tasks. In his 1748 essay, “Advice to a Young Tradesman”, he wrote down a phrase, “Remember that time is money”. This went on to become so popular that there is barely anyone who has not heard about it.
Marc Levy, a French Novelist once said,” If you want to know the value of one minute, ask the person who just missed the bus. If you want to know the value of one second, ask the person who just narrowly escaped death in a car accident. And if you want to know the value of one-hundredth of a second, ask the athlete who missed the gold medal in the Olympics.”
The right time is ANY time that one is still so lucky as to have. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us. Time is precious!

Don’t Sweat The Small Things

Captain Raghu Raman is one of the public figures in India, who possibly has one of the most unique career profiles spanning over 25 years. He spent eleven years as an officer in the Indian Armed Forces, followed by another eleven years in the corporate sector before joining the Government as CEO of the National Intelligence Grid. In one of his talks, at Lucknow in 2017, Captain Raghu spoke about the lessons he learnt from his time in the army and how they have helped him at every step in his career and any problem he has faced in his life. From leading troops at the famed Siachen Glacier to leading a tech start-up and other big corporates like Reliance, Mahindra, NATGRID amongst others - the army played a very influential role in shaping Captain Raghu to become the man he is today.
This incident happened during Mr. Raghu’s induction to the Indian Army. So, in the Indian military academy you have three terms. As narrated by Mr. Ragu, “The third termers are known as the kings. The second termers are the princes. And the third termers are treated way below than these two.”
On the first day of their official class, which was a few days after they came to the camp, the instructor came and checked on all first termers and asked them if they had any problems in the camp so far. So, Mr. Raghu, being a union leader and all back at his college and in the fervor of a leader, raised his hand to react against a thing which he found irritating. He said, “In the morning when we wake up and go to get our tea and biscuits, we find that the third and second termers have taken everything. Though they are only supposed to take only two biscuits they are taking five or six and we are left with nothing.” The instructor listened to him carefully and said “Is it?! Okay. We will take care of it.” And Mr. Raghu felt a sense of self – satisfaction that he has brought up a major issue and now the senior army brats will learn a lesson.
That day evening, the instructor visited their platoon. When an instructor directly comes to a platoon during off-working hours, its often for something serious. So, the whole unit started wondering what had happened. The instructor then called all the third termers out and lined them up. After that he literally made that evening hell for them by making them do intense front rolls, back rolls, pushups and lot more.  At the end, some of them even started bleeding in their knees and elbows. After all this, the instructor told the third termers, “This is a punishment for you for not training your first termers properly. Today morning they were sitting and whining about little biscuits! Is this how you are molding your juniors? Pathetic!”
That’s when Mr. Raghu realized what was actually going on. After this session, the instructor left. So, the third termers called all second termers because the third termers don’t talk directly to first termers in the camp. And then, they made the second termers do everything that the instructor made them to do. And by this time, it was already three o’ clock in the morning.  And then finally, the second termers lined up all the first termers and arranged for the balance tea from last day and asked all of them to have it. Once they had it, they made them do the intense exercises till around five o’ clock in the morning that they barely had time to freshen up before their actual morning session in the camp started.
Mr. Ragu, in his speech, told that this experience taught him one of the biggest lessons of life. And that is, ‘Don’t sweat the small things.’
It’s the little things that drive us insane day after day—traffic congestion, awful service at a restaurant, a small argument, a negative comment etc. It’s all too easy to get caught up in the many irritations of life and more than often, we overdramatize and overreact to it. This creates stress, which makes us feel disoriented and makes the problems more difficult to deal with. Don’t let a bad moment ruin your whole day or week or more. It’s just bad five minutes and nothing more. So deal with it and move on.
Often, it’s not the mountains ahead that wears you out, it’s the little pebble in your shoe. Don’t sweat the small things. Focus on the bigger picture.

Feel The Fear & Do It Anyways

There is a beautiful short story in one of the best seller self-improvement books, ‘How to be Happy, Dammit’, written by Karen Salmonsohn. There once was this criminal who was sent to the king for his punishment. The king told him he had a choice of two punishments. He could be hung by a rope. Or take what’s behind the big, dark, scary, mysterious iron door. The criminal quickly decided on the rope. As the noose was being slipped on him, he turned to the king and asked, “Your Majesty, I am asking this out of curiosity. What’s behind that door?” The king laughed and said, “You know, it’s funny, I offer everyone the same choice, and nearly everyone picks the rope.”
“So,” said the criminal, “Tell me. What’s behind the door? I mean, obviously, I won’t tell anyone,” he said, pointing to the noose around his neck. The king paused then answered, “Freedom! But it seems most people are so afraid of the unknown that they immediately take the rope.”
This story offers a powerful reminder about the dangers of clinging to the familiar. Unfortunately, too many of us live our lives choosing the familiarity of our rope: familiar pain, familiar struggle, familiar patterns.
Alan Watts, the British writer, said it well when he said: “Our lives are one long effort to resist the unknown.” But if you want to live your best life, you must embrace the freedom of picking new choices for being and doing.
So, make the decision to finally take off those ropes that bind you – and blind you. If you keep doing what you’re always doing, you’ll keep getting what you’re always getting. Opening doors to the unknown is the only way to ensure you’re headed towards new opportunities, freedom, growth, and greater joy.
As Les Brown, an American motivational speaker once said, “Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears.” There is no illusion greater than fear. And the only way to escape fear is to go through it, not around it.
Courage is not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not the one who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.

The Magic of a Genuine Apology

Gaur Gopal Das is one of the most popular lifestyle coaches and a motivational speaker, who is part of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON). Once during one of his speeches, he shared a very touching story from his own life.
In 2009 Mr. Gaur Gopal’s father passed away. His father was a patient of Parkinson’s disease. Mr. Gopal got a call from his mother suddenly one morning saying that his father is no more. Hearing this news, a plethora of memories flashed through his mind. While he was studying in university, Mr. Gopal didn’t speak a single word to his father for two years because they had some major differences of opinions. After he returned from the university, his father made the first move to sort things out between them. His father tried to convince him and almost begged him, crying, to speak to him. But Mr. Gopal ignored that request. His mother said, “Son, he is your Dad. Don’t do that to him, please.” And just because his mother told, he started speaking to his father. Within a few weeks after that, Mr. Gopal left to the monastery to become a monk. He joined monastery in the year 1996. Since then, once every year he used to visit his parents and every single time he wanted to say, “Sorry Dad, I am sorry for not talking to you for two years and putting you through that pain. I shouldn’t have done that to you.” But he just couldn’t say it because of his ego. Over the years, his father had grown extremely appreciative of his work, was very proud of him and always used to ask recordings of his talks and speeches. Though their relationship was fine, Mr. Gopal never apologized to his father because every time he thought of doing so, his ego stood in between.
After hearing about his father’s demise, in 2009, he went for the funeral. At the funeral, he put his head at his dad’s feet for the one final time, cried and said in his mind, “Dad, I am sorry. I shouldn’t have done that to you.”
Just imagine, what if he could do this while his father was still alive. It would have not just strengthened their bond but would also have paved way to healing and forgiveness. It would have given him a deeper and more meaningful relationship with his father.
Tomorrow is not promised to any of us. And hence, you should never take a chance of to mess up with the most amazing experiences of love and care, just because something happened. A genuine apology offered and accepted is one of the most profound interactions ever. It also takes enormous humility to take the blame and offer a genuine apology. An apology cannot undo what has been done, but it can help ease the pain and tension of the aftermath. It gives hope for rebuilding and puts value on the relationship rather than the individual’s pride.
When you say sorry, that doesn’t mean you are wrong. It just means that you value the person and the relationship more than being right !

Respect The Differences

In this world, every individual will have their own ideologies and opinions. And hence, more than often, we might have difference of opinion with people regarding different things. But how do we deal with it?! Before reflecting on it deeper, let’s take a look at a small story from Indian politics.
Jawaharlal Nehru and Atal Bihari Vajpayee are two of the most important names in the history of Indian politics. Despite being from extremely different ideologies and opposing parties, they both shared a very special connection. When Vajpayee entered the Lok Sabha for the first time in 1957 as a young Jana Sangh MP, Nehru observed him quietly from the treasury benches, noting his fiery orator skills. One day, while introducing Vajpayee to a visiting foreign dignitary, the then Prime Minister, Nehru, surprised the young MP by saying, “This man will become prime minister one day.” It was an awesome compliment from someone who dominated the political landscape with his towering personality. It was also a tribute to the strength of our liberal democratic tradition that a Congress PM could appreciate an opposition leader from a party with a wholly different political ideology. Vajpayee never forgot the gesture and perhaps even subconsciously imbibed a lesson from the encounter.
Atal Bihari Vajpayee once shared an anecdote in a speech in Parliament, “A portrait of Nehru used to be there in the South Block. I would see it whenever I passed by. At that time, I was new, and would sit back in the Parliament House, sometimes to get an opportunity to speak. Then I made a place for myself and moved ahead. And, when I became the foreign minister, I saw that the portrait was missing from the gallery. I then asked where did it (portrait) go? I got no reply. But the very next day I had the portrait restored.”
In his speech, Vajpayee then asked if people respected such sentiments anymore. He went on to say, “It is not that there was no difference of opinion between us. And, it would surface seriously during discussions. Once I had told Nehru Ji that his personality was mixed in nature, and that there was both a (Winston) Churchill and a (Neville) Chamberlain in him. That day in the evening, I met him at a banquet, and instead of being upset, he (Nehru) told me it was a solid speech and walked away smiling. Today, to do such criticism is to invite enmity. People will stop talking.”
Our culture has accepted two huge lies. The first is that if you disagree with someone, you must hate them. The second is that to love someone means to agree with everything that they believe or do. Both are lies. Its extremely important to understand, accept and respect other people’s opinions and ideologies. Difference of opinion doesn’t mean hatred. Afterall, it’s the differences that makes space for constructive discussions, creativity and improvement.
You don’t have to compromise convictions to be compassionate. They can be right without you being wrong!

We Rise By Lifting Others !

At least a few of you might have come across the picture above, on social media. This picture created quite a sensation during 2012-13. Even today this picture stands as a symbol of one of the proudest moment of sportsmanship in the history. There is a beautiful story behind this picture.
In December 2012, Spanish athlete Ivan Fernandez Anaya was competing in a cross-country race in Burlada, Navarre. A Kenyan athlete, Abel Mutai who is a bronze medallist in the 3,000-meter steeplechase at the London Olympics, was leading the race. Abel was leading the other runners by a remarkable gap and was certain to win the race. As they entered the finishing straight, Ivan Fernandez saw that Abel had mistakenly pulled up about 10 meters before the finish, thinking he had already crossed the line. Abel looked back after stopping and the people started shouting and telling him to keep going. But since he doesn’t speak Spanish, Abel didn’t understand it.
This was a golden opportunity for Ivan Fernandez, who was in the second position, to win the race. While all this was happening, Ivan caught up with Abel. But what happened after that took the world by surprise. Instead of exploiting Abel's mistake to speed past and claim an unlikely victory, Ivan, using gestures, guided Abel to the actual finishing line and let him cross first.
Afterwards, when Ivan Fernandez was asked about it, he told, "I didn't deserve to win it. I did what I had to do. He was the rightful winner. He created a gap that I couldn't have closed if he hadn't mistaken the finishing line.” Ivan didn’t win the race that day but he won the whole world!
If we were in Ivan’s position, how many of us would have chosen not to take advantage of the other person’s mistake?!
The level of competition in today's world is exceptional, in every domain, and it is only getting bigger. Healthy competitions are always good, and it brings out the best in people. On the other hand, unhealthy ones, rip you off your basic values and makes you greedy. You can be highly competitive and yet have your ethics and integrity in place. If you try to win by focussing on somebody else’s mistake, then you would never improve yourself. Instead focus on yourself and build a better version of yourself every day because that will help you to achieve lasting success. Also, take time to acknowledge and respect the ones who are doing well. A small compliment or a small act of appreciation goes a long way…
Cheer for others. There is enough sun for everyone. Never try to tear other people down. Instead lift them up. We rise by lifting others !!

The Story You Tell Yourself Matters !

Oprah Winfrey is undeniably one of the most influential names from the 20th century. She is an American talk show host, television producer, actress, author, and philanthropist. She is best known for her talk show, ‘The Oprah Winfrey Show’, which was the highest-rated television program of its kind in history. She is called the ‘Queen of All Media’. She was the richest African - American of the 20th century and North America's first black multi-billionaire. She is also ranked as one of the most influential women in the world. However, her journey towards all this glory was not easy. There is a beautiful story that Winfrey told about her journey in one of her speeches. Let’s have a look at the narrative.
“I was born into poverty in rural Mississippi to a teenage single mother in 1954. Mississippi at the time I was born was the most racist state in the United States. It had absolutely no regard for a black person’s humanity. They didn’t even think you were human. The fact that, despite being born as a black person at that time, and to be where I am today, be who I am today and live where I live today, is the most extra ordinary story that I could ever imagine. Who I am was defined to me by the society at a very early age.  When I was 4 years old, I remember, one day I was watching my grandmother washing clothes. She had an apron around her waist and inside the waist pocket were clothes pins. She was taking each pin and using it to hang the washed clothes on the line, to dry them. While doing it she turned to me and said, “Oprah girl, you better watch me now because one day you will have to learn how to do this.” And a voice inside me said, ‘No grandma, I won’t’. And I felt in that moment, watching her, that this will not be my life.”
“My grandmother’s dream for me, as was all of my relatives’, was that I would be like them. My grandmother and mother were maids. All my aunts were also maids and that’s what all of them dreamt that I would also become one day. My grandmother used to work for a white family, and she thought they were good white folks. And she used to tell me, “I hope you too can grow up and find some good white folks, to work for.” At that time, good white folks meant that they won’t degrade or insult you personally like others, but you still have to go through the back door and would still be treated as a second-class citizen.”
“So basically, my family just wanted me to grow and find some good white folks. In a way, I must say that I have done that too. In fact, I did find a lot of good white folks. But the only difference is I am not working for them, but they are working for me.”
The reason why Oprah Winfrey is a global icon today is because she refused to let the society define her story for her. Despite being born as a black girl, in the most racist state of the US at a time when racial discrimination was most intense, she refused to succumb to the circumstances and instead embarked on the miraculous journey of her life with confidence and determination. The story she told for herself was greater and larger than what the society decided for her.
Every single thought of ours has immense power. Our internal dialogue that we tell ourselves everyday can either liberate us to a life full of energy, passion and joy, or enslave us into a horrible routine life.  It’s that story that we tell ourselves that creates our life.
You spend most of your life inside your head. Make it a nice and inspiring place to be!!

Respond; Don’t React...

In a country like India, with a population of 1.3 billion people and extremely diverse cultures, beliefs and languages, ‘Sachin Tendulkar’ is one of the names that connects every Indian irrespective of all the differences and barriers. Though he has officially retired from cricket, Sachin continues to be an icon for millions of people across the world. For Indians, the words ‘Cricket’ and ‘Sachin Tendulkar’ are inseparable. The Master Blaster is more than just a brilliant cricketer for Indians; he is the ‘God of Cricket’.
One quality of Sachin which is as popular as his cricket skills is the way he deals with sledging and negativity while he played. Sledging and provoking the opponent is a tactic that is often used in sports to gain advantage over the opponent. However, the way Sachin deals with it is pure class. He never reacted to the sledging with anger, but instead he became more determined in his resolve to reply with his bat. His response to sledging was always through his brilliant batting.
Sachin’s on-field battles against the most popular Australian fast bowler, Brett Lee, was a contest almost every cricket fan thrived on. On one hand, was Tendulkar’s timing while from the other end was Lee’s ruthless aggression. When the two stalwarts of the game came face to face it was always a feisty affair. Their rivalry was always based on mutual respect and admiration. In a talk show, in 2019, Lee said, “There was always a bowling captain in Australian team and when I was starting off in the team it was Glenn (McGrath) and he would always say to the young guys coming through, “Do not sledge Sachin, if you do, you will be in pain the whole day. So that was it, that was what we discussed in our bowling meeting.” Lee admitted that he did try to sledge Sachin sometimes but soon realised that it made the master blaster even more dangerous because instead of reacting to sledging verbally and getting aggressive, Sachin became more determined and composed which made things even more difficult for the bowlers who tried to provoke him.
This is a learning that we all need to practice in our lives. Much of our lives is spent in reaction to others and to events around us. The problem is that these reactions might not always be the best course of action, and as a result, they can make the situation worse. When you react, you often act based on fear and insecurities, and it’s not the most rational or appropriate way. Responding, on the other hand, is taking the situation in, and deciding the best course of action based on values such as reason, compassion etc. There will always be external events that bother us, but if we learn to respond and not just react, we can make things better. When you react, ‘they’ have the control of the situation, but when you respond ‘you’ have the control.
Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response and, in that choice, lies our growth and our freedom.

Consistency Is The Key

The name ‘Kobe Bryant’ needs no introduction. He was a legendary American basketball player who used to play for the team ‘Los Angeles Lakers’ in the National Basketball Association (NBA). The death of Kobe Bryant in a helicopter crash on January 26th, 2020 , was one of the biggest shocks of this year. He is regarded as one of the best basketball players in the world ever and one thing that is as popular as Kobe himself is his work ethics.
During the Olympics 2008, the night before USA’s practice day, Kobe told his trainer that he wanted to add bike riding to his training routine to improve his conditioning during summer. It was not just a normal bike ride routine that he asked for, but a 40 mile (64 kms) ride every day. His bike ride routine used to end at 2.30 AM and just a few hours after that he would be the first player to reach the gym preparing for a full day workout and practice. His co-player in the US Olympic team of 2008, Chris Bosh, once told, “ We were in Las Vegas and we all came down for team breakfast before the start of the whole training camp and then Kobe comes in with ice on his knees and with his trainers and stuff. He has got sweat drenched all through his workout gear and I’m like, ‘It’s just 8.00 in the morning, where on earth is this guy coming from?” This story just shows how driven Kobe Bryant was.
Before one of the first basketball matches in 2009, Gerald Henderson, the famous American player, who was then a beginner, went to the arena to get some practice shots. And as always, Kobe was already there doing his practice. Gerald started observing him because it was ‘The Kobe Bryant’ right in front of him and he thought he could learn something from watching him play. But Gerald noticed that Kobe was missing many of his shots and after a while, Kobe took a look at the rim and furiously motioned to the sideline from where a bunch of workers came out. Kobe was talking to them and after that one of them brought out a ladder. At that point Gerald went and asked, “What’s going on?” to which Kobe responded, “Something is wrong with the rim. It’s a quarter of an inch low.”
Joe was perplexed by this reply. There were playing in a 10 feet rim and how small is a quarter of an inch compared to 10 feet (maybe roughly the size of a pencil eraser) and how would someone even notice that difference!!
So, he thought in his mind, ‘Dude, Kobe, maybe it’s not the rim, maybe you are just missing shots.’ Anyways, after the workers did some modification to the rim, Kobe went back to his shooting routine. After the practice, Joe asked one of the workers out of curiosity, “What was wrong with the rim?” to which the worker replied, “Oh, it was a little lower than regulation, but we adjusted it to 10 feet. It was off by a quarter of an inch.” and this made Gerald’s jaw drop in disbelief and surprise.
It’s not what we do occasionally that shape our lives. It’s what we do consistently. The key to greatness lies in our daily routine.

Your Little Actions Matters

Meghan Markle, the Dutchess of Sussex and an American member of the British Royal family, is one of the most popular women in the world today. There is an interesting story that she shared while attending the UN Women Conference in 2015.
When Meghan was just 11 years old, while she was studying in an elementary school in Los Angeles, a dish-wash commercial was aired in US and its tagline was, ‘Women all over America are fighting greasy pots and pans’. Two boys from her class, one day, passed a random comment about this commercial, in a rather funny way, saying, “Oh yeah, that’s where women belong, in the kitchen.” Little Meghan felt shocked, angry and more than that, hurt.
She felt that it was not just right and wanted to do something about it. So, she went home and told her dad about this and her dad encouraged her to write letters. So, she decided to do it. She tried to think about the most powerful women she knew. The 11-year-old girl felt that if she really wanted to write a letter and make an impact, she should write to the First Lady herself. So, off she went, scribbling down a letter to the first lady at that time, Hilary Clinton. She also wrote letters to two more people; Ms. Linda Ellerbee, a journalist cum media person who was hosting a kids’ news show in US and Ms. Gloria Allred, the powerhouse attorney at that time. She wrote a letter to the soap manufacturer as well.
Few weeks went by and to her biggest surprise, she got letters of encouragement from Hilary Clinton, Ms. Linda and Ms. Gloria. The kids’ news show hosted by Ms. Linda sent a crew to Meghan’s house to cover the story.
Roughly a month later, the soap manufacturer, Procter & Gamble, changed the commercial tagline for their ivory clear dish washing liquid, from ‘Women all over America are fighting greasy pots and pans’ to ‘People all over America are fighting greasy pots and pans’!!
More than often, we all underestimate the influence of our little actions. Sometimes we feel that the small thing we do is anyways not going to make any difference and this very thought stops us from doing things that we actually want to. If your action has a positive impact on even one living thing or if it helps to positively change even the smallest thing on this planet, then its worth!
You are never too small to make a difference!!

The Magic of Hard Work

If we ask anyone about their favorite football player, one of the most popular answers would be ‘Cristiano Ronaldo’. Cristiano Ronaldo is undeniably one of the best football players that we have in the world today and he has immense fan following all over the world.
Once he was attending an event in Japan to promote football. During the event few children were given the opportunity to ask questions to Ronaldo. A Japanese child who is an ardent fan of Ronaldo came prepared with a question for him, in Portuguese language, since Ronaldo is a Portuguese player. The child asked to Ronaldo in Portuguese, “It’s my dream to become a great football player and to play football with you one day. What should I do to achieve these dreams?” While asking the question in Portuguese, the child was fumbling and making mistakes since he was not familiar with Portuguese language. And the crowd started laughing really hard listening to this. But Ronaldo was keenly listening to him. When the child completed his question, Ronaldo turned to the crowd and asked calmly, “Why are you laughing? He is speaking good Portuguese. You should be happy because this boy had worked really hard to learn this and ask me.” Hearing this, the crowd went into a huge applause for the little boy. This small incident shows how much Ronaldo, one of the greatest football players in the world, respects and appreciates hard work.   
When Ronaldo started his career, he used to play for a local club called Port Lisbon. Within no time the word spread about Ronaldo that there is a magical player in the Port Lisbon club and some of the biggest and richest football clubs like Real Madrid and Barcelona made him extremely lucrative monetary offers to join their club. It was the time when legendary players like David Beckham, Roberto Carlos and Raul Gonzales were at their best career phase and ruling the football clubs.  At that time, Sir Alex Ferguson, who had won highest number of titles for the Manchester United football club offered him something different. He told Ronaldo, “We can offer you only half the monetary benefit of what other clubs are offering you. But we can offer you the opportunity to play for more than half of the total number of games in the season. You might not get that in other bigger clubs because they have the bestest of the best players.”  And what did Ronaldo choose? He chose the lucrative opportunity over lucrative money and joined Manchester United. Cristiano Ronaldo has always endorsed hard work and he believes that there is no replacement for hard work.
Once an interviewer asked Ronaldo about his love for cars, “You have this huge craze for cars. So, how many toy cars did you have as a child?” To this, Ronaldo said, “I don’t remember actually. But I didn’t have many because my family was not financially very sound”. Then the interviewer asked, “So, how many cars do you have now?”. Ronaldo thought for a while and said, “Well, I don’t remember.” But this time it was not because he didn’t have many, but because he had too many luxury cars that he couldn’t keep count of it. And he added, “But I do remember the hard work I have put in to reach here.”
What separates the talented individual from the successful one is hard work. Without labor, nothing prospers.  And the harder you work, the more luck you will see coming your way!

Make Ideas Happen

We all know the extremely popular and every kid’s favorite superhero ‘Spider-Man’. But not many of us know the story behind the creation of The Spider-Man.
 In 1962, a man named Stan Lee was the editor and head writer of Marvel Comics, a publisher of American comics. After the success of Stan’s comic series named ‘Fantastic Four’, his publisher had asked him to come up with a new superhero idea. That was a time when there was a surge in teenage demand for comic books, and he decided to create a character with whom teens could identify, a teenage superhero!
But the most important thing about a superhero is the superpower. While he was brainstorming at his office about what superpower he would give to his new superhero, he happened to notice a spider climbing up the wall. A crazy idea crossed his mind just then, ‘What if I can create a superhero who can stick to and crawl on walls?!!’ And then came the next challenge, a name for the superhero. Many options came to his mind, like ‘Fly Man’, ‘Mystery Man’ etc, but finally he chose ‘Spider-Man’ because he felt it sounded dramatic. So now his superhero had his name and power, and just for fun he decided to give the superhero some personal problems too, in the story, so that the teenagers can identify with him better.
With all this great idea, he ran into his publisher’s office and told him about it. The publisher’s reaction was, “Stan, that’s the worst idea I have ever heard. First of all, people hate spiders. So, you can’t call a hero Spider-Man. And he is a teenager with personal problems? Seriously? Come on Stan, don’t you know what superheroes are! They never have personal problems.”
Stan left the office disappointed. But he just couldn’t get that idea out of his mind. So, he decided to put it in one of the not-very-popular magazines of Marvel Comics. They were planning to wind up that particular magazine and they had one last issue to be published. Since it was the last issue, nobody really cared what was being put in it.
A month later their sales figures came in. The response for the magazine on which Spider Man was published was simply amazing and the story got rave reviews from the readers. After seeing this, the publisher went racing into Stan’s cabin and said, “Stan, do you remember that character called Spider Man which ‘we both loved so much’. Let’s do him as a series!”
The same man who rejected Stan’s idea saying it was absolutely senseless had now came to him saying how much he had loved it and he wanted to do it as a major series in their popular magazine.
And the rest is history!!
If you have a genuine idea which you feel is good, don’t let anybody make you believe the other way. The value of an idea lies in what you do with it.
The ones who changed the world and left behind legacies were the ones who were crazy enough to believe they can do it.
So, what are you waiting for? Make your ideas happen!!

The Power of Gratitude

In 1979, during her acceptance speech at Nobel Peace Awards, Mother Teresa narrated a beautiful story from her life. “Once I brought a girl child to our home, from the street. I could see it in the girl’s eyes that she was very hungry. God knows how many days she has not eaten. So, I gave her a piece of bread. The little girl started eating the bread crumb by crumb. I told her ‘Eat the bread’ and she looked at me and said, ‘I am afraid to eat the bread’. Surprised and confused by her answer I asked her, ‘Why would you be afraid to eat the bread?’ to which she replied, ‘I am afraid because when it is finished, I will be hungry again.’
We are all so much more fortunate than we give ourselves credit for. The things you take for granted, someone else is praying for!
We constantly preoccupy ourselves with thoughts of things we don’t have and experiences we are missing out on. If we all stopped for a moment and looked around us, we would find endless things we have that others are not as fortunate to have. People complain constantly about having an outdated model of a car or phone when we should just be grateful, we have these things in the first place. Never take anything in your life for granted. Be grateful.
Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.
Meister Ekhart, the German theologian and philosopher once said, “If the only prayer you said in your whole life was ‘thank you’, that would suffice.”
In the best-selling book by Rhonda Byrne, named ‘The Secret’ that is based on the theory of ‘Law of Attraction’, the author says that the key step in attracting great things into your life is to be grateful for what you already have. Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.
We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures. If you want to turn your life around, try thankfulness. It will change your life mightily.

Do Things Out of Sheer Joy & Passion

We all believe that the first people to conquer Mount Everest are Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay, in the year 1953. But there is one man who is believed to have conquered Mount Everest before them. His name is George Mallory. Edmund Hillary once told in an interview, “Everyone says that we are the first people to conquer Everest. But I would like to say that we are the first people to come back alive after conquering Everest. George Mallory might have conquered it before us.”
Before the first successful Everest expedition by Hillary and Tenzing in 1953, there were at least ten Everest expeditions being done, none of which turned out to be known as successful. Mallory took part in the first three British expeditions to Everest in the early 1920s. When he joined the third one in 1924 at the age of 37, he believed that it would be his last opportunity to conquer Everest. Unfortunately, he never returned from the expedition. A photograph of George Mallory and his expedition partner, Sandy Irvine, standing 800 metres below the summit of Everest is still documented. Their expedition geologist, Noel Odell, have described in the book ‘The Fight for Everest’, witnessing both of them standing on a snow slope leading up to what seemed to be the last step to the summit (topmost point of Everest). But right after that the scene became enveloped in clouds and he couldn’t see a thing.
On 1st May 1999, a frozen body was found at 26,760 ft. on the north face of the mountain by a team of mountaineers. Name tags on the body’s clothing bore the name of George Mallory. They also found an altimeter, a bill of climbing equipment and goggles. Mallory also carried a photograph of his wife, which he was going to leave at the summit but when his body was discovered, the photograph was missing, and it could have been left at the summit. Also, his body was found on the path which is used for returning from the summit. Many researchers believe that Malory have conquered Everest considering the fact that he reached so close to the summit and the chances of him giving up was very slim because he was an immensely determined soul.
Once when Mallory was asked about why he wants to climb Everest, his reply was, “Because its there!!”
He said in one of his final interviews, “People ask me, 'What is the use of climbing Mount Everest?' and my answer must at once be, 'It is of no use.’ We shall not bring back a single bit of gold or silver, not a gem, nor any coal or iron. What we get from this adventure is just sheer joy. It is not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves!”
Do things out of passion, love, respect and sheer happiness. It is amazing how much you can accomplish if you don’t attach everything you do to expectation of getting credits and materialistic returns.

Will Power Knows No Obstacles !

During 1936, there was a man named Karoly Takacs in the Hungarian Army. At that time, he was a renowned pistol shooter and considered the best. However, since he was not a commissioned officer, Hungary denied him permission to participate in the Olympics. Later management lifted this rule and thus he got permission to take part in the next Olympics. People vouched for Takacs as the favourite to win the gold in the 1940 Tokyo Olympics.
High on hopes and dreams, Takacs practiced relentlessly. In 1938, during his army training, a faulty grenade exploded and injured his right hand to the extent that he could not use it ever again. Just think about a shooter losing his right hand!!
Takacs spent a month in the hospital, devastated. A month after he left the hospital, he spent a lot of time alone and maintained a lowkey profile. In the spring of 1939, he arrived at the Hungarian National Pistol Championship and seeing him the other shooters consoled him for his loss and appreciated his spirit to show up to watch the event and cheer them. To this Takacs replied, “I am not here to spectate but participate.”
When the event began, everyone expected Takacs to make a feeble attempt to pull the trigger with his right hand so that he could quench his emotional thirst for shooting again. But when it was Takacs’ turn, the man picked up the pistol with his left hand. He fired shot after shot with his non-dominant hand as the audience watched with their jaw dropped open. And what was shocking was every shot hit the bullseye! Takacs came out as the winner of the event.
It was then that everyone came to know that Takacs was practicing in private after coming out of hospital. He didn’t tell about it to many people so that he can stay away from people who would try to demotivate, underestimate and sympathize him. He thought, “Why should I worry about the right hand I do not have. Let me see what I can do with the left hand I have.” The learning took some practice but a few months of dedicated effort later, he was back in the game.
But his dream of winning the Olympic gold was again shattered when the Olympics of 1940 was cancelled due to the World War. But he kept hanging on. He waited for four long years hoping to fulfil his dream in 1944. Unfortunately, the Olympics of 1944 too got cancelled due to the continued war. But Takacs was not a man who would hang up his shoes.
By 1948, Takacs was 38. In the Summer Olympics held in the same year in London, he was no longer considered the favourite to win the event. While the world’s best shooters came there with their strongest hands, Takacs was there with his only hand! But guess who won the gold medal? The man with the only hand!! Not only did he bag the Gold medal, but he also set the world record in the rapid-fire pistol event. Takacs went on to win the Gold medal in the same event in the 1952 Olympics too. His never-ending passion earned him a place in the ‘Olympics Heroes list’ of the International Olympic Committee.
You don’t lose if you get knocked down, you lose if you stay down. Willpower knows no obstacles or excuses! It only knows greatness!!

Let go of the EGO

There was once a brilliant scientist. After a lot of practice and effort, he developed a formula and learnt to reproduce human copies of himself. His work was so perfect that it was impossible to tell the difference between the copies and the original.
At one point, he realized that the angel of death is searching for him. In order to stay immortal, he decided to reproduce a dozen copies of himself. The reproduction was so meticulous that all of them looked exactly like him. Finally, when the angel of death came down, he was at a loss to know which of the thirteen before him was the original scientist, and confused, he left them and returned to heaven.
But, being an expert in human nature, the angel came up with a clever idea to identify the original scientist. He came back and said to the scientist, addressing all thirteen of them, “Sir, you must be a genius to have succeeded in making such perfect copies of yourself. However, I have discovered a small flow in your work, just a tiny little flaw.”
The scientist immediately jumped out and shouted, “Impossible!! Where is the flaw?”
“Right here”, said the angel, as he picked up the scientist from among his copies and carried him off. The whole purpose of his formula and his great work failed only because he couldn’t control his pride and ego.
Ego kills more dreams than doubt ever will. Your ego is not your true self but your social mask that thrives on approval of others.
Ego is like dust in the eyes. Unless and until you clear the dust, you don’t see the world and people around you in their authenticity and splendor.

If You Fall, Rise Back Up & Shine Brighter !

Once there was a theatre artist in London whose name was Hannah. Her husband was also an artist and a drunkard. They got a divorce when Hannah couldn’t take her husband’s torture anymore. After that, her earnings from the theatre performance became the sole source of income for her and her two kids. Her elder son started working as a newspaper boy to support his mother though he could only get meagre earnings from it.
Hannah used to take her younger son with her when she went for theatre performances. The younger boy was a smart and naughty little kid and he loved to imitate his mother’s performances. Once Hannah was performing on stage and suddenly her voice cracked and went into a whisper. The crowd started hooting. She tried to clear her throat and sing again but in vain. The crowd started to hoot really loud and some people even threw things at her and she was obliged to walk off the stage. The program coordinators pulled down the curtain and the producer of the show got tensed and impatient. He went to the green room and saw Hannah crying her heart out. Her younger son was there too.
Suddenly the producer remembered that the little boy used to imitate his mother well. He felt that sending a kid on stage might lighten up the crowd. So, he went to the boy and asked him if he can sing his mother’s songs in front of the audience and the boy agreed.
The curtain slowly raised, and the angry crowd saw the little boy standing on the stage. The boy slowly began to sing and in no time, people were enjoying the show and showering money on him. The kid in between stopped singing and said, “I will continue singing but let me take the money first”. The crowd laughed at his innocent joke.
The producer walked in and told the boy in his ears that he will collect the money and asked him to carry on with the performance. The boy stopped gain and asked the producer through the mike “You will give me the money, right?’, and the crowd went into a laugh riot. And the little boy’s performance went on to become the most entertaining performance of that theatre till then.
That performance was the little boy’s first ever stage performance and his mother’s last. And that little boy’s name was Charlie Chaplin! The world’s greatest comedian was born by a tragic incident that ended his mother’s theatrical career.
We all go through failures, tragedies and hurtful experiences. We can either mourn over it for the rest of our lives and let it define our lives or we can make it an opportunity to come back stronger and re-define our lives.
Rejections and failures are nothing but redirections and opportunities to start again, but this time more wisely. Everyone breaks at some point or the other. That’s how the light comes in!

Change is the Only Constant !

Once, a king hosted a huge party on his birthday, inviting his friends and acquaintances. The guests arrived with beautiful gifts. After the party, the king eagerly unwrapped his presents. In one of them, he discovered to his chagrin only a piece of paper! On it was scribbled: ‘This too shall pass’.
Angry, the king ordered the bearer of the gift to be imprisoned. A few days later, the king was faced with an unexpected attack by the neighbouring kingdom. He was captured and imprisoned. As he paced in his prison cell disturbed by the sudden turn of events, he found the same note in one of his pockets. But this time, the very same note and message in it, that caused him great discontent few months back, gave him great consolation and hope that this difficult time too shall pass.
Within a few months, the king’s army launched a counterattack on the neighbouring kingdom and freed him. At that moment, the king understood the true meaning and importance of the message, ‘This too shall pass’…Back in his kingdom, the king ordered the immediate release of the bearer of the message from prison and appointed him as his counsellor!
We have all been through situations where we hung on too long to the past or got too carried away by the present without realizing the impermanence of things. But we might have never realized how much it hinders our growth. As Charles Darwin said,” It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the most responsive to change.”
Some changes may be delightful whereas some others could be chaotic and scary. Nonetheless, be wise enough to understand that ‘it too shall pass’ and be willing to get out from your comfort zone and take the plunge because that’s the only way you can grow.
Change is the only constant. And, the secret to tackling change is to focus all your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new!

The Power of Vision

Have you ever wondered how some people accomplish great things in their life and leave behind great legacies whereas many others settle down for a mediocre life? Have you ever marveled at the success stories of people who have reached glorious heights from almost nothing? What do you think sets them apart?! Luck?...Talent?...Opportunities?... Well, the answer is NO. None of these were the primary reasons that helped them achieve their legacy.
We all love to watch race car driving. One of the most important things that beginning race car drivers learn is what to do when they lose control of the car and go into a spin. The natural reaction is to focus on the wall or other objects they want to avoid. Because their focus is on the wall, that's usually where they end up. Instead of focusing on the wall, the drivers learn to focus on where they want to go. This allows them to avoid the walls, stay on course and go where they want to go.
You may be wondering what this has to do with achieving great things and leaving behind a legacy of your own.
Just about everything!
The approach most of us take to life is to sort of "make it up as we go along." And then we wonder why things end up being such a mess. It's like the old saying, "if you don't know where you are going, any road will get you there."
It is absolutely vital in living a life of freedom and fulfilment that you have a clear, compelling, and defined vision statement for your life. Even if we have a lot of desire, energy and motivation, without a clear direction and vision, it’s just mere trinket. Whether you’re going to die twenty minutes from right now or twenty years from now, if the person delivering your eulogy is only allotted one sentence, what is the one sentence you would want them to say that sums up your life or legacy? What is your life sentence? That’s what a vision statement is!!
If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams and endeavours to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with success, unexpected, in common hours !!

Importance of Self - Discipline...

During the 1960s, psychologist Walter Mischel conducted “the marshmallow test” with four-year-olds in the preschool at Stanford University, to assess each pre-schooler’s ability to delay gratification. Each four-year-old was given one marshmallow. They were told that they could eat it immediately or, if they waited until the researcher returned in 20 minutes, they could have two marshmallows.
Some kids in the group just couldn’t wait. They gobbled down the marshmallow immediately. The rest struggled hard to resist eating it. They covered their eyes, talked to themselves, sang, played games, and even tried to go to sleep. The pre-schoolers who could wait were rewarded with two marshmallows when the researcher returned. Twelve to fourteen years later these same kids were re-evaluated as teenagers.
The differences were astonishing. Those who had been able to control their impulses and delay gratification as four-year-olds, were more effective socially and personally. They had higher levels of assertiveness, self-confidence, trustworthiness, dependability, and ability to control stress. Their Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) scores were 210 points higher than the “instant gratification” group!
A key difference between successful people — leaders — and those who struggle to get by, is self-discipline.
As Confucius wrote, “The nature of people is always the same; it is their habits that separate them.”

Genghis Khan & The Falcon

One morning, the Mongol warrior, Genghis Khan, and his court went out hunting.  His companions carried bows and arrows, but Genghis Khan carried on his arm his favourite falcon, which was better and surer than any arrow, because it could fly into the skies and see everything that a human being could not. However, despite the group’s enthusiastic efforts, they found nothing.
Disappointed, Genghis Khan returned to the encampment and in order not to take out his frustration on his companions, he left the rest of the party and rode on alone with his falcon. They had stayed in the forest for longer than expected, and Khan was desperately tired and thirsty. In the summer heat, all the streams had dried up, and he could find nothing to drink. Then, to his amazement, he saw a thread of water flowing from a rock just in front of him.
He removed the falcon from his arm, and took out the silver cup which he always carried with him. It was very slow to fill and, just as he was about to raise it to his lips, the falcon flew up, plucked the cup from his hands, and dashed it to the ground.
Genghis Khan was furious, but then the falcon was his favourite, and perhaps it, too, was thirsty. He picked up the cup, cleaned off the dirt, and filled it again. When the cup was only half-empty this time, the falcon again attacked it, spilling the water.
Genghis Khan adored his bird, but he knew that he could not, under any circumstances, allow such disrespect; someone might be watching this scene from afar and, later on, would tell his warriors that the great conqueror was incapable of taming a mere bird.
This time, he drew his sword, picked up the cup and refilled it, keeping one eye on the stream and the other on the falcon. As soon as he had enough water in the cup and was ready to drink, the falcon again took flight and flew towards him. Khan, with one thrust, pierced the bird’s breast.
The thread of water, however, had dried up; but Khan determined how to find something to drink, climbed the rock in search of the spring. To his surprise, there really was a pool of water and, in the middle of it, dead, lay one of the most poisonous snakes in the region. If he had drunk the water, he, too, would have died. Khan returned to camp with the dead falcon in his arms.
He ordered a gold figurine of the bird to be made and on one of the wings, he had engraved:
“Even when a friend does something you do not like, he continues to be your friend.”
And on the other wing, he had these words engraved:
“Any action committed in anger is an action doomed to failure.”

Never Too Late !

There will not be anyone who has not heard about KFC. But not many of us know about the story behind it. Whether you like KFC or not, the story of Colonel Harland Sanders is truly amazing!
Colonel Harland Sanders has become a world-known figure by marketing his "finger lickin' good" Kentucky Fried Chicken. One of the most amazing aspects of his life is the fact that when he reached the age of sixty-five, after running a restaurant for several years, Harland Sanders found himself penniless. He retired and received his first social security check which was for one hundred and five dollars. And that was just the beginning of his international fame and financial success story.
The Colonel’s fried chicken recipe was quite popular in his circle and anyone who tasted it gave positive feedback only. So, after his retirement, he decided to sell it. With little in terms of means at his disposal, Colonel Sanders travelled door to door to houses and restaurants all over his local area. He wanted to partner with someone to help promote his chicken recipe. Needless to say, he was met with little enthusiasm. He started travelling by car to different restaurants and cooked his fried chicken on the spot for restaurant owners. If the owner liked the chicken, they could enter into a handshake agreement to sell the Colonel's chicken.
Legend has it that Colonel Sanders heard 1009 "no"s before he heard his first "yes". Ok, let me repeat that. He was turned down one-thousand and nine times before his chicken was accepted once!!
The deal that he got was that for each piece of chicken the restaurant sold, Sanders would receive a nickel. The restaurant would receive packets of Colonel's secret herbs and spices in order to avoid them knowing the recipe. By 1964, Colonel Sanders had 600 franchises selling his trademark chicken. At this time, he sold his company for $2 million dollars but remained as a spokesperson. In 1976, the Colonel was ranked as the world's second most recognizable celebrity. It's amazing how the man started at the age of 65, when most retire, and built a global empire out of fried chicken!!
Many people settle down for mediocre life because they think it is too late for them to do something significant.
The secret to life is knowing that you have the power to change it and redefine it at any point of time.
It’s never too late to chase your dreams and you are never too old to make an impact !!

The quieter you become the more you can hear!

The habit of meditation and its great impacts are well known to all of us. It’s the simplest habit that can have the best impacts. But more than often, we overlook the same. Let’s understand it better through a small story.
Once a farmer lost his precious watch while working in his barn. It may have appeared as an ordinary watch to others but held a deep sentimental value for it. After searching high and low among the hay for a long time, the old farmer got exhausted. The tired farmer did not want to give up the search for his watch and requested a group of children playing outside the barn to help. He promised an attractive reward for the person who can find his beloved watch.
After hearing about the reward, the children hurried inside the barn and went through and round the entire stack of hay to find the watch. After a long time looking for a watch in the hay, some of the children got tired and gave up. The number of children looking for the watch slowly decreased and only few tired children were left. The farmer gave up all his hope to find the watch and called off the search.
Just when the farmer was closing the door, a little boy came up to him and requested the farmer to give him another chance. The farmer did not want to miss any chance of finding the watch so let the little boy in the barn.
After a while the little boy came out with the watch in his hand. The farmer was happily surprised and asked how the boy succeeded to get the watch while everyone including him had failed.
The boy replied “ I just sat there tried listening to the ticking of the watch. In silence, it was much easier to listen to it and direct the search in the direction of the sound.”
A peaceful mind can think better than a worked-up mind. Once in a while allow a few minutes of silence to your mind. Sometimes all you need is to do is relax and listen.
Practice the habit of meditation which is the best way to be mindful. Start with 3-5 mins a day. The power of meditation and its great positive impacts are well known to all of us. It’s a vital way to purify and quiet our mind and rejuvenate our body.  It helps you to be tune with our inner universe.
The quieter you become, the more you can hear !

The Man Who Is Richer Than Bill Gates

Once an interviewer asked Bill Gates " Is there anyone richer than you in the world"?
Bill Gates replied " Yes there's a person who is richer than me. It was when I wasn't rich or famous. I was at the New York airport and I saw a newspaper vendor. I wanted to buy one newspaper and I realized that I didn't have change. So, I left the idea of buying and told the vendor of not having the change.”
“The vendor said 'Don’t worry. I'm giving you this for free', and on this insistence I took the newspaper. Coincidentally, after two to three months, I landed on the same airport and again I was short of change to buy a newspaper. The vendor offered me the newspaper again. I refused and said I can't take it as I don't have change today too. He said, 'You can take it, I'm sharing this from my profit. I won't be at a loss'. I took the newspaper.”
"After 19years, I became famous and known by people. Suddenly I remembered that vendor. I began searching for him. After one and a half month, I found him.
“I asked him, 'do you know me'? He said, 'Yes, you're Bill Gates'. I asked him again, 'Do you remember once you gave me free newspapers?' The vendor said, 'Yes I remember, I gave you twice'.
"I said, 'I want to repay that help you offered me that time. Whatever you want in life, tell me, I shall fulfil it'.
"He said, 'Sir, don't you think by doing so, you won't be able to match my help?'
"I asked, 'Why? He said 'I helped you when I was a poor newspaper vendor, but you are trying to help me now when you have become richest man in the world, how can your help match mine?
" That day, I realized the newspaper vendor was richer than I was. Because he didn't wait to become rich to help someone"
Don’t wait until you have enough money to help someone or to be happy. A rich heart is the richest possession you can have. Be kind and generous always…

The Magic of Snow Globe

Snow globes are something that have captured every one of ours imagination when we were children. The most beautiful thing about snow globe is that the magic of a snow globe happens only when you shake it up.
However, apart from the children’s fantasy that snow globes are, it is also a perfect metaphor of an important life lesson. Sudden and major changes can hit us emotionally. Change is extremely stressful when we feel it is being done ‘to us’ rather than ‘by us’. When we perceive a lack of control or ability to influence what is happening to us, we become anxious. Whilst we can’t control every part of all the change we are exposed to, if we can develop a personal sense of meaning and purpose, we can begin to take control over those elements of the change which matter to us. This in turn will increase our ability to navigate the change effectively.
Change is often messy and chaotic. If we focus on the external chaos, we will be lost in anxiety and distress. But if we shift our focus to a growth mindset and optimistic disposition, we can come out the chaos as a better individual with a better perspective.
All we need is a simple reframing. Reframe problems as challenges, issues as solutions not yet found, anxiety as excitement.
In the midst of chaos there is opportunity. Once in a while, an element of chaos comes along in our lives and disrupt it and leave us feeling helpless. But the ones who has the courage and wisdom to find the opportunities in it, comes out of it stronger and wiser.

The Clay Ball

A man was exploring caves by a seashore when he found a bag with a bunch of hardened clay balls. The balls looked like someone had intentionally rolled the clay and left them out in the sun to bake. Perhaps some children made them while they were at the beach, the man thought. They didn’t look much, but they intrigued the man, so he took the bag out of the cave with him.
As he strolled along the beach, he threw the clay balls one by one out to the oceans as far as he could. The clay balls would fly and disappear into the ocean. The man threw several clay balls in the ocean until he dropped one of the balls and it cracked open. Inside the clay was a beautiful, precious stone.
This excited the man and he started breaking the remaining clay balls. Each of it contained different types of precious stones. He found thousands of dollars’ worth of jewels in around twenty clay balls that was left with him. Then it struck him. He had been on the beach for a long time and he must have thrown away many clay balls with hidden treasure into the sea. He could have had a treasure worth of tens of thousands, if he had not thrown the clay balls away.
Most of the time, in our lives, we all fall victim to the clay vessel; in case of people as well as opportunities. If the vessel doesn’t look sparkly and nice, most often we don’t bother to look inside it. We forget to look inside for the unique treasure that each one of us hold and each opportunity hold.
Many people miss out on life changing opportunities just because when it came their way, it looked a little too risky to take up oy maybe it didn’t seem appealing enough. May we not come to the end of our lives and realize that we have thrown away a fortune in opportunities and relationships because we did not attempt to look for the gems hidden in bits of clay.
Look beyond what you just see, to find value and perspective !

Growing Good Corn !

Once upon a time, there lived a farmer who grew high-quality award-winning corn. Each year he would enter in the state farmer’s fair and win a gold award for his exceptionally good corns.
The farmer’s high-quality corn was praised all around in the state. The success story of his exceptional corn reached the ears of a journalist and he wanted to interview the farmer. While he was learning about the agriculture process of the farmer, he discovered that the farmer shared his best quality seeds with his neighbours.
How can you afford to share your best corn seeds with your neighbours when some of them compete with you in the agriculture fair?”, asked the curious reporter.
“Why wouldn’t I Sir?”, asked the farmer. “Didn’t you know that the wind picks up pollen from the ripening corn and swirls it from field to field. If my neighbours grow inferior quality corn, cross pollination will eventually degrade the quality of my corn too. If I want to grow high quality corn, I must help my neighbours grow a good corn too.”
It is the same with our life. Those who choose to live in peace must help others around them to live in peace too. The one who wishes to be loved, must first learn to love others. Those who choose to be happy must let others find their happiness as the welfare of each is intertwined with the welfare of all.
The value of a life is measured by the lives it touches !

Secret To Success !

A boy once asked a wise old man what the secret to success is. After listening to the boy’s question, the wise man told the boy to meet him at the river in the morning and he would be given the answer there.
In the morning, the wise man and the boy began walking toward the river. They continued into the river, past the point of the water covering their nose and mouth.  At this time, the wise man ducked the boy into the water.
As he struggled to get out, the wise man continued to push him further down. The boy felt a fish slip by his leg and squirmed to get up even harder. The man eventually pulled the boy’s head up so he could get air. The boy gasped as he inhaled a deep breath of air.
The wise man said, ‘What were you fighting for when you were under water?” The boy replied, “Air!”
The man said, “There you have the secret to success. When you want to gain success as much as you wanted air when you were under water, you will obtain it. That’s the only secret.”
Desire is the intangible quality that has more impact on success than anything. When you desire success as much as you desire to breathe, nothing will ever stop you.

The Frog In The Boiling Water !

A family was once having a nice dinner party in their garden. The mother was heating up a pot of water on a gas stove with the intent of cooking pasta for her family for dinner. A frog fell into the pot while it was sitting on the stove. While it wasn’t his intention to be stuck in a pot of water, he didn’t try to escape. He was comfortable enough as he was.
The lady soon turned on the flame to begin boiling the water. As the water’s temperature began to rise, the frog was able to adjust his body temperature accordingly, so he remained in the pot without trying to do anything to change the situation.
However, as the water approached its boiling point, the frog’s body temperature could no longer keep up. He finally tried to jump out of the pot, but with water temperature continuing to increase, he didn’t have it in him to make the leap. It was too late for the frog to save himself.
Things don’t always go as planned in life, and they certainly don’t always go the way we want them to. But, no matter how bad a situation is, it’s critical to be proactive and face the problem head-on.
Unlike the frog, who waited until the last minute to try to do anything about the problem he was clearly facing, it’s important to project the future outcomes of the obstacles that hinder you and mediate them before they get past the point of no return.

Don't Let Perfectionism Be the Enemy of Productivity!

Productivity is the most important aspect of our work life. Perfectionism is also a habit considered as one that can yield great results. However, more than often some aspects of perfectionism can interfere with your ability to prioritize the most important tasks.
Let’s have a look at three aspects of perfectionism that can adversely affect your productivity:
  1. Reluctance to designate decisions as unimportant: There’s an argument that, for unimportant decisions, you should either decide quickly or outsource the decision. But perfectionists have a hard time designating decision as unimportant. They like to be in control of everything. Sometimes, perfectionists are so accustomed to micromanaging that they don’t feel any decision is unimportant. They habitually and automatically classify everything as worthy of their full effort.
  1. Feeling obligated to overdeliver: The belief that you need to beat expectations in any situation can manifest in many ways. And it’s important to manage it.
  1. Getting annoyed when not 100 % consistent with good habits: When perfectionists want to adopt new habits, they often bite off more than they can chew. They avoid starting any habit unless they’re 100% sure they can hit their goal every day, which leads to procrastination also.
Perfectionism is often driven by striving for excellence, but it can be self-sabotaging if it leads to behaviours like continuing habits beyond their usefulness, overdelivering when you don’t have to, or overthinking every decision you make.
Productivity isn’t about getting ‘more’ done. It’s about ‘what’ you get done !!

The First 10 Minutes !

If you’re working in the kitchen of Anthony Bourdain, legendary chef of Brasserie Les Halles, best-selling author, and famed television personality, you have to mandatorily follow a ritual called mise-en-place. The “Meez,” as professionals call it, means “everything in its place.” In practice, it involves studying a recipe, thinking through the tools and equipment you will need, and assembling the ingredients in the right proportion before you begin. It is the planning phase of every meal—the moment when chefs evaluate the totality of what they are trying to achieve and create an action plan for the meal ahead.
Though none of us are chefs, the value of applying a similar approach and deliberately taking time out to plan is extremely important at our respective works also.
What’s the first thing you do when you arrive at your desk? For many of us, checking email or listening to voice mail is practically automatic. In many ways, these are among the worst ways to start a day. Both activities hijack our focus and put us in a reactive mode, where other people’s priorities take centre stage. They are the equivalent of entering a kitchen and looking for a spill to clean or a pot to scrub.
A better approach is to begin your day with a brief planning session. An intellectual mise-en-place. Ask yourself this question the moment you sit at your desk: ”The day is over and I am leaving the office with a tremendous sense of accomplishment. What have I achieved?” This exercise is usually effective at helping people distinguish between tasks that simply ‘feel urgent’ from those that are ‘truly important’. Use it to determine the activities you want to focus your energy on.
Then create a plan of attack by breaking down complex tasks into specific actions. Productivity guru David Allen recommends starting each item on your list with a verb, which is useful because it makes your intentions concrete. For example, instead of listing “Monday’s presentation,” identify and list every action item of creating Monday’s presentation i.e collect sales figures, draft slides, and incorporate images into deck. Studies show that when it comes to goals, the more specific you are about what you’re trying to achieve, the better your chances of success.
Finally, prioritize your list. When possible, start your day with tasks that require the most mental energy. Research indicates that we have less willpower as the day progresses, which is why it’s best to tackle challenging items, particularly those requiring focus and mental agility, early on.
The entire exercise can take you less than 10 minutes. Yet it’s a practice that yields significant dividends throughout your day !

What Are You Paying Attention To?

“Tell me to what you pay attention and I will tell you who you are” - Jose Ortega Y Gasset
Have you ever suddenly stopped yourself after realizing you’d been dwelling on something insignificant for way too long?
Maybe it was something that didn’t go right in your day, or something mildly offensive that someone said. Whatever it was, it was something you knew wasn’t a big deal in the grand scheme of things, and yet you felt a need to mentally rehash it over and over in your head.
Every time you give power to the little things that might seem bothersome, like someone not responding to your message right away or someone passing a sarcastic comment on you, you are choosing to be that unproductive, anxious energy.
Every time you get caught up in your need to feel liked and respected, and your indignation over feeling that you are not, you are choosing to be the fear of being mistreated.
We spend so much of our time focusing our attention on things that don’t really serve us, when the thing that would serve us the most is to focus our attention inward, on ourselves. It starts with a simple realization that we can feel free and present—and be open, here in this moment—if we choose to release the little worries that stand in the way of that.
If you don’t like something, just take away it’s only power – your attention!
Pay attention to the right things that helps you to be mindful and productive !

The Perfect Portrait

Once there lived a brave king. He fought many battles and won many of them. Unfortunately, in one of the most important battles for his country, he was badly wounded. The king lived to relish the victory of the battle but lost an eye and a leg.
One day the king saw the paintings of some brave kings from the past. “I should have one for myself too, then I will be remembered for my bravery for years to come” thought the king. He called for all the great painters in the country and asked them to paint a beautiful portrait of him.
“Who will paint my portrait?”, asked the king. But, none of the painters dared to accept the task of painting the king’s portrait. They couldn’t think of any way they could make the one eye and one-legged king look beautiful. “How could we include such defects of the king in the painting and make him look beautiful.”, they all thought.  A bad painting would make the king angry and none of them wanted to suffer from the wrath of the great king.
But one courageous painter agreed to take the challenge of drawing the king’s portrait. He drew a beautiful classic picture of the king. It was a fantastic piece of art. Everyone was surprised how beautifully he presented the king in the portrait.
He painted the king aiming for a hunt with an eye closed and a leg bent.
Indeed, it was a beautiful portrait.
How beautiful the world will look if we could ignore others weakness and celebrate their strength. The world will be more beautiful if you ignore the flaws in others and see their strength !

The 99 Club

There once lived a King who, despite a life filled with luxuries, was neither happy nor content. One day, the King came upon a common pleasant who was singing happily while he worked. The happiness of a common man fascinated the King. Why was the ruler of the land with all the luxuries, unhappy and gloomy, while a lowly peasant had so much joy in his life? The King asked the man, “Why are you so happy?”
The man replied, “Your Majesty, I am a common man, but my family and I don’t need much, just warm food to fill us and a roof over our heads.”
The king was not satisfied with the man’s answer so, later in the day, he sought the advice from one of his most trusted advisers. After listening to the King’s woes, the adviser said, “Your Majesty, I believe that the man you saw has not yet been made part of The 99 Club.”
“The 99 Club? What is that?” inquired the King.
The adviser replied, “Your Majesty, to understand The 99 Club you first need to place 99 Gold coins in a bag and leave it on the man’s doorstep.”               
After a tiring day working in the fields, the man was returning back to his house when he saw a bag on his doorstep. He took the bag and opened it. He let out a great shout of joy when he discovered that the bag was filled with gold coins and began to count it. After several counts, he was convinced that there were 99 coins. He wondered, “What could’ve happened to that last gold coin? No one would leave just 99 coins!”
He looked everywhere he could, but he did not find the 100th coin. After a while, he was exhausted and decided that he was going to work harder than ever to earn that gold coin and complete his collection with the 100th coin. From that day, the man’s life was changed. He overworked and turned horribly grumpy. He criticized and quarrelled with his family for not helping him achieve his goal to earn the 100th gold coin. He stopped singing while he worked and only thought about getting the 100th coin to complete his collection.
The king witnessed the drastic transformation in the man and was puzzled. The king asked the advisor why the man wasn’t happy and satisfied anymore. The advisor replied, “Your Majesty, the man is now a member of The 99 Club.”
He continued, “The 99 Club contains those people who have enough to be happy, but are not content, because they’re always striving for the extra one telling to themselves: “ I will be happy if I get that one final thing in my life.”
It is not how much we have, but how much we enjoy, that makes happiness !


The Five Monkeys Experiment

A group of scientists placed five monkeys in a cage. In the middle of the cage, they placed a ladder with bananas on the topmost stair.
Every time a monkey climbed up the ladder, the scientists poured cold water over the other monkeys. After a while, every time a monkey tried to climb, the others would pull it down and beat it up.
Therefore, no monkey dared to climb the ladder, disregard of the temptation to do so.
The scientists then replaced one of the monkeys. The first thing this new monkey did was climbed the ladder. Immediately, the others pulled him down and beated him up.
After several beatings, the new monkey learnt that he wasn’t supposed to climb the ladder, even though there were no evident rational reasons not to do so.
The second monkey was substituted with another new one and the same result was observed. The first monkey participated in the beating of the second monkey. A third monkey was changed, and the same thing repeated. One by one all the monkeys were replaced.
The cage then had a group of five entirely new monkeys without ever having received a cold shower continued to beat up any monkey who attempted to climb the ladder.
If it was possible to ask the monkeys why they did so, their most likely answer would be “I don’t know. It’s just how things are done around here.”
Does that statement sound familiar to you?
The one who follows the crowd will usually go no further than the crowd. Those who walk alone are likely to find themselves in places no one has ever been before.

The Sour Grapes

One afternoon, a fox was walking through the forest and spotted a bunch of grapes hanging from a lofty branch.
“Just the thing to quench my thirst,” he thought.
Taking a couple of steps back, the fox jumped and just missed the hanging grapes. The fox tried again but still failed to reach them.
So, he gave up trying, and walked away with an air of dignity and unconcern, remarking, "Oh well, I am sure they are sour anyway.’
This story contains a keen truth about the way we as humans tell stories ourselves, spinning narratives, even fictional ones, to cope with failure and our inability to fulfil our goals. There are many who pretend to despise and belittle that which is beyond their reach and the term ‘sour grapes’ is also quite popularly used to describe this mentality. But that mindset will only hinder us from trying our best to achieve our goals and it will only lead us to finding a good excuse to persuade ourselves that it is better giving up than keep doing it.
It’s easy to despise what you can't have. But instead of filling your mind with hatred and insult for what you cannot have, inspire yourself to achieve it.
Even if you are letting it go after realizing that it is not what you want, learn to let go gracefully.


The Change !

Once there lived a king who ruled a happy and prosperous kingdom. The people of the kingdom were very happy and lived a life with abundance of wealth and fortune.
One day the king decided to travel and visit various places in his kingdom. He went to distant and remote places where his chariot couldn’t reach, so the king visited many of those sites on foot.
Traversing long distance on foot was a wonderful experience for the king. He got to interact with his people and learnt about their life and problems. Many people were very happy to meet the king and expressed how they were very happy under his rule.  But the king wasn’t used to long walks. He got a severe pain on his leg. He could not tolerate the pain as he walked all the way through the rough path.
He complained to his ministers that the roads weren’t comfortable and were very stony. The king also expressed his concerns for the people who had to walk along those roads every day. For the convenience of the people, the king ordered to cover all the roads in his kingdom with leather. The king believed that this would make his people’s life more convenient.
The ministers were stunned to hear the absurd order from the king. Not only was the king’s fantasy of having the leather pathway expensive, it would also destroy life of many cattle to get sufficient leather.
A wise king’s advisor came to the king and said that he had a better idea. He took the size of the king’s feet and made a nice comfortable leather shoes. He made the king wear those shoes and walk on the rough paths. The king admired the comfortable leather shoes as he did not feel any pain walking on it. The king applauded the genius idea that saved money and thousands of cattle lives.
Every change that we want to see out there in the world begins within us !

Be Good To People For No Reason !

There were two men, both seriously ill, who shared the same hospital room. One man got a seat next to the room’s only window. The man was also allowed to sit up in his bed for an hour each afternoon to help him drain fluids from his lungs.  The other man had to spend all his time lying flat on his back. The two roommates quickly bonded and started talking for hours. One day the man on the other side of the window, expressed how he envied the man near the window. From that day the man near the window started describing all the things he could see outside the window.
He described how the window overlooked a lovely park with a lake and ducks played on the lake while children sailed their model boats; how young lovers walked arm in arm amidst flowers of every colour and a fine view of the city skyline could be seen in the distance. The man on the other bed began to live for those one hour where he could hear and visualize the world outside the hospital room.” One fine afternoon the man by the window described a parade passing by.  Although the other man could not hear the band, he could visualize it as the man by the window vividly described.
Days and weeks passed by. One morning, a nurse arrived to examine the condition of the two patients. She found the lifeless body of the man by the window. The man had peacefully embraced his death in his sleep.  The nurse sadly called the hospital attendants to take the body away. The other man grieved the death of his roommate.  But as the day passed by he started missing the way his roommate described the view out of the window. In a hope to have a peek out of the window and the beautiful world outside, the other man asked if he could be moved next to the window.  The nurse happily made the switch. As soon as he was comfortable in his new bed, the man slowly and painfully propped himself to take his first look at the world outside. The nurse delightfully watched as the man attempted to sit on the bed after weeks.
But as he strained to slowly turn to look out of the window beside him, he was stunned to see a blank wall outside the window.  The agitate man asked the nurse what could have made his roommate to lie about the view outside the window.
“There is nothing to see from here.  Where are all the wonderful things he saw? He described everything so vividly.  Is this a new and recent wall?  Why did he give me such vivid details that don’t exist?” He asked
The nurse shook her head and answered his questions, “Perhaps he just wanted to encourage you and make you happy.  You see, your roommate was totally blind”.
Be good to people for no reason !!!

Self-Talk Matters

In one small village there was a room with 1000 mirrors. One small girl used to go inside and play! Seeing thousands of children around her she was joyful. She would clap her hands and all the 1000 children would clap back at her. She considered this place as the world's happiest and beautiful place and would visit often. This same place was once visited by a sad n a depressed person. He saw around him thousands of angry men staring at him. He got scared and raised his hands to hit them and in return 1000 hands lifted to hit him back. He thought this is the worst place in the world and left that place. This story very well portrays the importance of positive self-talk. Inner speech has a lot of different functions. It has a role in motivation, it has a role in emotional expression, it probably has a role in understanding our selves. Many people are limited by the negative stories they tell themselves and many people are content because of the beautiful perspective they carry.
Your self-talk matters because the most important person in your life is listening ! Keep it positive and ambitious !

Channeling Your Envy !


We live in an age of ‘envy’. Human beings have always felt what Aristotle defined in the fourth century BC as pain at the sight of another’s good fortune, stirred by “those who have what we ought to have.” But with the advent of social media, envy is being taken to an extreme.
We all might have gone through this emotion at least once. That feeling of envy and insecurity when you see someone’s accomplishment or great life. It happens in our personal lives as well as our workplace. In the past, people might have just envied their neighbours, but now we can compare ourselves with everyone across the world because social media has made everyone accessible for comparison. And the most interesting fact is that this comparison is less realistic because the projected online life of people portrays only the best of themselves.
So how do we deal with it?!!
Firstly, accept the fact that it is normal to feel envy. We’ve all been taught to be appalled by envy and ashamed to feel it. But we don’t have to.
Instead of letting envy take you off track towards chasing other people’s dreams, let it inspire you to follow your own and celebrate the possibilities of making your dream come true. The fact that someone else is successfully pursuing a dream that may be similar to yours doesn’t mean that you can’t do it too or that you’re too late to the game or falling behind in life. Often times in this life, it’s really hard to become what we cannot see. Many of us need to see examples of other people doing things before we can even understand what’s possible in our own lives. Consider envy as an inspiration in disguise.
Last but not the least, consider envy as an invitation to get to know yourself better; it can be an indicator of something in your life that needs more focus and attention or an area where you need to step up your game.
So, the next time you see your friends’, colleagues’, or a stranger’s success and feel a pang, don’t deny it or beat yourself up with shame. Instead, take note of your feelings of envy and use them as a valuable clue towards who you want to be. Accept the invitation and open yourself up to what envy has to teach you about your desires and aspirations.
Channel your envy not to destroy others but to build yourself !!

Don't Be A Slave To Your Emotions

Would you describe yourself as emotional? Do you feel like your mood can change instantly according to what happens in your day?
Being emotional and leading with the heart can both be great qualities. Leaning into your feelings allows you to be more self-aware and helps you to connect to others. But if you allow your emotions to dictate how you live your life, then you may be a slave to your emotions which can lead to anxiety and even have a negative impact on our health and relationships.
Basically, all emotions stem from your thought. Your thoughts and sensitivity to others’ opinions have a profound effect on your emotions and moods. If you have an emotional reaction to everything that is said to you, you will continue to suffer. So how to deal with it?!     Validate your emotions. When you find yourself riding the wave of emotion, it’s important not to dismiss those feelings. Emotions can be a lot like unruly children in need of attention. Once we validate them, we allow them to be seen and have a voice. Feeling our emotions is an important part of life; it’s what we do with them that can create problems.
But one’s that is done sit back and analyse it with logic. Try to understand the circumstance that triggered that emotion, try to understand why the other person behaved/said so, take some time to calm before responding if it is a strong and especially negative emotion, rationalize, think and take the right action.
True compassion is not just an emotional response; it is a firm commitment founded on reason.


A Beautiful Heart

There once lived a kind woman in a mountain. One fine morning the woman was strolling along the mountain path. On her way, she saw a shiny stone in a stream. It was a beautiful stone, so she took it with her.
After a few days a traveller was walking along the same path, when he felt very weak and exhausted. The woman noticed the traveller and offered him with food and a shelter in her modest hut for a night. The next day when the man was getting ready to continue his journey, he noticed a shiny little stone in a draw. At once he knew that the stone was very rare and precious. The traveller offered to buy the stone from the woman. But the woman told him that he could have it for free without any hesitation.                      
The man then thanked the woman and left rejoicing his good fortune. He knew the stone was worth a fortune to give him security for a lifetime.
After a few days, the traveller came back to the women and returned the stone. “I know how valuable this stone is, but I give it back to you in hope that you can give me something even more precious. Give me what you have within you that enabled you to give this precious stone to me without even thinking twice”, he said.
Make your heart the most beautiful thing about you. A beautiful and content heart can bring things into life that all the money in the world couldn’t obtain.

The Power of Habits !

All our life, so far as it has definite form, is but a mass of habits. More than often we overlook the importance of daily habits. Most people have a perception that to achieve big things you have to do big things. When that is absolutely true, the underlying fact is that these big things are a sum of your small daily habits.
Here is a small example on how we fail to notice the very habits that mold our lives. There are two young fish swimming along and they happen to meet an older fish swimming the other way, who nods at them and says, ‘Morning boys, how’s the water?’ The two young fish swim on for a bit, and then eventually one of them looks over at the other and goes, ‘What the hell is water?’
Just like those fish, our lives are largely determined by factors we never fully notice: our habits, those unthinking, automatic choices that surround us each day. They guide how we get dressed in the morning and fall asleep at night. They affect what we eat, how we do business, and whether we exercise or have a beer after work. Each of our habits has a different catalyst and offers a unique payoff.
Starting from your morning routine which is extremely important because it set course for the entire day, to your daily activities like exercise, reading, diet, who your share your energy with etc, it is the small habits that defines and forms you. Bruce Lee once told, “ I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.”
Your success lies in the what you do every day and not what you do occasionally. The key to a successful future lies in your daily routine.

The Benefit of Doubt !

How often do we give others the benefit of doubt? Aren’t we all, at times, too quick to judge and conclude. Here is a little story that would give you a different perspective on it.
A lovely little girl was holding two apples with both hands. Her mom came in and softly asked her little daughter with a smile: “My sweetie, could you give your mom one of your two apples?”  The girl looked up at her mom for some seconds, then she suddenly took a quick bite on one apple, and then quickly on the other. The mom felt the smile on her face freeze. She tried hard not to reveal her disappointment. Then the little girl handed over one of her bitten apples to her mom, and said: mommy, here you are. This is the sweeter one.”
Often in life we are too quick to judge and jump to conclusions about other people’s motives without first taking the time to understand the reasons behind why someone may have done something they did. And sadly, we are often the very hardest on those who are the closest to us. Yet, if we would just delay passing judgement until we are able to understand what was in someone’s heart, if we would give them the benefit of the doubt, we would probably save ourselves tremendous angst.
Remember to give people the chance to explain themselves before you jump to any conclusions. And while you are waiting to hear, give them the benefit of the doubt; you may be pleasantly surprised.  And at some point, you’re going to hope they’ll do the same for you.

Keep Shining No Matter What

One day a saint went to a river to bathe. There he noticed a scorpion struggling in the water near him. Scorpions cannot swim and the saint knew that if he did not save the scorpion, it would drown. Therefore, the saint carefully picked up the struggling scorpion trying to rescue it out from the water. But as he was just about to set it on land, the scorpion stung his finger.
The sharp pain from the sting made the saint instinctively flung his hand and the scorpion went flying back into the water. As soon as the saint gained his composure from the pain, he attempted to rescue the troubled creature again. But, as earlier the scorpion stung him again before he could safely keep it on the land.  The affair repeated for several times as the saint continued his attempt to save the scorpion while the creature attacked its saviour every time.
The saint’s disciples who were watching the event for a while and were worried for the saint who was now staggering from the pain. The disciple requested the saint to leave the vicious creature on its own. The saint ignored the request from his disciples and continued his attempt to save the scorpion until he finally succeeded.
The disciples carried the reeling saint to his hut, treated him for his wounds and waited for the saint to get well. After the saint regained his consciousness, one of the disciples asked him why the saint lets the scorpion attack him several times and continued to help it.
The saint replied, “My dear child, the scorpion did not sting me out of malice or evil intent. Just as it is the water’s nature to make things wet and fire’s nature to burn, it is in the scorpion’s nature to sting. The ignorant creature kept stinging me because its comprehension is not great enough to realize that I was trying to help him. But just as it is the scorpion’s nature to sting, so it is my nature to save. Just as he did not leave his nature, why should I leave my nature? It is my duty to help any soul in need. I should not let the stings from a scorpion rob me from performing my duty as a saviour.”
In our lives, we will encounter people who may harm us intentionally or unintentionally. We should never let our actions, thoughts and words to be affected by the negativity in others. We should continue to perform our duty with love and honesty, even if others do not reciprocate our righteous actions.

The attitude of negotiation and problem solving

A wealthy merchant from the east passed away. In his will, the man stated equal division of his wealth to three sons but his most treasured camels were divided in a rather challenging way.
According to the will the eldest son was to be given half of the camels, the middle son was to be given one third of the camels, and the youngest son was to be given one ninth of the camels. The merchant had seventeen cattle. As it was not possible to divide 17 camels into half, one third or even into one ninth. The three sons started fighting with each other for their fair share of the camels.
Since the sons were not able distribute the camel among them, they went to a wise man for advice. The wise man patiently listened about the sons’ dilemma. After carefully understanding the situation the wise man brought one of his camels and added to the seventeen camels of the merchant. That increased the total to eighteen camels.
Now, he started reading the deceased father’s will and divided the camels. Half of eighteen is nine. So, he gave the eldest son nine camels. One third of the eighteen is six, so he gave the middle son six camels. The youngest son got one ninth of the eighteen camels, so he gave him two camels.
After giving nine, six and two camels to the sons, he successfully distributed seventeen camels. The wise man took back his camel.
The attitude of negotiation and problem solving is to find the 18th camel i.e. the common ground. Once a person is able to find the common ground, the issue is resolved. It is difficult at times. However, to reach a solution, the first step is to believe that there is a solution. If we think that there is no solution, we won’t be able to reach anywhere!

The purpose of life

Once upon a time, there lived a wise man. He was the head of the local administration of a small village. His son, however, was very lazy and spent most of his time sleeping and hanging out with his friends. No amount of advice or threat made any difference to him.  As he grew older, the man began to worry about his son’s future. One day, he called his son to his room and said- “My son, you are no more a kid now. You must learn to take responsibilities and understand life. I want you to find the real purpose of your life and when you find it remember it always and you will lead a life full of happiness and joy.”
Then he handed his son a bag. When the son opened the bag, he was surprised to see 4 pair of clothes, one for each season, some raw food, grains, lentils, little money and a map. His father continued, “I want you to go find a treasure. I have drawn a map of the place where the treasure is hidden, you need to go and find it.” The son loved this idea. The next day, he eagerly set out on a journey to find the treasure. Days turned into weeks and weeks turned into months. Along the way, he saw changing landscapes and seasons ,he met a lot of people. He was helped by some with food and by some with shelter. Finally, after a long year, he reached his destination. It was a cliff. The map showed the treasure being placed below the cliff under the tree. Upon spotting the tree, he began to dig the ground.  He searched and searched- around it, under it, on it- but found nothing.
Disappointed over his father’s lie, he headed back to his home. On his way back, he experienced the same changing landscapes and seasons. This time, however, he halted to enjoy the blooming flowers in spring and the dancing birds in monsoon. Since, the supplies he carried were over by then, he learned to hunt and make arrangement for his meals. He also learned how to sew his clothes and shelter himself. He was now able to determine the hour of the day by the position of the sun and plan his journey accordingly. He met the same people who had helped him earlier. This time he stayed a few days with them and helped them in some or the other way to repay them.
When he reached home, he realized it had been two years since he left the place.  He walked straight into his father’s room. “Father”, – He said. The father immediately jumped to his feet and hugged his son.
“So how was your journey my son, did you find the treasure” he asked.
“The journey was fascinating father. But forgive me for I wasn’t able to find the treasure. Maybe somebody took it before I reached.” He surprised himself by what he just said. He wasn’t angry at his father. Instead, he was asking for forgiveness.
“There wasn’t’ any treasure in the very first place my son”-father answered smiling.
“But why did you send me to find it then”, he asked.
“I will surely tell you why, but first you tell me, how was your journey to the place? Did you enjoy it?”
“Of course, not father! I had no time. I was worried someone else would find the treasure before I did. I was in a hurry to reach the cliff.” He continued- “but I did enjoy the journey on my way back home. I made many friends and witnessed miracles every day. I learned so many different skills and the art of survival. There was so much I learnt that it made me forget the pain of not finding the treasure.”
The father said to him- “Exactly my son.  Yes, you must lead your life with a goal. But if you remain too focused on the goal, then you will miss out the real treasures of life. The truth is, the only real goal experience it and grow with it every single day.”
The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience !!

The Consequence of Comparison !

Once a Samurai went to visit a Zen monk to seek some advice. As he entered the temple and saw the master praying, he felt so inferior that in-spite of having fought for justice and peace he had not even come even to the nearest state of grace which was achieved by the monks praying there.
Once the monk finished his prayer, the Samurai went and asked, “ I have aced death many times, have fought for justice and helped people in need. Yet when I see you and the people rushing to seek your advice, I feel my life has not been of much value.”
The monk asked him to wait till he met the people who have come to see him. At nightfall, the monk took him to his room and asked the Samurai to look at the moon from the window. “Do you see the moon? It will disappear once the sun comes up tomorrow. But we all know that sunlight is brighter and shows us more details. So do you think moon is any lesser than sun?”
Samurai replied, “ Of course not! They both are different and have their own beauty! You really cannot compare the two.”
The monk then said, “ There you go. You yourself have answered your question. We are two different people fighting in our way for the things that we believe in. It’s not fair to compare the both.”
Comparison is not only the thief of joy but also the thief of dreams. Never measure your growth and success using someone else’s ruler. And if at all you compare, compare yourself to the person you were yesterday !

The good gets better!

Nadia, a young girl, spent the whole autumn sowing and preparing her garden. In the spring, the flowers bloomed, and Nadia noticed a few dandelions that she had not planted.
Nadia pulled them up. But the seeds had already spread she tried to find a poison that would kill only dandelions. An expert told her that any poison would end up killing all the other flowers too. In despair, Nadia sought help from a gardener.
The gardener said, ‘Along with the good things, there are always a few inconveniences’
‘What should I do, then?’ asked Nadiya.
‘Nothing. They may not be the flowers you intended to have, but they are still part of the garden.’
Focus on the good things. When you focus on the good, the good gets better!

The 50 Rupees Note !

One young man, on his way back home, found a piece of paper tied to an electric pole, with a small note on it. He was curious to know what was written, hence went closer and read it. “I lost Rs 50 somewhere on the road. If any of you find it, please give it to me at this address. My vision isn't great so please help.”
He followed that address and found an old hut in shatters with an older woman sitting outside. She was frail and asked who it is, following his footsteps. He said he came by that way, found Rs 50 on the road, so wanted to hand it over. She began crying on hearing this. She said, “My dear, I have had at least 30-40 people come over and give me Rs 50, saying they found it on the road. I didn't write that note; I cannot even see properly, nor do I know how to read and write."       
He insisted her to keep it anyways. She asked him to tear that note off on his way back. He walked back with a million thoughts as to who could have written that note? She would have asked everyone to tear that note, but none did. He mentally thanked that person and realised that we just have to feel the need to help, there are many ways to do so. He/she just wanted to help this old woman.
While he was going back, someone stopped him and asked, “Brother, can you help me with this address? I found a Rs 50 note, want to hand it over." He smiled and showed him the way.
Make it a habit to do kind things for people who will never find it out !

We all are made to fly

Once a king received two magnificent falcons as a gift from one of his states. They were the most beautiful birds he has ever seen. Though the Falcons were still quite young at the time, they were beautiful specimens groomed for keeping in his court specifically. The king called the head falconer and handed the two beautiful birds to be trained.
The falconer trained the birds for months. But one day the falconer informed the king that one of the falcons was flying and soaring high in the sky while the other has not moved from its branch since the day it had arrived.
I’ve never come across a bird as stubborn as this before,” the trainer complained to the king. He went on to describe how the creature ignored, refused and stubbornly lashed out at his every attempt. “May be there is something wrong with this bird.  It just won’t fly.” said the trainer. The falconer was one of the best in the land, his talents widely lauded by all who knew him. So, the king decided to give the trainer some more time to make the bird fly.    
Months passed but the falcon never moved from the branch. The kings summoned all healers, sorcerers and other trainers from all the land to make the falcon fly. But none of them succeeded and the bird did not move from its perch.
One day a farmer was passing by the palace and heard about the stubborn falcon who wouldn’t fly. He thought he would give a try to make the bird fly. Having tried everything else, the king was desperate to make the bird fly, so he allowed the farmer attempt to make the bird fly.
The next morning while the king was thrilled to see the two magnificent birds soaring high in the sky from his balcony.
The king had the farmer brought before him to answer to his questions.
“I would like to know your secret,” the King said. “Tell me, how did you, achieve what the most highly trained, intuitive and wise men could not? How did you make the falcon fly?”
The farmer peered up from beneath his brow. “It was actually quite simple, your highness. I just cut the branch on which the bird was perched.”
We all are made to fly. But at times we sit on to our branches, clinging to the things familiar to us and never attempting for a change. The possibilities in the world are endless, but most of it remains undiscovered because we never attempt to go beyond our comfort zone. We conform to the familiar, the comfortable, and the mundane. We need to go outside of our comfort zone, destroy the branch of fear we cling to and free ourselves to the glory of flight!

Be rich in goodness

A wise and successful man bought a beautiful house with a huge orchard. But, not all were happy for him. An envious man lived in an old house next to him. He constantly tried to make his fellow neighbour’s stay in the beautiful house as miserable as possible. He threw garbage under his gate and made other nasty things.
One fine day the wise man woke up in a good mood and went into the porch to notice buckets of garbage thrown there. The man took a bucket , cleaned his porch. He carried a bucket and went to knock his envious neighbour‘s door.
The envious neighbour heard a knock at his door and gleefully thought, “ I finally got him!”. He answered his door ready to quarrel with  his successful neighbour.  However the wise man gave him a bucket of freshly picked apples saying, “The one who is rich in something, shares it with others.”
Be rich in goodness so that you can lift up and influence others in a positive way !

Life is what you celebrate

One day a professor entered the classroom and asked his students to prepare for a surprise test. The professor walked around the class and handed the question papers.
To everyone’s surprise, there were no questions, but just a black dot in the centre of the page. The professor thoroughly read through everyone’s bewildered expressions and said-  “I want you to write what you see there.”
The perplexed students began to do what they had been asked to do. At the end of the class, the professor took all the answer papers and started reading each one of them aloud in front of all the students. All of them with no exceptions described the black dot, trying to explain its position in the middle of the sheet, etc.  After all had been read, the classroom was silent and the professor began to explain:
“I am not going to grade you on this test; I just wanted to give you something to think about. No one wrote about the white part of the paper. Everyone focused on the black dot – and the same happens in our lives. This is exactly what we end to do with our lives. We have a white paper to hold onto and enjoy, but we are so busy contemplating about the dark spots that’s in there.
Take your eyes away from the black spots in your life. Enjoy each one of your blessings, each moment that life gives you.
Life is what you celebrate. All of it. Even its end.

Genius is knowing where to stop...

Tanzan and Ekido, two monks,  were once traveling together down a muddy road. A heavy rain was still falling. Coming around a bend, they met a lovely girl in a silk kimono and sash, unable to cross the intersection.
“Come on, girl,” said Tanzan at once. Lifting her in his arms, he carried her over the mud. Ekido did not speak again until that night when they reached a lodging temple. Then he no longer could restrain himself. “We monks don’t go near females,” he told Tanzan, “especially not young and lovely ones. It is dangerous. Why did you do that?”
“I left the girl there,” said Tanzan. “Are you still carrying her?”
This beautiful story teaches us the importance of letting go and being fully present in the current moment. Let’s take a moment to reflect on what we are carrying?  There are chances that many of us may be fuming about someone else’s action like Ekido in this story. We may be still carrying things from our past that no longer serve us any purpose or rather threatens our inner peace and happiness.
Genius is knowing where to stop! Show grace but set your boundaries clear. A lot of what weighs you down is not yours to carry. Never cling to any of your bad choices, wrong decisions or mistakes just because you spent a lot of time making it. Let go the things when you have to. Be Present, completely !

Success doesn’t happen overnight

A fellow went to a Zen master and said, “If I work very hard, how soon can I be enlightened?”
The Zen master looked him up and down and said, “Ten years.”
The fellow said, “No, listen, I mean if I really work at it, how long—”
The Zen master cut him off. “I’m sorry. I misjudged. Twenty years.”
”Wait!” Said the young man, “You don’t understand! I’m—”
“Thirty years,” said the Zen master.
Most of us are like the fellow in this story; impatient and thriving to get it all right now.
Brian Chesky, the American billionaire and co-founder of Airbnb once told, “Our overnight success took 1000 days( two and a half years)”.                  
The fundamental understanding that you need to have to achieve success is that success doesn’t happen overnight. It happens day by day with forward progress both large and small !


Decisions to success... 

Once a media reporter asked an extremely successfully entrepreneur, “ What helped you achieve this huge success?”
He replied, “ Right decisions & choices”
The media reporter asked, “Sir, what helped you make the right decisions & choices?”
He replied, “ Wrong decisions & choices?”
Haven’t we all at some point of our life reflected on our past and regretted the wrong choices we made? What we have to understand is that nothing in life is a co-incidence. Everything happens for a reason. You make the wrong decisions so that you learn from it and be wise enough to make the right decisions. You cross path with the wrong people so that you learn to appreciate the right people.
So never beat yourself up about the so-called right-doing & wrong-doing. Instead embrace your journey, bear with the uncertainties & setbacks  and trust the process.


‘Sorry’, ‘Please’ & ‘Thank You’

‘Sorry’, ‘Please’ & ‘Thank You’ – Three magical words that can make the world a better place.
The importance of these three words often goes undermined and unseen. We often do not use these words because we fail to understand its significance and the impact that it can have. The use of these words is not just a display of one’s mannerisms but helps a person with finding inner peace and happiness. Although the reaction to these words in not in our hands, and it may not always reap our desired results, but we can definitely make changes to our lives using these words more often.
In today’s world we forget to acknowledge and ask for approval from others, we assume things in our lives and impose ourselves on others. This is a sign of aggression, use of authority and dominance which causes misery and unhappiness within and outside us. If we begin to ask for approval for things that need consent, it shows we care about what the other person wants. You never become second to anyone when you say ‘Please’. It only adds to your integrity.
We often refrain from using the word ‘Sorry’ due to several ego issues and mind blockages. To err is human and thus to apologize is also human. There is no harm in recognizing our faults and saying a sorry. An apology only shows that you value the relationship more than your ego.
Similarly, we hardly acknowledge the things we have. We fail to cherish them till the moment we know that it is slipping through the gaps of our fingers. It is at that desperate moment that we start recognizing that person’s value and then make the efforts to preserve it once again. Why not cherish the good things in life when you already have them rather than waiting till you lose it? There is always something to be thankful for. The more you appreciate and express gratitude for what you have, the more likely you will have even more to be thankful for. Make ‘thank you’ a part of your life.
Let’s make these three words an integral part of our life. They are like technology. The more you use it you get to know its vast possibilities and power.


Right from small age we have always associated FEAR as a negative emotion. But is fear actually a negative feeling ?!! Its high time we reflect on it and look at it from a different perspective.
Fear in itself is not real. The only place where fear can exist is in our thoughts about the future. You feel fear when you step out of your comfort zone and take chances or venture into things you have never done before. So fear is an indication that you are on the path of challenges and growth. So if you feel fear often, then you are on the right track. If you feel terrified of what is going to come next, you are on your way to greatness.
If you have been feeling relaxed and comfortable for a long time now, then its time to do a reality check. Otherwise, it would be too late before you realize that you merely existed and never really ‘lived’. The best things in your life has been placed at the other side of fear. You may not succeed at the first chance or the second chance or even the tenth chance. What do you do then? You rise back up and try till you make it. “I failed” is ten times more of a man than someone who said ‘what if’ because ‘what if’ never went to the arena.
Your fear can create you or destroy you. It all lies in how you deal with it. Behind every fear that you feel is the person that you want to become. Fear of failure is what holds back most people from doing the things that they have always wanted to do. We prefer ‘not to fail’ rather than ‘to succeed’. But the truth is fear of failure is the only motivation that you need to succeed.
So if it scares you, it might be a good thing to try !!

There is no "I" in team

A frog asked two geese to take him south with them. At first, they resisted; they didn't see how it could be done. Finally, the frog suggested that the two geese hold a stick in their beaks and that he would hold on to it with his mouth.
So, off they went, flying south over the countryside. It was quite a sight. People looked up and expressed great admiration at this demonstration of creative teamwork.
Someone said, "It's wonderful! Who was so clever to discover such a fine way to travel?" whereupon the frog opened his mouth and said, "It was I," as he plummeted to the earth.
This story shows us that there is no "I" in team. Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision. The ability to direct individual accomplishments toward organizational objectives. It is this fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results. Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, and working together is success.
And most importantly, it is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.

Motivation doesn’t last

Have you ever had the experience of getting highly motivated and energized after listening to an inspirational speech or video and the very next day you lose all that motivation and get back to routine? This is a common phenomenon. We all have faced it at some point. So how do we stay motivated?!
Like Zig Zaglar, an American author and motivational speaker, rightly quoted, “People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.”
There is no general rule to stay motivated because the things that motivate each individual would be very different. We all have our tough days. It’s not like you can hit a light switch and then you are changed for life. The most meaningful and important things tend to need continued effort. Identify the things that motivate you and link it with your goals. 
Some days you wake up motivated and ready to go. And some days things feel heavy as you arise and it is hard to get going and find that inner drive. Just get started anyways and let the motivation catch up with you. If the big goal is leading you to procrastinating then break it down into small steps because the most important thing is to just get going and to build momentum forward. Cherish every small accomplishment in your journey. Be grateful for your wins as well your struggles.
Motivation also has a lot to do with the people you surround yourself with and the way you spend time for yourself. Keep your distance from people who are weighing you down and spend time with the passionate, enthusiastic, creative, positive, inspired, adventurous ones. Also, spend quality time with yourself by doing the things that keeps you positive and inspired. Be it reading, music, exercise or any other hobby; just indulge in that to keep the balance.
Last but not the least, when you are tired, learn to rest not quit.
Sometimes, it’s okay if you fall down and lose a little spark but when you get back up, rise as the whole fire!

Speak the truth even when it’s hard.

An empress with no children decided to hold a competition to determine who would succeed her when she died. She summoned all the children in the city to her palace and gave each one a seed. "Plant this seed, care for it, and in one year bring back the flower that grows from it. Whoever brings me the most beautiful flower will be the next empress."
One young girl planted her seed in a pot and watered it every day, but nothing grew. At the end of the year she was devastated, but on the day set for inspection of the flowers she picked up her pot and carried it to the palace.
All the other children brought colorful, vibrant flowers, but the empress only glanced at them. She walked straight to the young girl and smiled. "All the seeds I gave you had been boiled and were dead. Only you were honest enough to bring back the original seed I gave you. You will be a just and wise empress."
Honesty may not always make you being liked by everyone. But the trust and credibility that you would build yourself just by being honest will be immense.

Don’t let anybody mess with your Zen !!!

An old man, a boy and a donkey were going to town. The boy rode on the donkey and the old man walked. As they went along they passed some people who remarked it was a shame that the old man was walking and the boy was riding. The man and boy thought maybe the critics were right, so they changed positions.
Later, they passed some people who remarked, "What a shame; he makes that little boy walk." Then they decided that they both would walk! Soon they passed some more people who thought they were stupid to walk when they had a decent donkey to ride. So they both rode the donkey.
Now they passed people who shamed them by saying how awful to put such a load on a poor donkey. The boy and man said they were probably right, so they decided to carry the donkey. As they crossed the bridge, they lost their grip on the animal, and he fell into the river and drowned.
In a world full of opinions, it is difficult not to be carried away by it. But the moment you realize that you don’t have to please everyone, you actually start living. This is true in all aspects of life.
Whatever you do, every by passer would have an opinion on the same. It’s up to you what to take and what not to take. If that opinion can yield you positive results, don’t shy away from accepting it. Similarly, if you know that it’s not going to do any good, be courageous enough to ignore it. You have every right to do what is right and good for you even if it doesn’t please everyone.
You could be the sweetest, juiciest, most delicious peach in the world and there are still going to be people who don’t like peaches, and that’s ok!
Get super clear on what you want, what your goals are, what you want you want your life to look like and what makes you happy. As long as you are not doing any harm or hurting anyone, don’t let anybody mess with your Zen!


Peace lies within you…

A group of highly established alumni got together to visit their old university professor. The conversation among them soon turned into complaints about their stressful work and life. The professor went to his kitchen and returned with a large pot of coffee and an assortment of cups, including porcelain, plastic, glass, crystal, some plain-looking, some expensive and some exquisite. The professor told them to help themselves with the coffee.
After all the students had a cup of coffee in their hands, the professor said: “Did you notice all the nice-looking cups are taken and only the plain inexpensive ones are left behind. While it is normal for everyone to want the best for themselves, but that is the source of problems and stress in your life. The cup itself adds no quality to the coffee. In most of the cases, it’s just more expensive and hides what we drink.”, the professor continued.
“What all of you really wanted was coffee, not the cup, but all of you consciously went for good looking expensive cups and then began eyeing on each other’ s cups.”
Sometimes we fail to enjoy the coffee by concentrating only on the cup we have. Never get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life. Being happy doesn’t mean everything’s around you is perfect. It means you’ve decided to see beyond the imperfections and find peace. And the peace lies within you…

Be kind always...

One day Anita, a 11 year old went to her mother to complain. “I can’t manage to have friends. They all stay away from me though I desperately try to be nice”
Her mother was taking care of newly - born chickens, and Anita held up one of them, which immediately tried to escape. The more the girl squeezed it in her hands, the more the chicken struggled.
Her mother said: “Try holding it gently.”
Anita obeyed her. She opened her hands and the chicken stopped struggling. She began to stroke it and the chicken cuddled up between her fingers.
“Human beings are like that too” said her mother, “If you want to hold onto them by any means, they escape. But if you are kind to them, they will remain for ever by your side.”
Always choose kindness over being nice.
Niceness stays quiet; Kindness speaks up. Niceness is toxic; Kindness is healing.
Niceness lies to keep peace; Kindness knows the only way to make peace is to tell the truth.
Niceness holds back. Kindness moves forward with humility, gentleness & grace.

who’s rainbow are you chasing??

One day a young man on his journey home came to the banks of a wide river. He also noticed a monk on the other side of the river. He suddenly had a strong desire to cross and go to the other side of the river but had no clue on how to do that.
He thought for a long time and finally just as he was about to give up his pursuit, he thought of asking the monk for an advice. The young man yelled over to the monk, “Oh wise one, can you tell me how to get to the other side of this river”?
The monk ponders for a moment, looks up and down the river and yells back, “My son, you are on the other side”.    
More than often we all fall victim to this situation in our lives; chasing someone else’s definition of success. We blindly idealize the life and journey of others without focussing on what we actually need. In the worst, you end up not achieving it and feel like a loser. In the best, you achieve it and is not even sure if that is what you really wanted.
So, who’s rainbow are you chasing?? Is the success that you are chasing your own or did someone else lend you their beliefs and ideas about it? Reflect on this thought once in a while and that would help to find our direction. When you stop chasing the wrong things, you give the right things a chance to catch you.

Going up...

In the middle of a storm, a pilgrim reaches an inn and the owner asks where he is going.
“I’m going to the mountains,” he answers.
“Forget it,” says the innkeeper, “it’s a risky climb, and the weather is awful.”
“But I’m going up,” answers the pilgrim, “if my heart gets there first, it will be easy to follow it with my body.”
What the pilgrim said conveys a very strong message that can change our lives. Every second in our lives, it is the possibility that keeps us going; not the guarantee. We are what we believe. Believe you deserve it and the universe will serve it.

"Everything changes”

A student asked a Zen master, Suzuki Roshi, during one of his lectures, “Can you explain Buddhism in just one phrase?"
Suzuki smiled and said, "Everything changes”
One of the foremost teachings in Buddhism is that everything in life is impermanent. You are impermanent, your loved ones are impermanent, your home is impermanent, even our planet is impermanent.
This teaches us that grasping onto things is one of the major reasons as to why we suffer. We need to live being aware of the ever-changing nature of reality and appreciate the present moment. It's not about letting go, it's really about not grasping in the first place. If we can learn to live in this way, we can find peace in everyday life.
Stop holding on to your past mistakes. Stop holding on to grudges. Stop holding on to people and things that are not serving your soul.
Change is the only constant in life. If you want to fly, learn to gracefully walk away from the things that are weighing you down. Because if you keep holding on to it, you will miss the magic of the present moment.


Be Your Boss...

A horse suddenly came galloping quickly down the road. It seemed as though the man had somewhere important to go.
Another man, who was standing alongside the road, shouted, "Where are you going?" and the man on the horse replied,
"I don't know! Ask the horse!"
This is a short but well-known Zen story with a powerful meaning behind it. The horse symbolizes our habit energy. The story explains the way we usually live, at the mercy of our old habit energies which have been established not by our intentional actions, but by our surroundings and mindless activity.
The horse is pulling us along, making us run here and there and hurry everywhere and we don't even know why. If you stopped to ask yourself from time to time why exactly you're running around so much, sometimes you might have an answer, but it's never a very good one. You're just used to it; it's how we're taught to live.
But as much as we run, it gets us nowhere. We need to learn how to take back the reigns and let the horse know who's boss.
You're the boss, you've always been the boss, so start acting like it.

‘WORDS’ – The sharpest thing in the world.

Words are free. It’s how you use them that may cost you. They have the energy and power to help, to heal, to hinder, to hurt, to humiliate and to humble. We can choose to use this force constructively with words of encouragement, or destructively with words of despair.
One kind word can change the whole day for a person and on the other hand one hurtful word can create a wound that might last forever.
Moreover, our words impact ourselves. In our thoughts and words, we create our own weaknesses and our own strengths, our limitations and our joys.
Every time, before you voice your opinion, let your words go through these three filters:
1. Is it true?
2. Is it good/kind?
3. Is it useful/necessary?
Imagine how different the world would be if we only chose to seek or create words that were true, good, or useful….

So ASK …

Have you ever wondered why some of us always end up in the right places and some of us are always clueless? Ever thought why some people always have the right answers and some people are always wondering and trying to sort things out? We conveniently choose to believe that some of us are more fortunate than others.
But the truth is some of us are brave to ask for solutions and to ask for what we want.
You get in life what you have the courage to ask for. If you don’t ask the answer will always be ‘No’. If you don’t step forward you will always be in the same place. If you don’t go behind what you want you will never have it.
So ASK …

We need to learn to capture every opportunity

One day the two fishermen were fishing in a nearby pond. They both had packed utensils, cooking accessories, ingredients and fishing equipment. Once they arrived at the pond, they chose to sit at a distance to hunt for fishes. The first fisherman caught a big and beautiful fish within a few minutes. He was very happy. He then placed the fish in the ice box to retain its freshness and planned to cook it in the noon. He caught a few more other small fishes after a while. He froze a few fishes to take it back home. After about an hour of fishing, the first fisherman offered to help the second fisherman. The second man politely declined. And then the second fisherman also caught a large fish. Surprisingly, he threw it back into the pond.
The first man was bewildered by his act. He remained silent as he watched the second man capture many big fishes only to have them thrown back into the water. The first fisherman, annoyed by this act, retorted, ‘Why are you throwing the fishes back into the water? They were beautiful and big!’
The second fisherman replied, ‘I know they were big, but I don’t have a big pan to cook the big fishes! So, I’m looking for a smaller fish that fits my cooking pan!” The first fisherman was startled by the response. He advised the second fisherman to cut the big fish into pieces to fit them into the small pan.
Many of us are just like the second fisherman. We tend to overlook a handful of opportunities, chances and even fortune that come in our way because we are too stubbornly looking for what we want. We need to learn to capture every opportunity and work it out so that it will fit into our lives perfectly.

Let us change our vision

There once lived a wealthy man who was bothered by severe eye pain. He consulted many physicians, but none could treat his ache.  He went through a myriad of treatment procedures, but his pain persisted. He looked for every available solution for his pain, and finally approached a wise monk, renowned for treating various illnesses. The monk carefully observed the man’s eyes and offered a very peculiar solution.
The monk told the man to concentrate only on green colour for a few weeks and avoid any other colours. The man was desperate to get rid of the pain and was determined to go to any extent. The wealthy man appointed a group of painters and purchased barrels of green paint and directed that every object, his eye was likely to fall to be painted green.
After a few weeks the monk came to visit the man to follow up on his progress. As the monk walked towards the man’s room, the appointed painter poured a bucket of green paint on the monk.  The monk could see that the whole corridor and the room was painted green. As the monk inquired for the reason for painting everything green, the wealthy man said that he was only following the monk’s advice to look at only green.
Hearing this, the monk laughed and said “If only you had purchased a pair of green spectacles, worth just a few dollars, you could have saved a large share of your fortune. You cannot paint the world green.”
Let us change our vision and the world will appear accordingly.

You are capable of amazing things!!!

A little wave was bobbing along in the ocean and was having a great time. He was enjoying the wind and the fresh air as it travelled– until he noticed that all the other waves in front of him were crashing against the shore. “Oh My God, this terrible”, The little wave thought. “Look what is happening to all the other waves and I will have to face the same fate!”
When the little wave was in the state of panic another wave came across and asked the little wave, “Why are you distressed my friend?”
The little wave said, “We are all going to crash against the shore and face our end! All of us waves are going to be nothing! Isn’t it terrible?”
The second wave answered with a smile, “No, you don’t understand. You’re not just a wave, you are a part of the ocean.”
Don’t underestimate yourself. You have far more potential than you likely realize. You are capable of amazing things!!!

Don’t give up

A marine biologist was involved in an experiment with a shark. He placed a shark in a tank along with other small bait fishes. As expected, the shark ate every single fish.
The marine biologist then inserted a clear fiberglass to create two sections within the tank.  He placed the shark in one section and smaller fished in the other section. The shark quickly attacked, but then he bounced off the fiberglass. The shark kept on repeating this behaviour. It just wouldn’t stop trying while the small fish in the other section remained unharmed and carefree. After about an hour, the shark finally gave up.
This experiment was repeated several dozen times over the next few weeks. Each time, the shark got less aggressive. Eventually the shark got tired and simply stopped attacking altogether.
The marine biologist then removed the fiberglass. The shark, however, didn’t attack. It was trained to believe in the existence of a barrier between it and the bait fish.
Many of us, after experiencing setbacks and failures, emotionally give up and stop trying. Like the shark, we chose to stay with past failure and believe that we will always be unsuccessful. We build a barrier in our heads, even when no ‘real’ barrier between where we are and where we want to go.
Don’t give up. Keep trying because success may be just a try away !!!

The universe always fall in love with a stubborn heart!!

Don’t we all get restless and start losing hope when something doesn’t work out or happen within the time, we expected it to? It’s funny how being a child we fancy the unimaginable and as we grow up, we limit our thoughts and refuse to believe in magic and are scared to think out of the way that we are used to.
The truth is, beautiful things have a way of happening in our life when we least expect it. But only if you believe in it. If not for men who believed in their wildest imaginations this world wouldn’t have been what is today.              
Every invention that we admire was once a mad idea that people made fun of and called unrealistic.
Each unbelievable accomplishment that we look up to for inspiration came from an individual who believed in the potential of his farthest imagination.
Always leave some room in your heart for the unexpected and believe in magic because the universe always fall in love with a stubborn heart!!

Believe me. It works

A man got lost in a desert and had exhausted all the water he had carried a couple of days ago. He knew for sure that if he didn’t get some water he would certainly die. Yet he didn’t give up hope. He walked looking for some sign of good fortune. Suddenly he saw a small house at some distance. ‘Could it be a mirage’ he thought. But having no other option he edged closer only to realize that the hut was real. He dragged his tired body inside the hut hoping that he would find some water inside it. The hut was empty and looked like was abandoned for quite some time. His heart skipped a beat when he noticed a hand pump in one corner of the hut. He began working the hand pump but no water came down. Despite trying several times he gave up out of frustration and exhaustion.
That is when he noticed another ray of hope. He noticed a bottle which was filled with water and corked up so that the water doesn’t evaporate. He uncorked the bottle and as he was just about to devour the life-giving water, he noticed a piece of paper attached to it. It said “Use this water to start the pump. Don’t forget to refill the bottle when you are done”. He was now in a dilemma. What if he put the water into the pump and it didn’t work. And then maybe, the information was correct also. But if it turned out to be wrong he would be throwing away the last water he would ever see.
Many people, when confronted by a situation like this, don’t make a decision because they fear the consequences and they continue to remain confused in their lives.
The man made his decision. He poured the water into the pump, said a prayer and started working the pump and water came down gushing out way more than he could possibly use. He drank the cool refreshing water to his heart’s content and quenched his thirst. He filled up his flask for the rest of the journey ahead and as per the instruction on the bottle, also filled up the bottle, put the cork back in and before leaving the hut he added his own lines below the instruction, “Use this water to start the pump. Don’t forget to refill the bottle when you are done. Believe me. It works!”.
Most of us may not be confronted by a situation like this where the choice we make decides whether we live or die. Yet we have our own choices to make. If the choice we make goes our way-fantastic. We can inspire people by telling them, “Believe me. It works!”.
And if doesn’t go our way, we can share our mistakes, our experiences, our realisations and empower people to make their right choices.
In the end we only regret the chances we didn’t take….



“There is only one way to avoid criticism. Do nothing. Be nothing. Say nothing” -Aristotle
Truer words were never spoken. If you have stood for something in your life, tried something new, tried to bring a change, it is inevitable that you will have people who holds an opinion against yours and people who would try to pull you down. Never be distracted by criticisms. Remember, the only taste of success some people have is when they take a bite of yours. The ones who are trying to pull you down are already below you.
Our greatest glory is in never falling but in rising every time we fall. That’s what defines you…
And most importantly, be an encourager. The world has plenty of critics already. Cheer for people. Give them constructive feedbacks. There is enough sun for everyone !!


Today is a new beginning. The start of a new financial year. It’s time for new challenges, new goals and new learnings. This year let’s make a promise to ourselves that we will not settle down for anything less than excellence.
Excellence can be obtained if you care more than others think is wise, risk more than others think is safe, dream more than others think is practical, expect more than others think is possible. And once you have experienced excellence you will never again be content with mediocrity…

All we have is now

We all have been victims to procrastination at some point in our life. You wanted to do something but then you decide to do it later. You wanted to take an initiative or start a habit but then you decide to wait for an ideal moment to do so. This is the biggest mistake that we all commit in our lives, waiting for the opportune moment…
Waiting is what kills most of our dreams. Don’t search for defining moments because they will never come. Every single moment of our life holds a million possibilities and every day we pass by these life changing moments without realizing its potential. Don’t wait for the world to tell you that you are ready. The world might tell you that you are not allowed to do it yet. Give yourself the permission to fail and just do it!
You might get a little derailed at times. You might fall hard and hurt yourself. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better. And in the end, when you look back you will realize that you were blooming all the way. The flowers will remind you why the rain was so necessary.
Every day morning when you open your eyes you are presented with a day full of opportunities and it’s your choice whether to seize the day or let the day seize you. No moment is more important, more perfect than right now. And it is this very moment that defines your success tomorrow.
Have been wanting to share an idea for long…do it today!
Have been wanting to start a new habit for long…do it today!
Have been wanting to organize your work and routine better for long…start today!
Have been wanting to share an honest feedback to someone for long…today would be the perfect day!


We have our own flaws

A young woman worked for a merchant who lived on top of a hill. She worked as the merchant’s laundress and every day she had to walk down the hill to collect water from a stream. She had two pots to carry water, which she hung upon a pole she could carry over her shoulders. With time one of her pot got a slender crack along its side. She observed the cracks on the pot and decided she could still use it.
Every day, the woman carried those pots down the hill to the stream, filled them to the brim, and walked back up the hill, balancing the pole across her shoulders. By the time she reached the house, the cracked pot would be only half full while the other pot delivered a full portion of water.
The cracked pot glanced at the other pot and saw water filled to the top, and it began to feel desolate. The full pot was proud of its accomplishment while the cracked pot felt ashamed and miserable that it was able to accomplish only half of what it was meant to.             
After few years of what the cracked pot perceived to be a failure, it spoke to the lady. “I apologize for my flaws. The crack on my side, has made me useless. I spill half of the water. I’m of no good!” the pot said.
The lady felt sorry for the old cracked pot, and she said, ”But pot, you don’t understand, You haven’t been paying attention. Look around you. As we return to the master’s house, I want you to look at the path we traverse”.
The next time when the lady carried the water up to the hill, the pot carefully observed the path up the hill. For the first time the pot stopped looking inward and instead looked out. On his side of the trail the pot noticed beautiful flowers growing in abundance while the other side was still dry.
As the women reached the top of the hill, she asked “Did you notice the beautiful flowers on the path? They are only on your side of the path. I had always known about your cracks and I took advantage of it to water those beautiful flowers along the way. Without you being just the way you are, the path uphill would not have this beauty.”
The cracked pot was overjoyed. All its sadness was gone. He understood that the very thing he thought to be his flaws turned out to be a blessing for the flowers along the path.
Every one of us is unique and we have our own flaws. And it is our little quirks and faults that make us and the world so interesting.


Feel Alive 

We live in a consumer culture. We love to eat, drink, and be merry—while binge watching whatever’s trending on Netflix and getting a dopamine hit for every item added to our cart on Amazon Prime. We love to take it all in—information, entertainment, status updates, news reports, substances, and an endless array of stuff. There’s never a shortage of things we can consume, often to keep our minds distracted and our feelings silenced.
It is important to stay educated and updated. At the same time, we all get an instinct to shut down for a while. A little disengagement can be a good thing in a world that often requires us to be on. And yes, there needs to be a balance. Instead of constantly stuffing yourself with external pleasures, fill your mind with curiosity, passion and enthusiasm and create things for yourself.
What are some things we can create?
A mission statement: Many of us go through our days without a sense of purpose. We have no idea what we value or what we stand for. We have no idea what we’re really doing with our lives, or why. Nothing feels exciting when nothing is fuelled by passion or intention.
In order to feel alive, we need to be connected to what matters to us most, individually. Create a blueprint for how you want to show up in the world so you can be the person you want to be and make decisions that feel right for you. This doesn’t have to be set in stone. Mission statements change over time as we grow and evolve. So write, revisit, and revise, as often you feel necessary.
A medium for self-expression: We live in an exciting time for self-expression. No longer do any authorities get to decide whose words deserve a platform. Anyone can start a blog, vlog, or podcast to share their thoughts and views with the world. Not only will you give yourself an opportunity to express your feelings and feel truly seen, you’ll likely also help other people through your honesty and vulnerability.
Memories: At the end of it all, when we look back on our lives, what we’ll see is a collection of moments—times when we loved, connected, got outside our comfort zone, and engaged with the world with wonder and enthusiasm. We can create magic for ourselves, someone else, or both, if we’re willing to prioritize it and put in the effort.
Possibilities: There are a lot of us who feel pretty discontent with our lives. Most of us merely survive. Some of us are born into more ideal circumstances, and some get more advantages. But perhaps the problem isn’t just that not everyone gets the same chances, but also that not everyone takes the same chances. If we settle into a pit of discontentment and do the same things every day, nothing will ever change. The only way to make our lives any better is find and seize opportunities instead of waiting for them to come to us.
Make the call. Send the email. Sign up for the course. Do something to create new possibility for your life, whether it pertains to your work, your hobbies, or your relationships.
New Connections: We live in an increasingly disconnected world. We spend more time holding devices than hands and look into more screens than eyes. This is such a lonely way to live. But it doesn’t have to be like this. Not if we prioritize forming and maintaining relationships. It can be challenging to pull ourselves away from our usual indulgences, get outside our little bubble of comfort, and get present in the world beyond our own door. But it’s so worth it. It can feel awkward to initiate conversation with someone new. Make the first move anyways. You just might change two lives.

Monkey and Apple

There once lived a free-spirited monkey in a beautiful jungle. He spent his days wandering the jungle, climbing trees, eating delicious fruits and resting. One day while wandering around he came very close to the nearby village. He looked inside a house in the village and saw a bowl of red ripe apples. He couldn’t hold his urge to eat it, so he grabbed one in each hand and ran back into the forest. He sniffed the apples, but it smelled nothing. He tried to eat them, but he hurt his teeth. The apples were made of wood, but they looked delicious. When the other monkeys of the jungle saw the apples, he held onto them even tighter.
He proudly admired his new possessions as he wandered the jungle. The wooden apples glistened red in the sun and seemed perfect to him. He was so enticed by them, that he even forgot about his hunger.
He was walking near a fruit tree when the smell of the ripe fruit reminded him of his hunger.  He wanted to grab a ripe fruit and eat it but he had the apples in his hands. He couldn’t let go of the wooden apples to reach for the fruit. He was too afraid to lose the apples and felt the need to protect it. The monkey was very proud of the apples, but he was not happy.
As he held the apples longer, it started to feel heavier. The poor little monkey thought about keeping it down for a while but letting go of such a valuable thing seemed crazy.

Addled to genius

One day the young Thomas Edison came home and handed a paper to his mother from his school. He told her, “My teacher gave this paper to me and told me to give it only to you.”
His mother’s eyes were tearful as she read the letter out loud to her son. “Your son is a genius. This school is too small for him and doesn’t have good teachers for training him. Please teach him yourself.”
After years, Edison’s mother died, and he was renowned as one of the greatest inventors of the century. One day he was going through his old family things. Suddenly, he noticed a folded paper in the corner of a drawer. He took it and opened it up.
On the paper was written: “Your son is addled. We won’t let him come to school anymore.”
Thomas Edison cried for hours and then he wrote in his diary: “Thomas Alva Edison was an addled child that, by a hero mother, became the genius of the century.”
No one has the power to shatter your dreams unless you give it to them !!


The secret of happiness

Once a young man wanted to learn about the secret of happiness from the wisest man on the earth. The lad wandered through the desert, mountains, and plains to find the wisest man in the land. He finally reached to a beautiful castle in the high atop of a mountain where a very wise man was said to reside.
The young man had imagined the wise man to live like a sage with modest and quiet lifestyle. But to his surprise, he was not at all like a sage. He saw lots of activities happening in the castle. Tradesmen came and went, people were conversing in the corners, a small orchestra was playing soft music, and finally he saw a table covered with platters of the most delicious food in the part of the world.
The wise man conversed with everyone, and the young man had to wait for several hours to meet him. The wise man listened attentively to the young man’s curiosity to know about the secret of happiness and then replied that he didn’t have time to explain the secret of happiness at that moment. But, he suggested the young man to have look around his castle and its beauty and uniqueness and return in two hours. He also assigned a task to the man. He handed over a teaspoon to the man which had two drops of oil. The wise man said to the young lad ” As you wander around, carry this spoon with you without allowing the oil to spill.”
The Young man began climbing and descending the many stairways of the palace, keeping his eyes fixed on the spoon. After two hours, he returned to the room where the wise man was. ”Well,” asked the wise man, “Did you see the Persian embroideries that are hanging in my dining hall? Did you see the garden that it took the master gardener ten years to create? Did you notice the beautiful parchments in the library?”
The boy was embarrassed and confessed that he had observed nothing. His only concern had been not to spill the oil that the wise man entrusted to him.
“Then go back and observe the marvels of my world, “said the wise man. Relieved, the boy picked up the spoon and returned to his exploration of the palace, this time more conscious about the surroundings and observing all of the works of art on the ceilings and the walls. Upon returning to the wise man, he explained in detail everything he had seen. ”But where are the drops of oil I entrusted to you?” asked the wise man.
Looking down the spoon he held, the boy saw that the oil was gone. ”Well, there is only one piece of advice I can give you, “said the wisest man, “The secret of happiness is to see all the marvels of the world, and never to forget the drops of oil on the spoon.”


Are you really rich? 

More than often people connect success to being rich. And there is no one on this planet who doesn’t want to be rich. So… how do you become rich??
Before we speak about becoming rich, let’s reflect on the concept of being rich. Does having a lot of money make you rich and give you a happy and fulfilling life?
Whether you drive a Volkswagen or you drive a Bentley, the road remains the same.
Whether you speak on Samsung or you speak on an Iphone, the person you are speaking to and what you are speaking remains the same.
Whether you are flying economy or you are flying business class, the destination where you are heading to remains the same.
Whether you are wearing a Fastrack or a Rolex, the time remains the same.
It’s quite amazing how we work ourselves up so much with increasing the standard of living that we forget to increase the standard of our life.                           
There is nothing wrong with a Bentley or a Rolex. May God bless you with that and if you have it, use it also. But in trying to enhance and improvise the standard of your living, never compromise on the standard of your life because it is always the standard of your life that makes you happy. And more than often, we forget to give attention to the very things that can make us truly happy.
Some people are so poor that all they have is money. There is way more to life than what money can buy. If you truly want to know how rich you are, drop a tear and see how many hands come forth to wipe it.
Aim to be rich in knowledge, love, laughter, adventures, health and family. Because that is what increase the standard of your life. Count all the things that you have that money cannot buy and that’s how rich you are!!

The successful warrior

A farmer and his dog used to sit by roadside in the evenings. The dog would wait for vehicles to come around and as soon as any vehicle came, it would run behind it down the road, barking, trying to overtake it and catch it. The farmer’s neighbour used to see this and one day out of curiosity he asked the farmer, “Do you think your dog is ever going to catch a car?”
The farmer replied, “ That’s not what I am bothered about. What bothers me is what he would do if he ever caught one!”
This is very much true when it comes to our lives also. It is your focus that determines your reality. Don’t get distracted by things that has nothing to do with your goals. Prioritize your life goals and work goals and act accordingly. In the end, how you spend your time and where you focus your attention will determine how successful you are. Review your goals twice everyday in order to be focused on achieving them.
Feed your focus and starve your distractions because you will never reach your destination if you stop and throw stones at every dog that barks. The successful warrior is the average man with laser-like focus.


Two sisters were once quarrelling over a single orange. One of them wanted the orange for the rind and the other one wanted the orange for the juice. Finally, the sisters cooperatively agreed to cut the orange in half – a compromise agreement. One sister uses the juice and throws the rind away; the other sister uses the rind and throws the juice away, and then they realize, too late, that both sisters would have been far better off by giving all the juice to one sister and all the rind to the other sister.
This is what is meant by “win-win” negotiation agreements, which are described as outcomes that improve upon mutual settlement by identifying ways that both parties receive better outcomes than by simply compromising on the issues at hand. The law if win-win says, “Let’s not do it your way or my way; Let’s do it the best way.”

It is never late to start over

More than a decade ago, a man was reading his morning newspaper. To his surprise and horror, he read his name in the obituary column. The newspapers had mistakenly reported the death of the wrong person for sure. He was shocked to read news headline about his death. When he regained his composure, He read it to find out what people had said about him.
The news included sentences like, “Dynamite King Dies.” and “He was the merchant of death.”. The man was the inventor of dynamite and when he read the words “merchant of death,” he asked himself a question,
“Is this how I am going to be remembered?” he asked himself. He decided that this was not the way he wanted to be remembered and he decided to change.
From that day on, he started working toward world peace. His name was Alfred Nobel and he is remembered today by the great Nobel Prize, the greatest of all the prizes.      
The Nobel Prize has been honouring men and women from all corners of the globe for outstanding achievements in physics, chemistry, medicine, literature, and for work in peace since 1901. The foundations for the prize were laid in 1895 when Alfred Nobel wrote his last will, leaving much of his wealth to the establishment of the Nobel Prize.
It is never late to start over and create a new vision for your future. It is never too late to reinvent yourself.

Give your best

A carpenter with years of experience, was ready to retire. He communicated his contractor about his plans to leave the house building business to live a more leisurely retired life with his wife and family. The contractor felt a little upset that his good and experienced carpenter was leaving the job, but he requested the carpenter to build just one more house for him.
The carpenter agreed with contractor but his heart was not in his work like it used to be. He resorted to shoddy workmanship and used inferior materials for building the last house of his career. It was an unfortunate way to end his career. When the carpenter completed the house and the employer came to inspect the house.                 
He looked around the house and just before he exited the house he handed the front-door key to the carpenter. “This is your house,” he said, “my gift to you.”  This was a huge surprise to the carpenter. Although it was supposed to be a good surprise, he wasn’t feeling good as he felt a deep shame inside him. If he had only known he was building his own house, he would have done it all so differently. Now he had to live in the home that wasn’t built that well.
Like the carpenter, we build our lives in a distracted way, reacting rather than acting, willing to put up with less rather than the best. Give your best. Your attitudes and the choices you make today will be your life tomorrow, build it wisely.

Every individual has his flaws

It was one of the coldest winters and many animals were dying because of the cold. The porcupines, realizing the situation, decided to group together to keep each other warm. This was a great way to protect themselves from cold and keep each of them warm; but the quills of each one wounded their closest companions.
After a while, they decided to distance themselves, but they too began to die due to cold. So, they had to make a choice: either accept the quills of their companions or choose death. Wisely, they decided to go back to being together. They learned to live with the little wounds caused by the close relationship with their companions in order to receive the warmth of their togetherness. This way they were able to survive.
Every individual has his flaws. In fact our flaws are what makes us unique. Accept, respect and embrace each other for what they truly are. That’s how we make long lasting relationships. Be it at your workplace or personal life, it is important to value the other person’s individuality.

The world is a big mirror

Once a dog ran into a museum filled with mirrors. The museum was very unique, the walls, the ceiling, the doors and even the floors were made of mirrors. Seeing his reflections, the dog froze in surprise in the middle of the hall. He could see a whole pack of dogs surrounding him from all sides, from above and below.
The dog bared his teeth and barked all the reflections responded to it in the same way. Frightened, the dog barked frantically, the dog’s reflections imitated the dog and increased it many times. The dog barked even harder, but the echo was magnified. The dog tossed from one side to another while his reflections also tossed around snapping their teeth.
Next morning, the museum security guards found the miserable, lifeless dog, surrounded by thousands of reflections of the lifeless dog. There was nobody to harm the dog. The dog died by fighting with his own reflections.
Moral: The world doesn’t bring good or evil on its own. Everything that is happening around us is the reflection of our own thoughts, feelings, wishes and actions. The World is a big mirror. So, let’s strike a good pose!


Commitment and trust

A boy and a girl were playing together. The boy had a collection of beautiful marbles. The girl had some delicious candies with her. The boy offered to give the girl all his marbles in exchange for all her candies. The girl agreed. The boy gave all the marbles to the girl, but secretly kept the biggest and the most beautiful marble for himself. The girl gave him all her candies as she had promised. That night, the girl slept peacefully. But the boy couldn’t sleep as he kept wondering if the girl had hidden some more tasty candies from him the way he had hidden his best marble. If you don’t give your hundred percent in a relationship, be it personal relationship or professional relationship, you’ll always keep doubting if the other person has given his/her hundred percent. When you make a commitment, you build hope. When you keep it, you build trust.

Listen to the whisper or wait for the brick

A successful young executive was riding his brand-new Jaguar down a neighbourhood street when he noticed a kid darting out from between parked cars. As he passed by, a brick smashed into his car’s door. He slammed on the brakes and drove back to the place where the brick has been thrown.
The furious man jumped out of his car and caught the nearest kid shouting, “What was that all about? What the heck did you do to my car? Why did you do it?”. The young boy was little scared but was very polite and apologetic. “I am sorry Mister. I didn’t know what else to do,” he pleaded. “I had to throw the brick because no one else would stop for my call to help”.  With tears rolling down his cheeks, he pointed towards the parked cars and said “it’s my brother, he rolled off the curb and fell off his wheelchair and he is badly hurt. I can’t lift him up.”
The sobbing boy asked the man, “Would you please help me get him back into his wheelchair? He is hurt and he is too heavy for me.” The young man was moved beyond words and tried to swallow the rapidly swelling lump in his throat. He hurriedly lifted the other kid from the spot and put him back to the wheelchair. He also helped the little kid with his bruises and cuts.
When he thought that everything will be ok, he went back to his car. “Thank you, sir, and God bless you”, said the grateful kid. The young man was too shaken up for any word, so the man simply watched the little boy push the wheelchair bound brother down the sidewalk. It was a long and slow ride back home to the man.  When he came out of the car, he looked at his dented car door. The damage was very noticeable, but he did not bother to repair it. He kept the dent to remind him of the message; “Do not go through life so fast that someone has to throw a brick at you to get your attention”.
Life whispers in our souls and speaks to our hearts. Sometimes when we do not listen to it, it throws a brick at us. It is our choice, listen to the whisper or wait for the brick.
In all the chaos and hurry, do not forget to slow down and observe your journey. Allow presence and awe in your life for that is what makes all the difference!!


The secret to success

Once a young man asked the wise man, Socrates,  the secret to success.  Socrates patiently listened to the man’s question and told him to meet him near the river the next morning for the answer. The next morning Socrates asked the young man to walk with him towards the river. As they went in the river  the water got up to their neck. But to the young man’s surprise Socrates ducked him into the water.
The young man struggled to get out of the water, but Socrates was strong and kept him there until the boy started turning blue. Then Socrates pulled the man’s head out of the water. The young man gasped and took a deep breath of air. Socrates asked, ‘What did you want the most when your head was in the water?” The young man replied, “Air.” Socrates said, “That is the secret to success. When you want success as badly as you wanted the air while you were in the water, then you will get it. There is no other secret.”
A burning desire is the starting point of all accomplishment. Just like a small fire cannot give much heat, a weak desire cannot produce great results.

Every person has a story

A 24 year old boy seeing out from the train’s window shouted…
“Dad, look the trees are going behind!”
Dad smiled and a young couple sitting nearby, looked at the 24 year old’s childish behaviour with pity, suddenly he again exclaimed…
“Dad, look the clouds are running with us!”
The couple couldn’t resist and said to the old man…
“Why don’t you take your son to a good doctor?” The old man smiled and said…“I did and we are just coming from the hospital, my son was blind from birth, he just got his eyes today.
Every single person on the planet has a story. Don’t judge people by the chapter that you walked in. When you truly get to know them, their journey might amaze you!


Merchant of death

About a hundred years ago, a man looked at the morning newspaper and to his surprise and horror, read his name in the obituary column. The newspapers had reported the death of the wrong person by mistake. His first response was shock. When he regained his composure, his second thought was to find out what people had said about him. The obituary read, “Dynamite King Dies.” And, also he was addressed as “the merchant of death.” This man was the inventor of dynamite and when he read the words “merchant of death,” he asked himself a question, “Is this how I am going to be remembered?” He got in touch with his feelings and decided that this was not the way he wanted to be remembered. From that day on, he started working towards peace. His name was Alfred Nobel and he is remembered today by the great Nobel Prize.
Just as Alfred Nobel got in touch with his feelings and redefined his values, we should step back and do the same.
What is your legacy?
How would you like to be remembered?
Will you be spoken well of?
Will you be remembered with love and respect?
Will you be missed?
You get to decide the legacy that you leave!!

Rise again

Never be too hard on yourself. Instead view your life with a positive and kind insight so that every time you fall, you find the strength and confidence to rise again. You grow through what you go through. The kites rise the highest against the wind – not with it!!

One life, just one...

So, when was the last time you did something for the first time? If you are scratching your head and struggling to come up with an answer for this question, then you are not doing justice to your life.
You don’t grow if you stay within the limits of what you already know. Never be afraid to try something new. Novelty and innovation can be brought in even in the simplest things in life.
Try doing your routine work in a different and more productive way. Bring in new ideas and add more value to your work. The way you are doing it right now is only one of the numerous ways of doing it.
Jump into things which you have always wanted to do. Be a fearless idiot when it comes to taking chances. Because if you never try you will never know. Your life begins at the end of your comfort zone.
Sometimes the smallest step in the right direction ends up being the biggest step of your life. Tip toe if you must, but take the step.                                  
One Life. Just one. Why aren’t we running like we are on fire towards our wildest dreams?! One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure it’s worth watching !!

A compliment is a verbal sunshine

Have you ever had an instance where you were really impressed or carried away by someone but didn’t bother to compliment them and let them know about it?  May be they came up with an excellent idea during a discussion, may be they went the extra mile to complete an assigned task, may be a gesture of theirs was kind, or just may be they looked really great that day; but something held you back from going straight up to them and giving a compliment. If the positive things were noticed more than or, at the least ,as much as, the negative things and most importantly if people talked about the good things more than they did about the bad things, how different and beautiful would the world be !! Why do we hesitate and why is it that we think a hundred times before passing a compliment? And most often, somewhere in between the rethinking you give up and decide not to give the compliment because you really don’t consider it very relevant.
But think from the other person’s perspective. Think how inspired they would be to know that someone was really impressed or influenced by them. A compliment of yours can make someone else’s day.
So tell your teammate how much their support mattered during your hectic times. Tell your subordinate that you appreciate his quality of work. Tell your colleague that they look great in the new outfit. Be generous with compliments. Give genuine and honest compliments to people and magnify their strength.
The next time you raise your voice let it be to shout out a compliment ‘coz a compliment is a verbal sunshine.

The battle is between two wolves

A Cherokee was instructing his grandson about a battle that goes on in every human being.
He said to the young man, “the battle is between two wolves. One wolf is slothful, cowardly, vain, arrogant, and full of self-pity, sorrow, regret, envy and anger. The other wolf is diligent, courageous, humble, benevolent, and full of compassion, joy, empathy and faith”. Then there was a silence.
The grandson thought about the wolves for a moment and then asked his grandfather, “which wolf wins?”
The Cherokee elder replied, “the one you feed”.
Your mind  is your greatest power and it will always believe everything you tell it. It can enslave you or empower you depending on how you feed it.
Feed it hope. Feed it love. Feed it good thoughts. The more you feed your mind with positive thoughts, the more you can attract great things into your life !!

Why Worrying...

In a village, people used to visit a wise man complaining about the same problems over and over again. One day, he decided to tell them a joke and they all roared with laughter.
After a few minutes, he told them the same joke and only a few of them smiled.
Then he told the same joke for a third time, but no one laughed or smiled anymore.
The wise man smiled and said: “You can’t laugh at the same joke over and over. So why are you always crying about the same problem?”
Worrying doesn’t empty tomorrow of its troubles. It empties today of its strength. The less you worry the less complicated your life becomes.

Be Yourself...

You were born an original. Don’t die a copy!! Let people see the real, imperfect, flawed, quirky, magical person that you are…
Let the light that you are shine freely !! Being yourself is the most beautiful and courageous thing you can be…


Life as a sculptor

In the middle of a beautiful city there was a museum. The floor of the museum was made with marble tiles and right in the centre of the foyer was a huge marble statue as a part of the display. Many people from all parts of the world visited the museum every day and admired the beautifully crafted statue. One night one of the marble tiles on the floor started talking to the marble statue. “Hey statue, we are originally from the same town. We were picked up from the same mine, transported on the same lorry and brought to the very same sculptor. Why then do people from all over the world come all the way here just to step on me while they admire and praise you so much. This is so unfair.” The marble said “My dear friend, oh tile, do you remember how both of us sat there side by side in the sculptor’s workshop in our original forms as marble blocks. And do you remember how the sculptor chose to work on you first. He started using his tools on you simply to turn you into a masterpiece. But you resisted. You started falling apart.”
“ Of course I remember” said the marble tile, “I hate that guy. How could he use those sharp tools on me.” The statue replied “That’s right. When you couldn’t take the pain of his tools he decided to give up on you and started working on me instead. I knew at once, that if I had to be something different I would have to bear the pain. Thinking so, instead of resisting I bore all the pain. My friend, there is a price to everything in life. Since you decided to give up halfway, you can’t blame anybody who steps on you now.”
Life as a sculptor, wants to make a masterpiece out of you. The question is whether you are ready to handle every test, every hard knock, every trouble, every failure; all the pain that comes from these sculpting tools, and become a masterpiece. Or do you grumble and crumble down to simply become a tile. That is what decides whether people step on you or admire you.


Life is a roller coaster

“Life is a roller coaster”….very true words…yet we are all conditioned to overrate the good days and feel desperate during the bad days. No one is ever really comfortable in dealing with their not-so-good times. We have this perpetual “right and wrong” notions fed into our minds and that influence us in every walk of life. But then, It’s Okay to be not okay sometimes….don’t be too hard on yourself…
It’s Okay !!
It’s okay to not have it all figured out yet..
They say you should set your career and life goals straight and clear at a young age and that would help you lead a prosperous life…but if you have not yet found out your true passion and purpose it’s okay. Be patient. Your journey deserves its own pace. It’s never too late.
It’s okay to make mistakes…
Mistakes are part and parcel of life and it’s through your mistakes and failures that you grow. Never ever take a mistake to your heart and blame yourself for it over and over again. Instead cherish what it had taught you and use it to build a better version of yourself.
It’s okay to cry…
If there ever comes a point in your life where you feel totally shattered and wants to cry your heart out, do it. It doesn’t make you weak. Sometimes life is hard and some days are rough. If you can’t cry with all your heart then you can never laugh with all your heart.
It’s okay to be scared…
If it scares you then it’s definitely a good thing to try. You will always learn something when you come out of the shell and face your fears. Sometimes what you are most afraid of doing is the very thing that sets you free.
It’s okay to be jealous…
It is absolutely okay to feel jealousy but it is important how you handle it. Jealousy helps to keep you on your toes and helps you realize that you are not the be-all and end-all of everything.
It’s okay if everyone doesn’t like you…
Never waste your time and energy trying to please everyone. Own who you are and be proud of it. Be opinionated and stand up for the things that you believe in. The right people will like you for the right reason.
Sometimes it’s okay if the only thing that you did today was breathe…You are alive and that is the hardest thing to be!!

Take Life One Step at a Time…

Do you claim health is important to you–then not exercise for 6 weeks? Do you believe being productive is important, but work only on the night before a deadline? Do you believe relationships are important, but let your social life stagnate? How do you close that gap between what you value and how you behave?
Everyone makes mistakes and often fail to live up to the things they consider important. Imperfections are part of life. It is sad that some people feel that because being perfectly consistent with your values is impossible, that there is no point trying to debug the inconsistencies. Some self-improvement cynicism is the result of demanding the impossible, expecting perfection instead of progress.
Unlike a computer program, your software can never have zero-defects. Instead, try to think of self-improvement as trying to reach 98% bug-free. You will inevitably fail to meet your values some of the time, but those errors won’t matter too much in the long run.
Write out your goals because a goal doesn’t matter unless it is on paper. If you don’t write out your goals, it is only your emotional compass that would decide whether something would get done that day.
Break down your fears.  If something terrifies you, chop it into pieces you can swallow. Take one step at a time.
Don’t try to overhaul your life overnight. Instead, focus on making one small change at a time. Over time, these small changes will add up to big transformations.
You may not be there yet, but you are closer than you were yesterday……


Happiness is found in the simplest of things…
Happiness is found in gratitude, in a good conversation, in an achieved goal, in a fond memory…
In all the simple magnificence of life…
Remember this…You will be exactly as happy as you decide to be.
To be happy is a choice you make every day, every hour. And refining and renewing that state is a constant pursuit.
Stay Happy & Positive…

Dream We Must…..

Martin Luther King, Jr., four decades ago, said, “I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed…that all men are created equal. And if America is to be a great nation, this must become true.” And in 2008, USA elected their first Afro-American president. This dream was implanted into the social consciousness when the blacks didn’t even have the voting rights.
Dhirubhai Ambani dreamt of a digital India, where the common man would have access to affordable means of information and communication, which will help him overcome the handicaps of illiteracy and lack of mobility. Today it is a reality in India. This dream was implanted into the minds of Reliance’s intelligentsia when basic communication channels were still pathetic in India.
Mahatma Gandhi dreamt of a free India at a time when this country was already enslaved and ruled by foreigners for well over three centuries. And today we are living his dream. At a time when India couldn’t even build world class air carriers, APJ Abdul Kalam dreamt about developing missiles to strengthen the country. Today we are living his dream.
Dream we must , that all of us know. What is significant here is that all these great dreamers processed great dreams not necessarily during the best of times but during the toughest of times, when the collective social consciousness wasn’t upbeat.
So, dream we must – both as individuals and as humanity. On the sheer strength of our dreams let us get the world to stand up.

Your success roar !!!

What defines us is how well we rise after falling….The days that break you are the days that make you….
Let your hustle whisper and your success roar !!!

Value every single person 

The things you take for granted someone else is praying for…..
Savour every little thing and value every single person in your life. You never know what tomorrow might bring!!

Attitude makes a big difference!!

It is not always about what happens to you. Sometimes it’s about how you choose to handle the storms—to keep moving forward with your life when uncertainty is raging around you.
Above all, be the hero of your life; not the victim…Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference!!

Be Kind Always…

In the days when an ice cream sundae cost much less, a 10 year old boy entered a hotel coffee shop and sat at a table.
“How much is an ice cream sundae?” he asked the waitress.
“50 cents,” replied the waitress.
The little boy pulled his hand out of his pocket and studied the number of coins in it.
“How much is a dish of plain ice cream?” he inquired. Some people were now waiting for a table and the waitress was a bit impatient.
“35 cents,” she said in an irritated tone.
The little boy again counted the coins. “I’ll have the plain ice cream,” he said.
The waitress brought the ice cream, put the bill on the table and walked away. The boy finished the ice cream, paid the cashier and departed.
When the waitress came back, she began wiping down the table and then swallowed hard at what she saw.
There, placed neatly beside the empty dish, were 15 cents – her tip.
Kindness is a gift everyone can afford to give. So be the reason someone feels seen, heard and supported. Be the reason someone smiles today. If we all do one random act of kindness daily, we might set the world in the right direction…

Learn to unlearn…

Nan-in, a Japanese master during the Meiji era (1868-1912), once had a visitor who was a university professor who came to inquire about Zen (school of Mahayana Buddhism). Nan-in invited him inside and had a small talk with him. After that he served tea to the professor. He poured his visitor’s cup full, and then kept on pouring. The professor watched the overflow until he no longer could restrain himself. “It is overflowing. No more will go in!” “Like this cup,” Nan-in said, “you are full of your own opinions and speculations. How can I show you Zen unless you first empty your cup?”
When any real progress is made, we unlearn and learn anew what we thought we knew before. Transformation is all about learning, unlearing and relearning. A conditioned mind cannot comprehend the infinite.


The Road not Taken...

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveller, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less travelled by,
And that has made all the difference…..
This is a beautiful poem by Robert Frost which reflects on the power of our decisions. We are not living in a world where all roads are radii of a circle and where all, if followed long enough, will therefore draw gradually nearer and finally meet at the centre: rather in a world where every road, after a few miles, forks into two, and each of those into two again, and at each fork, you must make a decision. Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen. The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity. You can do anything you decide to do.
You write your life story by the choices you make. It is your choices that truly defines who you are much more than your abilities!!


Gratitude is the Key….

A rich man was passing through a desert towards his destination. It was a new experience for him as he was without all the luxuries and comforts that he had been used to. The hot sunrays were piercing through his skin and the sand was reflecting back immense heat. The hot air ran past and slapped his body, head to toe. It was getting difficult for him to carry on as he was beginning to get dehydrated and his water reserves were depleted.
As he struggled and moved ahead, his eyes fell on a small tent at a distance. Gathering all his energy he somehow managed to reach the tent. He saw an old woman inside and dropped at her feet begging for some water. The old woman immediately filled a dusty, cracked, mud bowl with water and offered it to the man. He readily drank enough of it, thanked the old woman endlessly and when he felt a little better, he carried on with his journey.
The most important thing for the man at that point of time was water, because only water could help him survive and move ahead. It would have been unwise of him if at that point, owing to his status, he cribbed about the condition of the mud bowl. Interestingly he thanked the old woman for her help, without bothering to complain about the bowl.
Every event that happens in our life, whether favourable or unfavourable, is only a vessel carrying a lesson for us. And that lesson is necessary for us at that point of time. The condition of the vessel is not important then. Wisdom is in taking the learning along and leaving behind the vessel with all gratitude for it having served us. At times the experience may be something that we enjoy; at times it may cause pain and shake us up, but ultimately it has come to teach us a lesson and help us to evolve to the next level.
Holding on to gratitude help us understand the reason behind every experience and also learn from it. Every time you are upset, negative or miserable, you should understand that you are not aligned to gratitude. For, gratitude and disturbance cannot co-exist.


The Chinese Bamboo Tree..

Not many of us would be familiar with the story of Chinese bamboo tree. Like any plant, growth of the Chinese Bamboo Tree requires nurturing – water, fertile soil, sunshine. In its first year, we see no visible signs of activity. In the second year, again, no growth above the soil. The third, the fourth, still nothing. Our patience is tested and we begin to wonder if our efforts (caring, water, etc.) will ever be rewarded.
And finally in the fifth year – behold, a miracle! We experience growth. And what growth it is! The Chinese Bamboo Tree grows 80 feet in just six weeks!
But let’s be serious, does the Chinese Bamboo Tree really grow 80 feet in six weeks? Did the Chinese Bamboo Tree lie dormant for four years only to grow exponentially in the fifth? Or, was the little tree growing underground, developing a root system strong enough to support its potential for outward growth in the fifth year and beyond? The answer is, of course, obvious. Had the tree not developed a strong unseen foundation it could not have sustained its life as it grew. The same principle is true for people. People, who patiently toil towards worthwhile dreams and goals, building strong character while overcoming adversity and challenge, grow the strong internal foundation to handle success.               
We have so many legendary examples for this. Henry Ford had to water his Chinese Bamboo Tree through five business failures before he finally succeeded with the Ford Motor Company. Another great bamboo grower was the legendary jockey Eddie Arcaro. Arcaro lost his first 250 races as a jockey before going on to win 17 Triple Crown races and 554 stakes races for total purse earnings of more than $30 million.
To stay focused and continue to believe in what we are doing even when we don’t see immediate result is the biggest challenge in today’s culture which is driven by instant gratification.
We live in a quick-fix society. We get frustrated if we have to wait more than 2 minutes for service or a stop light to change. We want instant solutions to every complex problem and every fractured relationship. In short – we want it all now! Maybe it’s time to reflect on an old, old poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow that is as true today as it was when he wrote it over 100 years ago:
“The heights by great men reached and kept. Were not attained by sudden flight, But they, while their companions slept, Toiled ever upward through the night.”
Well, you have a Chinese Bamboo Tree inside of you just waiting to break through. So keep watering and believing and you too will be flying high before you know it….


Seasons of Life…

There was a man who had four sons. He wanted them to learn not to judge things too quickly. So he sent them each on a quest, in turn, to go and look at a pear tree that was a great distance away. The first son went in the winter, the second in the spring, the third in summer, and the youngest son in the fall. When they had all gone and come back, he called them together to describe what they had seen. The first son said that the tree was ugly, bent, and twisted. The second son said no – it was covered with green buds and full of promise. The third son disagreed, he said it was laden with blossoms that smelled so sweet and looked so beautiful, it was the most graceful thing he had ever seen. The last son disagreed with all of them; he said it was ripe and drooping with fruit, full of life and fulfilment.                                                                   
The man then explained to his sons that they were all right, because they had each seen but one season in the tree’s life. He told them that you cannot judge a tree, or a person, by only one season, and that the essence of who they are – and the pleasure, joy, and love that come from that life – can only be measured at the end, when all the seasons are up.
Don’t judge life by one difficult season. Don’t let the pain of one season destroy joy of the rest.
If you give up when it’s winter, you will miss the promise of your spring, beauty of your summer  &  fulfilment of your fall…

Life is too short to stress on small things...

Once a psychology professor was teaching stress management principles to a group of students.  As she raised a glass of water, everyone expected they’d be asked the typical “glass half empty or glass half full” question.  Instead, with a smile on her face, the professor asked, “How heavy is this glass of water I’m holding?” Students shouted out answers ranging from eight ounces to a couple pounds.
She replied, “From my perspective, the absolute weight of this glass doesn’t matter.  It all depends on how long I hold it.  If I hold it for a minute or two, it’s fairly light.  If I hold it for an hour straight, its weight might make my arm ache a little.  If I hold it for a day straight, my arm will likely cramp up and feel completely numb and paralyzed, forcing me to drop the glass to the floor.  In each case, the weight of the glass doesn’t change, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it feels to me.”
As the class nodded their heads in agreement, she continued, “Your stresses and worries in life are very much like this glass of water.  Think about them for a while and nothing happens.  Think about them a bit longer and you begin to ache a little.  Think about them all day long, and you will feel completely numb and paralyzed – incapable of doing anything else until you drop them.”
It’s important to remember to let go of your stresses and worries.  No matter what happens during the day, as early in the evening as you can, put all your burdens down.  Don’t carry them through the night and into the next day with you.  If you still feel the weight of yesterday’s stress, it’s a strong sign that it’s time to put the glass down.


Believe, you can achieve!

As a man was passing the elephants, he suddenly stopped, confused by the fact that these huge creatures were being held by only a small rope tied to their front leg. No chains, no cages. It was obvious that the elephants could, at any time, break away from their bonds but for some reason, they did not.
He saw a trainer nearby and asked why these animals just stood there and made no attempt to get away. “Well,” trainer said, “when they are very young and much smaller we use the same size rope to tie them and, at that age, it’s enough to hold them. As they grow up, they are conditioned to believe they cannot break away. They believe the rope can still hold them, so they never try to break free.”
The man was amazed. These animals could at any time break free from their bonds but because they believed they couldn’t, they were stuck right where they were.
Like the elephants, how many of us go through life hanging onto a belief that we cannot do something, simply because we failed at it once before? How many of us have avoided trying something new because of a limiting belief?
Whatever you can conceive and believe, you can achieve! Nurture your mind with great thoughts, for you will never go any higher than you think…


Out of your vulnerabilities will come your strength!

A 10-year-old boy decided to study judo despite the fact that he had lost his left arm in a devastating car accident. The boy began lessons with an old Japanese judo master. The boy was doing well, so he couldn't understand why, after three months of training the master had taught him only one move.
"Sensei," the boy finally said, "Shouldn't I be learning more moves?"
"This is the only move you know, but this is the only move you'll ever need to know," the sensei replied.
Not quite understanding, but believing in his teacher, the boy kept training. Several months later, the sensei took the boy to his first tournament. Surprising himself, the boy easily won his first two matches. The third match proved to be more difficult, but after some time, his opponent became impatient and charged; the boy deftly used his only move to win the match.
Still amazed by his success, the boy was now in the finals. This time, his opponent was bigger and stronger. Concerned that the boy might get hurt, the referee called a time-out. He was about to stop the match when the sensei intervened. "No," the sensei insisted, "Let him continue."                                             
Soon after the match resumed, his opponent made a critical mistake: he dropped his guard. Instantly, the boy used his move to pin him. The boy had won the match and the tournament.
"Sensei, how did I win the tournament with only one move?"
"You won for two reasons," the sensei answered. "First, you've almost mastered one of the most difficult throws in all of judo. And second, the only known defence for that move is for your opponent to grab your left arm."
The boy's biggest weakness had become his biggest strength. Sometimes we feel that we have certain weaknesses and we blame the circumstances and ourselves for it but we never know that our weakness can become our strength one day.
Sometimes you don’t realize your own strength until you come face to face with your weakness. To share your weakness is to make yourself vulnerable and out of your vulnerabilities will come your strength.


We are what we believe we are

A well-known speaker started off his seminar by holding up a $ 500 Note. In the room of 200, he asked, "who would like this $ 500?' Hands started going up. He said, "I am going to give this note to one of you, but first let me do this.' He proceeded to crumple the note up. He then asked, 'who still wants it?' Still, the hands were up in the air. 'Well,' he replied. 'What if I do this’? And the dropped it on the ground and started to grind it into the floor with his shoe. He picked it up now, all crumpled and dirty. 'Now who still wants it?' Still the hands went into the air. "My friends, you all learned a very valuable lesson. No matter what I did to the money, you still wanted it because it did not decrease in value. It was still worth $ 500.”
Many times in our lives, we are dropped, crumpled and ground into the dirt by the decisions we make and the circumstances that come our way. We feel as though we are worthless. But no matter what has happened or what will happen, you will never loose your value.
"Never let yesterday's disappointments overshadow tomorrow's dreams. We are what we believe we are".


Even the hardest problem has a solution

 A father left 17 ducks as an asset for his three Sons. When the father passed away, his sons opened up the will. It stated that the eldest son should get half of 17 ducks, the middle son should be given 1/3rd of 17 ducks and the youngest son should be given 1/9th of the 17 ducks.
As it is not possible to divide 17 into half or 17 by 3 or 17 by 9, the sons started to fight with each other.
Unable to come to a satisfactory conclusion, they decided to go to a wise man who used to live in a cave. The wise man listened patiently about the will. He decided to help them put an end to the squabble and he came up with a solution. He added one of his own ducks to the 17. That increased the total to 18 ducks.
Now, he started reading the deceased father’s will.
Half of 18 = 9.
So he gave 9 ducks to the eldest son.
1/3rd of 18 = 6.
So he gave 6 ducks to the middle son.
1/9th of 18 = 2.
So he gave 2 ducks to the youngest son.
Now add this up :
9 + 6 + 2 = 17 &
This leaves 1 duck which the wise man took back!
The attitude of negotiation & problem solving is to find the 18th duck i.e. the common ground. Once a person is able to find the common ground, the issue is resolved. It is difficult at times. But definitely achievable.


Importance of believing in your journey

Today we would like to share with you a very powerful real life story shared by Mr. Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple Computer and of Pixar Animation Studios during his commencement address at Stanford University. It shows the importance of believing in your journey. Here is a glimpse of his speech:
“I never graduated from college. I dropped out of Reed College after the first 6 months, but then stayed around as a drop-in for another 18 months or so before I really quit. So why did I drop out?
It started before I was born. My biological mother was a young, unwed college graduate student, and she decided to put me up for adoption. She felt very strongly that I should be adopted by college graduates, so everything was all set for me to be adopted at birth by a lawyer and his wife. My biological mother later found out that my mother had never graduated from college and that my father had never graduated from high school. She refused to sign the final adoption papers. She only relented a few months later when my parents promised that I would someday go to college.
And 17 years later I did go to college. But I naively chose a college that was almost as expensive as Stanford, and all of my working-class parents’ savings were being spent on my college tuition. After six months, I couldn’t see the value in it. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life and no idea how college was going to help me figure it out. And here I was spending all of the money my parents had saved their entire life. So I decided to drop out and trust that it would all work out OK. It was pretty scary at the time, but looking back it was one of the best decisions I ever made. The minute I dropped out I could stop taking the required classes that didn’t interest me, and begin dropping in on the ones that looked interesting.                                       
It wasn’t all easy. I didn’t have a dorm room, so I slept on the floor in friends’ rooms and I would walk the 7 miles across town every Sunday night to get one good meal a week at the Hare Krishna temple. I loved it. And much of what I stumbled into by following my curiosity and intuition turned out to be priceless later on. Let me give you one example:
Reed College at that time offered perhaps the best calligraphy instruction in the country. Throughout the campus every poster, every label on every drawer, was beautifully hand calligraphed. Because I had dropped out and didn’t have to take the normal classes, I decided to take a calligraphy class to learn how to do this. It was beautiful, historical, artistically subtle in a way that science can’t capture, and I found it fascinating.
None of this had even a hope of any practical application in my life. But 10 years later, when we were designing the first Macintosh computer, it all came back to me. And we designed it all into the Mac. It was the first computer with beautiful typography. If I had never dropped in on that single course in college, the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts. And since Windows just copied the Mac, it’s likely that no personal computer would have them. If I had never dropped out, I would have never dropped in on this calligraphy class, and personal computers might not have the wonderful typography that they do.
Of course it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backward 10 years later.
Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backward. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.”


Hard Work Always Pays Off…

A man found a cocoon of an emperor moth. He took it home so that he could watch the moth come out of the cocoon. On that day a small opening appeared, he sat and watched the moth for several hours as the moth struggled to force the body through that little hole.
Then it seemed to stop making any progress. It appeared as if it had gotten as far as it could and it could go no farther. It just seemed to be stuck.
Then the man, in his kindness, decided to help the moth, so he took a pair of scissors and snipped off the remaining bit of the cocoon. The moth then emerged easily. But it had a swollen body and small, shrivelled wings.
The man continued to watch the moth because he expected that, at any moment, the wings would enlarge and expand to be able to support the body, which would contract in time.
Neither happened! In fact, the little moth spent the rest of its life crawling around with a swollen body and shrivelled body and shrivelled wings. It never was able to fly.                                      
What the man in his kindness and haste did not understand was that the restricting cocoon and the struggle required for the moth to get through the tiny opening was the way of forcing fluid from the body of the moth into its wings so that it would be ready for flight once it achieved its freedom from the cocoon. Freedom and flight would only come after the struggle.
By depriving the moth of a struggle, he deprived the moth of health. Sometimes struggles are exactly what we need in our life. If we were to go through our life without any obstacles, we would be crippled. We would not be as strong as what we could have been.
Nothing worth having comes easy. It is the difficult roads that often leads to beautiful destinations. Opportunities are missed by most people because it comes disguised as hard work. Things may come to people who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle. Hard work always pays off…


Be Curious; Not judgmental.

Once there was an old farmer who had worked his crops for many years. One day his horse ran away. Upon hearing the news, his neighbors came to visit. “Such bad luck,” they said sympathetically. “Maybe,” the farmer replied.
The next morning the horse returned, bringing with it three other wild horses. “How wonderful,” the neighbors exclaimed.
“Maybe,” replied the old man.
The following day, his son tried to ride one of the untamed horses, was thrown, and broke his leg. The neighbors again came to offer their sympathy on his misfortune.
“Maybe,” answered the farmer.
The day after, military officials came to the village to draft young men into the army. Seeing that the son’s leg was broken, they passed him by. The neighbors congratulated the farmer on how well things had turned out.
“Maybe,” said the farmer.
 In this beautiful Zen story, the farmer is practicing non-judgment. He understands the true nature of life, that you can't judge any event as an "end" in a way. Our life doesn't play out like a work of fiction. There aren't definite breaks that separate one moment versus another, and there isn't a perfectly formulated end which everything builds to. There's always tomorrow!
 And whether the day was good or bad, there are a million effects which can arise from one event. Good and bad are in fact, two sides of the same coin. If things seem perfect, they aren't. If it seems like it's Armageddon in your corner of the world, it's not.
 We need to observe our life through the lens of this infinitely co-arising universe. This act in itself can bring you a great sense of peace.
Be Curious; Not judgmental. The ability to observe without judging is the highest form of intelligence…


Stay Positive!

Once two salesmen were sent to Africa by a British shoe manufacturer. The goal of their trip was to investigate this new market, and to report their findings back to headquarters on the potential of the market.
The first salesman came back with a rather dismal report, “There’s no potential at all here, because nobody wears shoes.”
The second salesman came back with a rather different reply, “There’s massive potential in Africa, because nobody wears shoes.”
This very simple story helps us understand that in a single situation, there are often many ways to look at the outcome. It’s your choice as to how you interpret any situation, that makes all the difference.
What you think you become ; What you feel you attract; What you imagine you create!


Teamwork is the Key

A group of employees in a company was called by the Management one day. It was a team of 30 young, energetic and dynamic employees with keen enthusiasm and desire to learn and grow. The management wanted their employees to understand about finding real solutions to the problems and as a part of the plan the team was called to play a game.
The group was quite surprised as they were called for playing game. All reached the venue holding various thoughts. As they entered the hall, they were surprised to see that it was beautifully decorated. Also, there was a huge box of balloons placed at the centre of the hall. The team leader asked everyone to pick a balloon from the box and asked them to blow it. Everyone happily picked a balloon and blew it.
Then the team leader asked them to write their names on their balloon, carefully so that the balloons didn’t blow up. All tried to write their names on the balloons, but not everyone was successful. A few balloons blew up due to pressure and they were given another chance to use another balloon. Those who failed to mark their names even after the second chance were ruled out of the game. After the second chance, 25 employees were qualified for the next level. All the balloons were collected and then put into another room.
The team leader asked the employees to go to the room and pick the same balloon that had his/her name on it. Also, he told them that no balloon should blow up and warned them to be very careful! All 25 employees reached the room, where the balloons carrying their names were thrown here and there. They were searching for the respective balloons carrying their names. While they were in a rush to find the respective balloons, they tried not to burst the balloons. It was almost 15 minutes, and no one was able to find the balloon carrying his own name. The team was told that the second level of the game was over.
Now it is the third and final level. They asked the employees to pick any balloon in the room and give it to the person named on the balloon. Within a couple of minutes all balloons reached the hands of the respective employee and everyone reached the hall.
The team leader then told the employees: “this is called real solutions to the problems. Many times, sharing and helping others give you real solutions to all problems. Help out each other to ease things”
Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships!! None of us is as smart as all of us. We rise by lifting others…


Learning what to say changes everything!

One day there was a blind man sitting on the steps of a building with a hat by his feet and a sign that read:
“I am blind, please help.”
A creative publicist was walking by and stopped to observe. He saw that the blind man had only a few coins in his hat. He dropped in more coins and, without asking for permission, took the sign and rewrote it.
He returned the sign to the blind man and left.
That afternoon the publicist returned to the blind man and noticed that his hat was full of bills and coins.           
The blind man recognized his footsteps and asked if it was he who had rewritten his sign and wanted to know what he had written on it.
The publicist responded:
“Nothing that was not true. I just wrote the message a little differently.”
He smiled and went on his way. The new sign read:
“Today is Spring and I cannot see it.”
Learning what to say changes everything. The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.

No effort is too small to make an impact!

An old man walked across the beach until he came across a young boy throwing something into the breaking waves. Upon closer inspection, the old man could see that the boy was tossing stranded starfish from the sandy beach, back into the ocean.
“What are you doing, young man?” He asked.
“If the starfish are still on the beach when the sun rises, they will die,” the boy answered.
“That is ridiculous. There are thousands of miles of beach and millions of starfish. It doesn’t matter how many you throw in; you can’t make a difference.”
“It matters to this one,” the boy said as he threw another starfish into the waves. “And it matters to this one.”
No effort is too small to make an impact! Little things make big things happen. Success is the sum of all small efforts, repeated day in and day out!


Think outside the box

In a small Italian town, hundreds of years ago, a small business owner owed a large sum of money to a loan-shark. The loan-shark was a very old, unattractive looking guy that just so happened to fancy the business owner’s daughter. He decided to offer the businessman a deal that would completely wipe out the debt he owed him. The loan-shark said that he would place two pebbles into a bag, one white and one black. The daughter would then have to reach into the bag and pick out a pebble. If it was black, the debt would be wiped, but the loan-shark would then marry her. If it was white, the debt would also be wiped, but the daughter wouldn’t have to marry the loan-shark.
Whilst the loan-shark was picking the two pebbles from the pebble strewn path in the businessman’s garden, the daughter noticed that he’d picked up two black pebbles and placed them both into the bag. He then asked the daughter to reach into the bag and pick one. The daughter naturally had three choices as to what she could have done:
Refuse to pick a pebble from the bag; Take both pebbles out of the bag and expose the loan-shark for cheating; Pick a pebble from the bag fully well knowing it was black and sacrifice herself for her father’s freedom.
She drew out a pebble from the bag, and before looking at it ‘accidentally’ dropped it into the midst of the other pebbles. She said to the loan-shark; “Oh, how clumsy of me. Never mind, if you look into the bag for the one that is left, you will be able to tell which pebble I picked”.
The pebble left in the bag is obviously black, and seeing as the loan-shark didn’t want to be exposed, he had to play along as if the pebble the daughter dropped was white, and clear her father’s debt.
It’s always possible to overcome a tough situation through out of the box thinking, and not give in to the only options you think you have to pick from.


Every obstacle gives us an opportunity 

In ancient times, a king had his men place a boulder on a roadway. He then hid in the bushes, and watched to see if anyone would move the boulder out of the way. Some of the king’s wealthiest merchants and courtiers passed by and simply walked around it.
Many people blamed the King for not keeping the roads clear, but none of them did anything about getting the stone removed.
One day, a peasant came along carrying vegetables. Upon approaching the boulder, the peasant laid down his burden and tried to push the stone out of the way. After much pushing and straining, he finally managed.
After the peasant went back to pick up his vegetables, he noticed a purse lying in the road where the boulder had been. The purse contained many gold coins and note from the King explain that the gold was for the person who removed the boulder from the road.
Every obstacle that we come across gives us an opportunity to improve our circumstances, and while the lazy complain, others are creating opportunities through their kind hearts, generosity, and willingness to get things done.


Simply do it!!!

A Zen Master dropped his handkerchief on the floor, and a disciple was there and the Master said, “Try to pick it up and give it back to me. Try!” And the disciple immediately took the handkerchief from the ground and gave it to the Master, but the Master dropped it again and he said, ”I am saying try to get it!” Six times the Master goes on dropping, and the disciple is puzzled as to what he means.
Then suddenly the idea struck him: ”The Master is saying try to get it.” He said, ”But how can I try? Either I pick it up or I don’t. How can I try?” And the Master said, ”That’s what you have been doing for three years – trying to meditate. Either you meditate or you don’t! How can you try?”
Trying is a device. Trying is a trick. When we don’t want to do a thing, we try. When we want to do a thing, we simply DO it!


Enjoy Your Coffee !

A Group of friends, highly established in their careers, got together to visit their old University Professor. Conversation soon turned into complaints about stress in work and life. Offering his guests coffee, the professor went to the kitchen and returned with a large pot of coffee and assortment of cups – porcelain, plastic, glass, crystal, some plain looking, some expensive, some exquisite – telling them to help themselves to the coffee.
When all the students had a cup of coffee in hand, the professor said: “If you noticed, all the nice looking expensive cups were taken up, leaving behind the plain and cheap ones. While it is normal for you to want only the best for yourselves, that is the source of problems and stress. Be assured that the cup itself adds no quality to the coffee. In most cases it is just more expensive and in some cases even hides what we drink. What all of you really wanted was coffee, not the cup, but you consciously went for the best cups…..And then began envying each other’s cups.
Now consider this: “Life is the COFFEE; the jobs, money and position in the society are the CUPS. They are just tools to hold and contain Life, and the type of cup we have does not define, nor change the quality of Life we live. Sometimes, by concentrating only on the cup, we fail to enjoy the coffee
NOTE: The happiest people don’t have the best of everything. They just make the best of everything. Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly.


If a lion is vegetarian, is he still a lion?

If a lion is vegetarian, is he still a lion?
If he doesn’t use the long claws, razor sharp teeth, athletic ability and hunting skills that he’s been equipped with to catch and eat prey, is he really being all that he can be?
If he starts consuming grass instead of zebras, is he just another member of the herd?
What about you?
You’ve been equipped with certain unique talents and capabilities. These skills, when used effectively, enable you to live your life with a purpose and make a difference in the world. These attributes are a part of what defines who you are.
So, if you’re not using your skills and operating in your areas of strength are you being true to yourself?
Can you live your purpose if you’re trying to be something that you’re not?
Have you ever seen a well-fed vegetarian lion or have you ever seen a successful person, who is not using their unique talents to their full potential.
So sharpen your claws and get hunting !


We can always make a difference in others life!

This is about Mr. Zavere Poonawala who is a well-known Parsee industrialist in Pune, India. He had this driver named Ganga Datt with him for the last 30 years on his limousine, which was originally owned by Acharya Rajneesh.  Ganga Datt passed away  and at that time Mr. Poonawala was in Mumbai for some important work. As soon as he heard the news, he canceled all his meetings, requested the driver’s family to await him for the cremation and came back to Pune immediately by a helicopter.
On reaching Pune, he asked the limo to be decorated with flowers as he wished Ganga Datt should be taken in the same car which he himself had driven since the beginning. When Ganga Datt’s family agreed to his wishes, he himself drove Ganga Datt from his home up to the ghat on his last journey.
When asked about it, Mr. Poonawala replied that Ganga Datt had served him day and night, and he could at least do this being eternally grateful to him. He further added that Ganga Datt rose up from poverty and educated both his children very well. His daughter is a Chartered accountant and that is so commendable.
His comment in the end, is the essence of a successful life in all aspects: “Everybody earns money which is nothing unusual in that, but we should always be grateful to those people who contribute to our success. This is the belief, we have been brought up with, which made me do, what I did”.
An inspiring example of humanity ……:)


Only a Blank Canvas is perfect!

An artist can look at it forever, brush in hand, knowing that from the moment the paint touches the canvas, the perfection is ruined forever.
The artist muses to herself:
“What if I make a mistake?”
“What if I start in the wrong place?”
“What if no-one likes my art?”
More resourceful statements would be:
“Canvases are for painting on.”
“If I make a mistake, I can learn from it and get better next time.”
“Starting in the wrong place is better than not starting at all.”
“I’m not painting for the masses, I’m painting because I’m an artist.”
You’re that artist.
Your future is the canvas.
Your unique combination of skills, experience and passion is your brush and pallet.
You can stand there looking at the future, too scared to make a mistake and waste the canvas in front of you.
Or you can take a deep breath, pick up your brush and start creating something wonderful.
Ideas always seem perfect in our heads. What could possibly go wrong when your dreams remain dreams?
But that’s not what they’re meant for.
You are meant to try.
To aspire.
To be average, then good, then terrific, then masterful.
With a lot of false strokes along the way.
Success in life isn’t about not doing the wrong thing, it’s about doing the right thing.
You will make mistakes, you will have to say sorry, you will have constant opportunities to keep learning.
So stop looking at the perfect blank canvas, and start making art.
Your beautifully messy, wonderfully flawed art.


From Candles to Soap

In 1879, Procter and Gamble's best seller was candles. But the company was in trouble. Thomas Edison had invented the light bulb, and it looked as if candles would become obsolete. Their fears became reality when the market for candles plummeted since they were now sold only for special occasions.
The outlook appeared to be bleak for Procter and Gamble. However, at this time, it seemed that destiny played a dramatic part in pulling the struggling company from the clutches of bankruptcy. A forgetful employee at a small factory in Cincinnati forgot to turn off his machine when he went to lunch. The result? A frothing mass of lather filled with air bubbles. He almost threw the stuff away but instead decided to make it into soap. The soap floated. Thus, Ivory soap was born and became the mainstay of the Procter and Gamble Company.
Why was soap that floats such a hot item at that time? In Cincinnati, during that period, some people bathed in the Ohio River. Floating soap would never sink and consequently never got lost. So, Ivory soap became a best seller in Ohio and eventually across the country also.
Like Procter and Gamble, never give up when things go wrong or when seemingly insinuations problems arise. Creativity put to work can change a problem and turn it into a gold mine.

Growth involves risk

An oceanographer was asked how a lobster is able to grow bigger when its shell is so hard. The only way, he explained, is for the lobster to shed its shell at regular intervals. When its body begins to feel cramped inside its shell, the lobster instinctively looks for a reasonably safe spot to rest while the hard shell comes off and the pink membrane just inside forms the basis of the new shell.
Yet no matter what safe haven it chooses for this shedding process, the lobster is vulnerable--it might be tossed against a coral reef, for example, or eaten by a predator. In other words, the lobster must risk its life to grow.
Long after the oceanographer and I parted ways, I considered the plight of the lobster. His story of survival provides an interesting perspective on the integral role risk plays in our professional and personal development. The passage of time brings with it countless unknowns. It challenges us to make choices about everything from the food we eat every day to where we chose to live and work, or with whom we spend our lives.
There is a certain amount of risk inherent in any choice. Yet the lobster shows us that enduring the unknowns in life--taking risks--is absolutely necessary for growth and development. While our own decisions may not always be a matter of actual life and death (as the lobsters are), they are just as critical to our ability to grow as managers or mentors, as spouses, parents or friends.
We all know when our shells have become too tight. We may feel stifled, frustrated or unmotivated. Perhaps we begin operating at a level well below our potential, doing the same old things and feeling bored with our jobs or our lives. A too-tight shell means we can't function efficiently or effectively. It inhibits our forward progress.
Some of us continue to smother in old shells that are no longer useful or productive. That way we can at least feel safe. Ask yourself what is more important--security or satisfaction? Being overly cautious in managing and relating to others may indeed keep you comfortable, yet it also means you are slowly suffocating in your own shell.
Others take a different approach, pushing themselves--both professionally and personally--out of their comfort zones and embracing new experiences. Perhaps you've considered seeking a leadership role in a local service organization or an association committee, or maybe you've played with the idea of taking a foreign language class or ballroom dance lessons. In these situations, and many others, there may be varying degrees of vulnerability, but those who challenge themselves--and push beyond their often self-imposed limitations--recognize that growth simply does not come without some level of risk.
Because few things in life come with a guarantee, exercising caution can certainly be of benefit in some situations. The key to effectively managing risk is to find the balance between caution and reckless abandon. That middle ground provides endless opportunities for personal and organizational change.  Try to avoid becoming paralyzed by the potential "worst case scenarios" that accompany any decision. Despite the dangers, shed your shell and prepare for a slew of new and better adventures.

How High Can You Jump?

Flea trainers have observed a predictable and strange habit of fleas while training them. Fleas are trained by putting them in a cardboard box with a top on it. The fleas will jump up and hit the top of the cardboard box over and over and over again. As you watch them jump and hit the lid, something very interesting becomes obvious. The fleas continue to jump, but they are no longer jumping high enough to hit the top. Apparently, Excedrin headache 1738 forces them to limit the height of their jump.
When you take off the lid, the fleas continue to jump, but they will not jump out of the box. They won’t jump out because they can’t jump out. Why? The reason is simple. They have conditioned themselves to jump just so high. Once they have conditioned themselves to jump just so high, that’s all they can do!
Many times, people do the same thing. They restrict themselves and never reach their potential. Just like the fleas, they fail to jump higher, thinking they are doing all they can do.

Everybody is a genius...

If you compare a walnut with some of the beautiful and exciting things that grow on our planet, it does not seem to be a marvelous creation. It is common, rough, not particularly attractive, and certainly not of much value. Besides, it is small. Its growth is limited by the hard shell that surrounds it?the shell from which it never escapes during its lifetime. Of course, that is the wrong way to judge a walnut. Break one open and look inside. See how the walnut has grown to fill every corner available to it. It had no say in the size or shape of that shell. However, given those limitations, it achieved its full growth. How lucky we will be if, like the walnut, we blossom and bloom in every aspect of the life that is given us. Take heart! If one nut can do it, so can you!
  • Reach your full potential
  • Be strong like a nutshell
  • Walnuts: The New Cure-all
  • Soar above the Walnut Trees
  • Rebuild your outer shell

Influence Your World

There once was a harmless, nondescript street in the suburbs where no-one took much care of their gardens. The lawns were overgrown, the weeds were taking over and the hedges desperately needed to be cut back. It looked unsightly, but when the neighbours looked at each other and their gardens, they just shrugged their shoulders and laughed.
It was all too hard, no-one could be bothered making it better and because everyone’s garden was the same, no-one felt compelled to change anything.
Then the gardener moved in.  Bill was a tidy, hard-working little man who started working out the front as soon as he moved into the street.  He got the lawn-mower out and gave the grass a good cut. Then he put his gloves on and pulled out all of the weeds.  Finally, he brandished a large, shiny hedge-trimmer and started shaping his hedges.
Satisfied with his hours of hard work, the gardener went inside for a well-earned lemonade. Intrigued, the neighbours walked by and casually inspected the newly manicured garden. At first, nothing changed, but over time, something interesting happened.
One by one, the neighbours started to take more pride in their own gardens and the sounds of lawnmowers could once again be heard on a Saturday morning. After a few months, the street was transformed from a messy, unappealing collection of houses, to a beautifully cared for avenue that wouldn’t be out of place in a stylish magazine.
The difference?
One person cared and showed everyone else what could be achieved with a little bit of hard work. It’s easy for us to look at the world and think that because no-one else cares, you don’t have to either.
But you have a unique opportunity to take meaningful action that not only benefits you, but inspires others to follow.


Dealing With Pain - How?

Tom usually go to visit his mentor for his weekly catch up. It was obvious that the younger man was troubled by something, so his mentor asked him what was wrong.
Tom explained that he had experienced a tough week.  He’d had an argument with his dad, he felt hurt by something one of his friends had said and he had missed out on a promotion at work. “So what should I do now?” he asked.
His Mentor looked at Tom and said, “Did you know that meerkats eat scorpions?”
Yes, “It’s amazing.  These cute little guys attack and eat poisonous scorpions.  It seems that they have been stung so often that they have become resistant to their poison and it doesn’t hurt them one bit.”
“What?” Tom responded incredulously.
“And then there are these beautiful little frogs in South America who are extremely toxic.  They aren’t born that way, but they get their toxins from the food that they eat and it builds up in their system until they become dangerous to eat.  Their bright colours warn potential predators to keep their distance.”
Tom shook his head, “I don’t understand, I come to you with a problem and you give me a biology lesson.”
He smiled and said:-
“When you experience the poison of pain, you have two choices.  You can be like the meerkat and use the experience to become more resilient.  Or you can become like the frog, allowing the poison to rise up in your system until you’re toxic and everyone wants to keep their distance.”
Everyone experiences pain, how you respond is up to you.
You can be a meerkat, or you can be a frog.
Which one are you?


You too can make it happen! 

There are days when it’s easy to lose sight of the big picture. Days when you wonder “What on earth am I doing here? Why are my life and circumstances so difficult? When will the struggle and hard work end?”
The Italian sculptor Agostino d'Antonio worked diligently on a large piece of marble. Unable to produce his desired masterpiece, he lamented, "I can do nothing with it." Other sculptors also worked this difficult piece of marble, but to no avail. Michelangelo discovered the stone and visualized the possibilities in it.
When he saw the unfinished statue, he studied it for a while, mapped out a plan and began to work.  Michelangelo had the big picture in mind. The big picture inspired him to endure, maintain his stamina, and keep strong so he would eventually see his vision come into reality.
Four years later the world laid eyes on one of the greatest pieces of work ever sculpted — Michelangelo’s “David.”  It stood a towering 14 feet 3 inches and was placed outside the Palazzo Vecchio.  The master Michelangelo knew how to keep the big picture in view.  His I-can-make-it-happen attitude resulted in one of the world's masterpieces -- his statue of David.
Enduring adversity and a long difficult struggle whether it be physical, emotional, spiritual or mental, is not easy. What makes it possible to endure a difficult struggle is a vision of the big picture. A vision of what is being produced through the struggle or as a result of the struggle.
When you see the big picture you see:
  • Your situation from the 30,000-foot level
  • The good you are accomplishing with your life
  • The reward you will receive in the next life
  • The example or testimony you are giving to your family and friends
  • The growth in character you are experiencing because of the struggle
  • Every ounce of effort counting because with effort you inspire others
  • What statue you are carving with your life?
  • When discouraged and ready to quit, what keeps you going?
  • What is the big picture you see as a result of your life?
If seeing is believing, visualizing is achieving.  You too can make it happen! 

Your fears are like peanut allergies...

If you are allergic to peanuts, the logical response is to stay away from the offending beasts.
In such a situation, exposure is extremely dangerous and I know a few people who have an epi-pen on hand in case they have an allergic reaction.
However, recent research suggests that a small level of exposure to peanuts over a long period of time make the body more resistant to the effects.
Think about that for a moment.
Something is dangerous.
Logic says, “stay away!”
But with exposure, resistance builds, taking away the power of the peanut.
Your fears are like peanut allergies.
It seems logical and reasonable to stay away from the things that you are afraid of.
“I can’t start a business, what if it fails?”
“I can’t run a marathon; I might not be able to finish.”
What if, instead of running away from your fears, you exposed yourself to small doses of failure, rejection and pain?
What if you realized that it didn’t kill you?
What if you built your resistance to those things that are holding you back?
What if you went on to change the world?
Don’t be afraid to change. You may lose something good, but you may gain something even better.


What You Feel, What You Think, What You Say, What You Do!

In 1931, Gandhi was invited to speak to the British Parliament.
As Gandhi was one of the most vocal supporters of Indian independence, his visit was greeted with suspicion and caution by a parliament who strongly opposed Gandhi’s passion. The great leader stood with no notes and spoke for two hours.
He spoke eloquently and with passion, and when he finished, his audience stood and applauded as one. It was an extraordinary moment for a truly remarkable man.
Later, an English journalist asked one of Gandhi’s assistants how he was able to stand with no notes and speak so brilliantly for such a long time.
The assistant smiled and is quoted as saying, “You don’t understand Gandhi.  You see, What he thinks is what he feels. What he feels is what he says. What he says is what he does. What Gandhi feels, what he thinks, what he says, and what he does are all the same. He does not need notes.”
If you want to be an effective leader, what you feel, what you think, what you say and what you do need to be aligned.
The same is true if you want to be a great parent, an effective communicator or have aspirations to do anything truly remarkable with your life.
When Bill Gates prophesied that the day would come when every desk would have a PC on it, people didn’t believe it.  But his words were aligned with his belief, his feelings and he took massive action to make it happen.
What about you?
What are your goals?
What do you believe is possible?
If you can get this right, you’re well on your way, and you won’t need notes to remind you.


Mountain Man...

To have a dream and a plan to achieve it is not enough. You also need the effort to accomplish that dream.
What idea, dream or pursuit are you trying to bring to fruition? Raising a child? Nurturing a business to viability? Developing a talent? Writing a book? Building a healthy relationship? Regaining strength after an injury?
Regardless of what you’re building, growing, developing, or creating — you may find it taking far more time to complete than you ever imagined. Will you press on regardless? Dashrath did. The Mountain Man did not give up.  In 1959, Dashrath Manjhi’s wife, Falguni Devi, died from lack of medical care. To honor her life, Dashrath Manjhi decided to do something about the problem his village faced of being so far away from medical care. His solution was to carve a path in the Gehlour hills so he and his village could walk one kilometer to the village hospital, not 70 kilometers.
Using a hammer and chisel, Dashrath Manjhi began his journey through the mountain in 1960. He worked day and night to make life better for the people of his village. Then the day finally came when the 360-foot corridor was carved through the mountain and the pathway complete. Because of this achievement, Dashrath became known as the Mountain Man. It only took him 22 years to complete.!
How long is it taking you?
Was the Mountain Man questioned while he worked? Most likely. He probably heard words like, “Dashrath, it’s not worth it. It’s OK, we’ll just walk around. It’s impossible what you’re attempting to do.” Fortunately for his neighbors, he didn’t listen, but pressed on day and night until the job was done.
What worthwhile goal or dream are you working on that might take longer than you thought it would? Assuming you have the raw materials (talent, capacity, know how, resources) to achieve the goal, all that’s missing is the necessary sweat to complete the task.
I’m chiseling my way to a higher level!  What mountain do you need to chisel your way through?...Just Chisel it! All the very Best!


Anger Management

Once upon a time there was a little boy who was talented, creative, handsome, and extremely bright. A natural leader. The kind of person everyone would normally have wanted on their team or project. But he was also self-centered and had a very bad temper. When he got angry, he usually said, and often did, some very hurtful things. In fact, he seemed to have little regard for those around him. Even friends. So, naturally, he had few. “But,” he told himself, “that just shows how stupid most people are!”
As he grew, his parents became concerned about this personality flaw, and pondered long and hard about what they should do. Finally, the father had an idea. And he struck a bargain with his son. He gave him a bag of nails, and a BIG hammer. “Whenever you lose your temper,” he told the boy, “I want you to really let it out. Just take a nail and drive it into the oak boards of that old fence out back. Hit that nail as hard as you can!”
Of course, those weathered oak boards in that old fence were almost as tough as iron, and the hammer was mighty heavy, so it wasn’t nearly as easy as it first sounded. Nevertheless, by the end of the first day, the boy had driven 37 nails into the fence (That was one angry young man!). Gradually, over a period of weeks, the number dwindled down. Holding his temper proved to be easier than driving nails into the fence! Finally, the day came when the boy didn’t lose his temper at all. He felt mighty proud as he told his parents about that accomplishment.
“As a sign of your success,” his father responded, “you get to PULL OUT one nail. In fact, you can do that each day that you don’t lose your temper even once.”  Well, many weeks passed. Finally, one day the young boy was able to report proudly that all the nails were gone.
At that point, the father asked his son to walk out back with him and take one more good look at the fence. “You have done well, my son,” he said. “But I want you to notice the holes that are left. No matter what happens from now on, this fence will never be the same. Saying or doing hurtful things in anger produces the same kind of result. There will always be a scar. It won’t matter how many times you say you’re sorry, or how many years pass, the scar will still be there. And a verbal wound is as bad as a physical one. People are much more valuable than an old fence. They make us smile. They help us succeed. Some will even become friends who share our joys, and support us through bad times. And, if they trust us, they will also open their hearts to us. That means we need to treat everyone with love and respect. We need to prevent as many of those scars as we can.”
A most valuable lesson, don’t you think? And a reminder, most of us need, from time to time. Everyone gets angry occasionally. The real test is what we DO with it.
If we are wise, we will spend our time building bridges rather than barriers in our relationships.


When should we use the words “I have to” and “I want to”...

For many years in every morning at 10 o’clock sharp, a business woman had visited her mother in a nursing home. They were very close and she loved her very much. Sometimes she had business meetings in that time of day (10 o’clock) and her answer was always the same: “I cannot, I have to visit my mother.” Then her mother died. Shortly afterward, someone had asked the woman for a meeting at 10 o’clock. Suddenly realized that she could no longer visit her mother. And her next thought was: “Oh, if I could visit my mother once again.” From that moment I have to became I want to. Pleasant things in life are the ones we want to do. “Today I want to go to theater” or “I want to go on vacation next week.” Things that are burdening us are the ones that need to be done. “Tomorrow I have to wake up at 6:30 to go to work” or “I have to clean up the house.” Because perceptions hinder our thoughts and actions, try replacing I have to with I want to. Instead of saying “I have to go to work“, think of those that don’t have a job and you can say with enthusiasm “Tomorrow I want to go to work.” Instead of saying “I have to clean up“, think about how your home looks when it’s clean and then you can easily say “I want to clean up.” In time it will be easier to use I want to. It’s amazing what a change of attitude occurs simply because of using words that do not involve constraint or obligation. You will see that by using this exercise, things that need to be done will become more simple and easy.


A mosquito in a room seems infinitesimal.
The room is so large and the insect so tiny.
Then the lights go off and everything is silent.
Something so small and insignificant suddenly becomes the most important thing in the room as the search starts to shut it up so that the inhabitants can sleep.
There’s a saying that if you ever think you’re too small to make a difference, try sleeping in a room with a mosquito.
You may think that you’re only one person.
You’re small.
You’re insignificant.
You’re inconsequential.
But there’s something about you.
Something unique.
Something remarkable.
Something that can make the world a better place.


The Marathon Runner – A Story About Progressing Towards Your Goals...

A young runner was very excited.  After months of intense training, he was running in his very first marathon. After the starter’s gun went off, he started with great enthusiasm, taking great strides and building a strong rhythm.
However, after a few miles, he began to tire and he felt like stopping.  “Don’t stop!  If you can’t run, at least you can jog,” said a small voice in his head. So, he slowed to a jog and was able to continue along the road, if a little slower than before.
After a few more miles, the lactic acid had really started to build and his legs were feeling weak.  Again, he felt like stopping. “Don’t stop!  If you can’t run, at least you can walk,” said the same voice. So, he walked.
Whilst the progress was slower and other runners were passing him by, he was still gradually moving towards the finish line. After a while, his left leg began to cramp badly and he was in a lot of pain.  Now, he was seriously considering giving up.  “Don’t stop!  If you can’t walk, at least you can hobble.” And so he hobbled, dragging his left leg as he painfully ambled along the road. 
He was getting close to the end now, but was in incredible pain.  The temptation to stop was strong, he didn’t feel like he could go on any more.  “Don’t stop!  If you can’t hobble, at least you can crawl,” said the voice.  “That’s ridiculous,” the runner responded to himself. “I can’t crawl in front of all of these people, I’ll look like an idiot!”  “If you can’t run, and you can’t jog, and you can’t walk, and you can’t hobble, but you still want to finish the race, you’ll do whatever you can to get across the line. ”So, slightly embarrassed, the young man got down on his hands and knees and crawled until he managed to make it across the finish line.
Utterly exhausted, he lay down on the ground for a moment, until someone asked if he was OK.“OK?  I’ve just finished a marathon, I feel awesome!”  He responded and jumped to his feet with enthusiasm, forgetting momentarily the pain that he was in as he raised his arms in celebration.
As you read this story, think of how many times people give up on their dreams as they believe that they can’t keep going, when perhaps they just need to find another way to keep making progress.  We won’t always have the energy, enthusiasm or motivation to run headlong towards our goals, but you’ll be surprised at how much progress you’ll be able to make if, instead of stopping, you slow down a little.
I don’t know what your goals are, what the obstacles in front of you are or how you feel about life at the moment. But this I do know.
Every day…Every single day…You can make progress!
I know that I would rather crawl across the line than stop halfway and regret it for the rest of my life.


Building Brick by Brick

If you’re building a house, you need to lay the first brick. Of course, one brick doesn’t make a house, but you can’t build something without laying that first brick. Then comes brick number two, but it still doesn’t look like a house. Then number three, four and so on, until finally the house is complete.
To do anything significant in life requires us to start with a single brick. Too often, we want the finished product immediately, but life doesn’t work that way.
The successful career, the long-lasting relationship and the thriving business all require an initial action that doesn’t look like the end product. But step by step, brick by brick, moment by moment, you get closer to your goal.
So stop staring at the vacant land and get started. Lay the first brick and build your plan.


“Throw your heart over the bar and your body will follow...

A Famous trapeze artist was instructing his students how to perform on the high trapeze bar. Finally, having given full explanations and instruction in this skill, he told them to demonstrate their ability.
One student, looking up at the insecure perch upon which he must perform, was suddenly filled with fear. He froze completely. He had a terrifying vision of himself falling to the ground. He couldn’t move a muscle, so deep was his fright. “I can’t do it! I can’t do it!” he gasped.
The instructor put his arm around the boy’s shoulder and said, “Son, you can do it, and I will tell you how.”
Then he made a statement which is of inestimable importance.
It is one of the wisest remarks I have ever heard. He said, “Throw your heart over the bar and your body will follow.
Copy that one sentence.  Write it on a card and put it in your pocket.  Place it under the glass on your desktop.  Tack it up on your wall.  Better still, write it on your mind, you who really want to do something with life.  it’s packed with power, that sentence, “Throw your heart over the bar and your body will follow.
Heart is the symbol of creative activity.  Fire the heart with where you want to go and what you want to be.  Get it so deeply fixed in your unconscious that you will not take no for an answer, then your entire personality will follow where your heart leads.  “Throw your heart over the bar” means to throw your faith over your difficulty.  In other words, throw the spiritual essence of you over the bar and your material self will follow in the victory groove thus pioneered by your faith-inspired mind.  Expect the best, not the worst, and you will attain your heart’s desire.  It is what is in the heart of you, either good or bad, strong or weak, that finally comes to you.


How High Can You Jump?

Flea trainers have observed a predictable and strange habit of fleas while training them. Fleas are trained by putting them in a cardboard box with a top on it. The fleas will jump up and hit the top of the cardboard box over and over and over again. As you watch them jump and hit the lid, something very interesting becomes obvious. The fleas continue to jump, but they are no longer jumping high enough to hit the top. Apparently, Excedrin headache 1738 forces them to limit the height of their jump.
When you take off the lid, the fleas continue to jump, but they will not jump out of the box. They won’t jump out because they can’t jump out. Why? The reason is simple. They have conditioned themselves to jump just so high. Once they have conditioned themselves to jump just so high, that’s all they can do!
Many times, people do the same thing. They restrict themselves and never reach their potential. Just like the fleas, they fail to jump higher, thinking they are doing all they can do. 


The Power of Thoughts

One day, a yogi and his disciple arrived in the big city. They had no money with them, but they needed food and a place to stay. The disciple was sure that they were going to beg for their food, and sleep in the park at night.
"There is a big park not far from here. We can sleep there at night", said the disciple.
"In the open air?" Asked the yogi.
"Yes", responded the student.

The yogi smiled and said: "No, tonight we are going to sleep in a hotel and eat there too".

The student was amazed and exclaimed, "We cannot afford that!"
"Come and sit down", said the yogi.
They both sat down on the ground, and the yogi said:
"When you focus your mind intently on any subject, it comes to pass."
The yogi closed his eyes and started to meditate with full concentration. After about ten minutes he got up and started to walk, with his disciple following him. They walked through several streets and alleys, until they arrived at a hotel.
"Come, let's enter inside", the yogi said to his disciple.
They just set foot in the entrance, when a well-dressed man approached them.
"I am the manager of this hotel. You look like traveling swamis, and I believe you have no money. Would you like to work in the kitchen, and in return I'll give you food and a place to stay?"
"Fine", the yogi responded.
The disciple was perplexed and asked the yogi: "Did you use any magic? How did you do that?"
The yogi smiled and said, "I wanted to show you how the power of thoughts works. When you think with full and strong concentration about something that you want to happen, and your mind does not resist the subject of your thought, your thought materializes."
"The secret is concentrating, visualizing, seeing details, having faith and projecting mental and emotional energy into the mental scene. These are the general prerequisites. When your mind is empty from thoughts, and only one single thought is allowed to enter, it gains a very great power. One should be very careful with what he thinks. A concentrated thought is powerful, and exerts a very strong influence."
The disciple looked at his teacher and said: "I see that I have to sharpen my concentration in order to be able to use this power."
"Yes, this is the first step", the yogi replied.


Free Range Hens – A Story about Existing or Living by Darren

Tom went to visit his mentor, Dwyer, in his small cabin on the edge of town.
“What do people need to be happy?” Tom asked.
“What do you think?” Dwyer asked back.
Tom thought for a moment.
“I think that if people have their basic needs met, you know, food and a place to live, and if they are safe from harm and have a job to do, that should be enough to keep them happy.”
Dwyer frowned.  Clearly he disagreed. The old man jumped to his feet and marched to the door, beckoning his young friend to follow him. They trudged towards a farm that contained a large barn and as they got closer, Tom could hear an infernal racket coming from inside.
Dwyer opened the door and Tom looked inside with amazement.  He saw row after row of chickens, each of them in their own tiny cages.
Dwyer looked at Tom and asked pointedly, “Do they have food?”
“Do they have shelter?”
“I guess so.”
“Are they safe from foxes and other predators?”
“Do they have a job to do?”
“They lay eggs.”
“Do they look happy?”
Tom looked closer at the hens.  He didn’t really know what a happy chicken looked like.  Do they smile?  Can a chicken even be happy?
Before he could answer, Dwyer said, “Come with me.” They left this farm and walked down a long lane towards another property.
On the second farm was a large field, full of chickens. They weren’t cooped up, they were foraging around in the field pecking for food. “Do these chickens look happy?” asked Dwyer.
It seemed like an odd question, but Tom inspected them anyway and it occurred to him that there was a different atmosphere here.  These hens seemed to be in a more natural state and they seemed more chickeny as a result. “Perhaps,” Tom responded, not wanting to commit.
“Of course they are, don’t be so absurd,” retorted the old man. “Here’s the point.  Both sets of hens have food, shelter and a job to do.  The first ones are confined to a small area where all that they can do is exist, but these hens, these beautiful birds, even though they are more exposed to the foxes and hawks of the world, have an opportunity to really live.”
“We all have a serious choice to make,” Dwyer continued, “We can either live like battery hens, in a confined, seemingly safe existence, where we expect that everything will be brought to us, albeit in very small portions, or we can break free and live like free range chickens, foraging around in a less predictable, slightly more dangerous world and truly live.  You asked about happiness before.  You can’t be happy if you’re merely existing, you have to live, son.”
Tom got it and thanked his mentor.


Be in Present...

A delightful story is told about a young man who applied for a job as a telegraph operator. He answered an ad in the newspaper and went to the telegraph office to await an interview. Though he knew Morse Code and was qualified in every other way, seven other applicants were also waiting in the large, noisy office.
He saw customers coming and going and heard a telegraph clacking away in the background. He also noticed a sign on the receptionist’s counter instructing applicants to fill out a form and wait to be summoned to an inner office for an interview. He filled out the form and sat down to wait.
After a few minutes, the young man stood up, crossed the room to the door of the inner office, and walked right in. Naturally the other applicants perked up, wondering why he had been so bold. They talked among themselves and finally determined that, since nobody had been summoned to interview yet, the man would likely be reprimanded for not following instructions and possibly disqualified for the job.
Within a few minutes, however, the young man emerged from the inner office escorted by the interviewer, who announced to the other applicants, “Thank you all very much for coming, but the job has just been filled.”
They were all confused and one man spoke up: “Wait a minute- I don’t understand. We have been waiting longer than he and we never even got a chance to be interviewed.” The employer responded, “All the time you’ve been sitting here, the telegraph has been ticking out the following message: ‘If you understand this, then come right in. The job is yours.’”
The lessons here is to devote yourself completely to whatever task is before you – even if your passion lies elsewhere. Being present and fully alive in the moment will open the door to opportunities others will only see in hindsight. When you’re present, you’ll make the most of every minute, and minutes lived fully add up to a life lived magnificently.


Gratitude - The Highest ROI Management Tool in Business

"Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful."
The highest ROI management tool I know is one that is available to everyone, costs essentially nothing, and is a proven driver of workplace productivity. That tool is Gratitude.
As obvious as this may sound to some, it is oftentimes overlooked, particularly in companies and among teams for whom seemingly no results are good enough and no bar is ever set high enough. Yet, developing a high-performance culture and one that encourages the expression of gratitude shouldn't be at odds. To the contrary, recognition can be an invaluable source of motivation and subsequently inspire people to do their best work. Looking back on my career, I've seen and experienced this dynamic more times than I can count, and conversely, have witnessed the negative repercussions of managers who take their teams for granted.
Here are a few things to consider the next time you're inclined to show your appreciation for a job well done:
1. Be thoughtful
Not all thank yous are created equal. Be thoughtful about the how. Sometimes it's best to do it in person, in the moment. Other times, an email or call might make sense, especially if the person is remote. Some of the most memorable thank yous I've received were handwritten notes (a few of which I still keep on a table behind my desk in the office).
Reid Hoffman, the founder of LinkedIn, has elevated this kind of recognition to an art form. For example, mention offhandedly to him that you like dark chocolate, and don't be surprised if several months later, he returns back from his latest trip to Europe with a few specialty bars he purchased for you, inevitably delivered with a resounding thanks for the positive difference you're making to the company.
2. Be genuine
More often than not, the words you communicate are not nearly as important as the thought and energy behind them. The person on the receiving end can tell the difference between someone going through the motions and deeply heartfelt appreciation. When it comes to expressing gratitude, always be 100% genuine.
For example, the next time an email thread starts up congratulating a team on their most recent win, try to refrain from adding the fifth or sixth "Great job!" and give some thought to why you're appreciative for their specific accomplishment. Conveying the latter will make all the difference.
Recently, I was asked to join one of our teams in celebrating their recent launch of a major product initiative. In addition to the standard t-shirts, cupcakes, and group photo, the team member who organized the event also asked another exec and me to share the best compliment we had heard about the product, and some of the key learnings we took away from the launch. The team was so appreciative of the positive feedback that we ended up receiving thank-yous for our thank-yous.
3. Pick your spots
When thinking about when to give thanks, make sure to apply The Goldilocks Principle: Compliment someone too often and your words will ultimately ring hollow; don't say thank-you enough and your top talent will ultimately feel so under-appreciated you'll potentially face retention issues. However, express appreciation at just the right time and you'll make a huge difference in the way that person thinks about their role and what it means to be a part of your team.
4. Solicit suggestions
When your organization is smaller, and everyone is located in one place, it's fairly easy to be aware of who is doing what and is most deserving of praise. However, as a successful organization inevitably scales to larger numbers of employees and multiple offices around the world, it can become more challenging to stay on top of the day-to-day progress of the team. One way of overcoming this dynamic is by making sure you remain in the flow of information regarding their wins, e.g. dashboards, wikis, weekly updates, etc. At LinkedIn, we conduct a global all-hands every other week which provides a natural channel to identify and recognize some of the team's most important accomplishments.
Another effective technique is to just ask. From time to time, remind your directs to mention individuals or teams you may have less direct exposure to, but who they feel are deserving of a special call-out. The further away from headquarters they sit, and the more junior they are, the better. You'll be amazed at how appreciative the people on the receiving end of those calls and emails will be.
5. Learn how to take a compliment
The better you are at receiving a compliment, the more effective you'll be at giving one. Many people struggle when on the receiving end of a kind word, inevitably looking down at their shoes, shuffling uncomfortably, and mumbling something about how it was truly a team effort. While humility is a highly valued trait, disconnection is not, yet the latter is typically what happens when these scenarios play out.
The next time someone compliments you on a job well done, try grounding yourself from the feet up, look the person straight in the eye, and let them know how much it means to you. That sense of recognition and connection is what we're all trying to achieve. It's also what ultimately makes the difference between a perfunctory thank you and an expression of gratitude the recipient won't soon forget.
One last note: Every now and again, the same senior tech executive I mentioned earlier will remind me of the first time I shared my views with him on the importance of gratitude. Despite the fact that conversation took place nearly eight years ago, he thanks me every time. The most recent example occurred just a couple of weeks ago. It was ultimately the reason I wrote this post.
Jeff Weiner
CEO, Linkedin

How Do You Communicate Your Message?

Educator Daphne Koller recently gave a TED talk that contained the following contrasting quotes:
Firstly, from Mark Twain,
College is a place where a professor’s lecture notes go straight to the students’ lecture notes, without passing through the brains of either.
And then this from Plutarch,
The mind is not a vessel that needs filling, but wood that needs igniting.
These quotes describe the difference between giving information that no-one cares about and getting your audience excited about what you’re sharing.
Whether you’re a business leader, preacher, teacher, salesman, blogger, coach, parent or any other person who has to communicate messages, this is an important distinction.
You could just give information, show some charts, tell people how much you know about a subject, use big words and talk for 30 minutes.  Blah, blah, blah!
Some people even kid themselves that if they use a PowerPoint presentation, then it will automatically be interesting.
But if the message doesn’t resonate and people aren’t changed by the experience, then you’ve just wasted everyone’s time, including your own.
Alternatively, you can tell fascinating stories, be energetic with your body language, be contagious in your level of enthusiasm, ask intelligent questions, practice your delivery beforehand and give your audience a call to action that’s persuasive, compelling and inspirational.
Whatever your context is, if your audience walks away unchanged, it’s your responsibility.
And if they walk away ready for action, that’s also because of your skill as a communicator.
If your message is important enough, don’t waste it by boring people, use it to get them excited.
Don’t fill them with information, light them on fire with enthusiasm!
That’s how the world gets changed!


A Story About Finding Motivation...

Putting Logs in the Fire…
Tom went to see his mentor, Dwyer as he was feeling frustrated.
It was a cold winter’s night and the mentor had his fire going.
“What’s your problem, Tom?” the mentor asked.
“I just can’t seem to find the motivation required to finish a project that I’m working on at the moment.”
“Hmmph,” responded Dwyer.
“Is that all you can say?” asked Tom.
“I need time to think.  Can you put that log on the fire?”
They sat in silence for a few minutes, watching the fire burn.
“So, what should I do about my motivation levels?” asked Tom.
“Put another log on the fire.”
“OK, but can we talk about my motivation levels afterwards?”
“Just let me think for a while,” replied Dwyer.
They waited for a few more minutes as the fire crackled.
“Do you have an answer yet?” Tom asked impatiently.
“I need just a little more time.  Can you put that log on the fire?”
“Yes, but then I want an answer, you’re supposed to be my mentor,” said Tom.
The log went on and Dwyer turned to face his young protégé.
“Motivation is like a fire, it will die off if you don’t keep giving fuel to keep it burning.”
“How do I do that?” enquired Tom.
“There are five logs you can use, so whenever you feel the fire is fading, ask yourself these questions:
1. What got you started?
2. What is your goal?
3. What can you learn today?
4. What action can I take right now?
5. Which positive people can I hang out with who will influence me?”
Tom smiled and jumped to his feet.
“What, going already?” asked Dwyer.
“You bet,” Tom replied.  ”I have work to do, I can feel the fire rising already.”
I don’t know about you, but there are occasions when my motivation levels wane.
I love the old Zig Ziglar quote that says,
“People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing. That’s why we recommend it daily”.
By asking yourself Dwyer’s questions, you can find a way to sustain your motivation levels and keep the fire burning.


Sometimes people come into your life and you know right away that they were meant to be there...to serve some sort of purpose, teach you a lesson or help figure out who you are or who you want to become.
You never know who these people may be but, when you lock eyes with them, you know that every moment, they will affect your life in some profound way. And sometimes things happen to you at the time that may seem horrible, painful and unfair but, upon reflection, you realize that without overcoming those obstacles you would have never realized your potential, strength, will power or heart.
Everything happens for a reason. Nothing happens by chance or by means of good luck. Illness, Injury, love, lost moments of true greatness and sheer stupidity all occur to test the limits of your soul. Without these small tests, life would be like a smoothly paved, straight, flat road to nowhere. Safe and comfortable but dull and utterly pointless. The people you meet affect your life. The successes and downfalls that you experience can create who you are, and the bad experiences can be learned from. In fact, they are probably the most poignant and important ones.
If someone hurts you, betrays you or breaks your heart, forgive them because they have helped you learn about trust and the importance of being cautious to whom you open your heart to. If someone loves you, love them back, unconditionally, not only because they love you, but because they are teaching you to love and open your heart and eyes to little things. Make every day count. Appreciate every moment and take from it everything that you possibly can, for you may never be able to experience it again. Talk to people you have never talked to before, and actually listen, set your sights high. Hold your head up because you have every right to. Tell yourself you are a great individual and believe in yourself, for if you don't believe in yourself, no one else will believe in you…


What's better than vision?

You must have all been given a lecture at one time or another about the importance of having a vision. Even leadership expert John Maxwell says that an indispensable quality of a leader is to have a vision. It is also very clear that without vision, people perish." So no doubt about it, having a vision is important to success. But surprise ! There's something more potent than a vision. It's a CAUSE.
If all you're doing is trying to reach your vision or you're pitted against someone fighting for a cause, chances are you'll lose. The Vietnam War is a classic example. Literally with sticks and stones, the Viet Cong beat the heavily armed US Army to surrender, primarily because the US has a vision to win the war, but the Vietnamese were fighting for a cause. In the realm of business, many leaders have visions of making their company No. 1, or grabbing market share, or forever increasing profits.  
Nothing really wrong with that vision, but take the example of Sony founder Akio Morita. He did not just have a vision to build the biggest electronics company in the world. In his biography, " Made in Japan" he reveals that the real reason he set up Sony was to help rebuild his country, which had just been bettered by war. He had a cause he was fighting for. His vision to be an electronics giant was secondary.
What's the difference between a vision and a cause? Here's what sets them apart. No one is wiling to die for a vision. People will die for a cause. You possess a vision. A cause possesses you. A vision lies in your hands. A cause lies in your heart. A vision involves sacrifice. A cause involves the ultimate sacrifice. Just a word of caution. You must have the right vision, and you must be fighting for the right cause.
In the end, right will always win out. It may take time, and it may take long. But if you have the right vision and are fighting for the right cause, you will prevail. If not, no matter how sincere you are, if you are not fighting for what is right, you will ultimately fail. It is said : "To whom much is given, much is required." Having been given the opportunity to study, no doubt, much has been given to you in terms of an excellent education. Don't forget that in return, much is now required of you to use that education not just for yourself, but for others. And as you move up and start reaching the pinnacle of success, even more will be required of you to look at the welfare of others, of society and of the country.



The secret of happiness

A certain shopkeeper sent his son to learn about the secret of happiness from the wisest man in the world. The lad wandered through the desert for 40 days, and finally came upon a beautiful castle, high atop a mountain. It was there that the wise man lived.
Rather than finding a saintly man, though, our hero, on entering the main room of the castle, saw a hive of activity: tradesmen came and went, people were conversing in the corners, a small orchestra was playing soft music, and there was a table covered with platters of the most delicious food in that part of the world. The wise man conversed with everyone, and the boy had to wait for two hours before it was his turn to be given the man’s attention.
The wise man listened attentively to the boy’s explanation of why he had come, but told him that he didn’t have time just then to explain the secret of happiness. He suggested that the boy look around the palace and return in two hours.
Meanwhile, I want to ask you to do something”, said the wise man, handing the boy a teaspoon that held two drops of oil. “As you wander around, carry this spoon with you without allowing the oil to spill”.
The boy began climbing and descending the many stairways of the palace, keeping his eyes fixed on the spoon. After two hours, he returned to the room where the wise man was.
“Well”, asked the wise man, “Did you see the Persian tapestries that are hanging in my dining hall? Did you see the garden that it took the master gardener ten years to create? Did you notice the beautiful parchments in my library?”
The boy was embarrassed, and confessed that he had observed nothing. His only concern had been not to spill the oil that the wise man had entrusted to him.
“Then go back and observe the marvels of my world”, said the wise man. “You cannot trust a man if you don’t know his house”.
Relieved, the boy picked up the spoon and returned to his exploration of the palace, this time observing all of the works of art on the ceilings and the walls. He saw the gardens, the mountains all around him, the beauty of the flowers, and the taste with which everything had been selected. Upon returning to the wise man, he related in detail everything he had seen.
“But where are the drops of oil I entrusted to you?” asked the wise man. Looking down at the spoon he held, the boy saw that the oil was gone.
“Well, there is only one piece of advice I can give you”, said the wisest of wise men. “The secret of happiness is to see all the marvels of the world and never to forget the drops of oil on the spoon”.


Muddy water is best cleared by leaving it alone.

Have you ever face a problem that was so foggy, so dense, so cumbersome… that whatever you tried seemed to only contribute to the problem or maintain a state of disorder? In the world we live in today, which tends to focus on the “hero of the day”, we often think that we have to “do something”. You’ve probably heard this sentence “don’t just stand there, do something”. At times, one could not be more wrong. So wrong, that one should really say, “Don’t just do something, stand there”.
It is, for instance, particularly true in situations of very intense, high-stakes, high-emotions arguments, where often, whatever one may say will be misinterpreted by the other party. In these cases, not doing anything is a great way not only to let the muddy waters clear naturally, but it is also the best way not to get all the mud on your face! May you have a clear day, and if muddy, let it alone.


Enjoy Your Coffee..

A Group of friends, highly established in their careers, got together to visit their old University Professor. Conversation soon turned into complaints about stress in work and life. Offering his guests coffee, the professor went to the kitchen and returned with a large pot of coffee and assortment of cups – porcelain, plastic, glass, crystal, some plain looking, some expensive, some exquisite – telling them to help themselves to the coffee.
When all the students had a cup of coffee in hand, the professor said: “If you noticed, all the nice looking expensive cups were taken up, leaving behind the plain and cheap ones. While it is normal for you to want only the best for yourselves, that is the source of problems and stress. Be assured that the cup itself adds no quality to the coffee. In most cases it is just more expensive and in some cases even hides what we drink. What all of you really wanted was coffee, not the cup, but you consciously went for the best cups…..And then began envying each other’s cups.
Now consider this: “Life is the COFFEE; the jobs, money and position in the society are the CUPS. They are just tools to hold and contain Life, and the type of cup we have does not define, nor change the quality of Life we live. Sometimes, by concentrating only on the cup, we fail to enjoy the coffee
NOTE: The happiest people don’t have the best of everything. They just make the best of everything. Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly.


Put Your Glass Down!

The Professor began his class by holding up a glass with some water in it. He held it up for all to see & asked the students “How much do you think this glass weighs?”
’50gms!’….. ’100gms!’ …..’125 gms’ …the students answered.
“I really don’t know unless I weigh it,” said the professor, “but, my question is:
What would happen if I held it up like this for a few minutes?”…. .
‘Nothing’ …..the students said.
‘Ok what would happen if I held it up like this for an hour?’ the professor asked.
‘Your arm would begin to ache’ said one of the student
“You’re right, now what would happen if I held it for a day?”
“Your arm could go numb; you might have severe muscle stress & paralysis & have to go to hospital for sure!”
….. Ventured another student & all the students laughed
“Very good.
But during all this, did the weight of the glass change?” Asked the professor.
‘No’…. Was the answer.
“Then what caused the arm ache & the muscle stress?”
The students were puzzled.
“What should I do now to come out of pain?” asked professor again.
“Put the glass down!” said one of the students
“Exactly!” said the professor.
Life’s problems are something like this.
Hold it for a few minutes in your head & they seem OK.
Think of them for a long time & they begin to ache.
Hold it even longer & they begin to paralyze you. You will not be able to do anything.
It’s important to think of the challenges or problems in your life, But EVEN MORE IMPORTANT is to ‘PUT THEM DOWN’ at the end of every day before you go to sleep…
That way, you are not stressed, you wake up every day fresh &strong & can handle any issue, any challenge that comes your way!
So, when you start your day today, Remember friend to ‘PUT THE GLASS DOWN TODAY!


Boy’s Job Appraisal

A little boy went into a drug store, reached for a soda carton and pulled it over to the telephone. He climbed onto the carton so that he could reach the buttons on the phone and proceeded to punch in seven digits (phone numbers).  The store-owner observed and listened to the conversation.
Boy: ‘Lady, Can you give me the job of cutting your lawn?
Woman: (at the other end of the phone line): ‘I already have someone to cut my lawn.’
Boy: ‘Lady, I will cut your lawn for half the price of the person who cuts your lawn now.’
Woman: I’m very satisfied with the person who is presently cutting my lawn.
Boy: (with more perseverance) : ‘Lady, I’ll even sweep your curb and your sidewalk, so on Sunday you will have the prettiest lawn in all of Palm beach , Florida.’
Woman: No, thank you.
With a smile on his face, the little boy replaced the receiver. The store-owner, who was listening to all this, walked over to the boy.
Store Owner: ‘Son… I like your attitude; I like that positive spirit and would like to offer you a job.’
Boy: ‘No thanks.’
Store Owner: But you were really pleading for one.
Boy: No Sir, I was just checking my performance at the Job I already have. I am the one who is working for that lady I was talking to!’
Moral: This is what we call ‘Self Appraisal’.  Every time if we don’t get ahead of others, we blame others for it.  We should look to our self and compare, find own weaknesses and work hard to throw away weaknesses.  Always Work Hard, Honest and with full Dedication.  It will always pay up.


Karoly Takacs 

Karoly Takacs, You’ve probably never heard of him. However, in Hungary, he’s a national hero – everybody there knows his name and his incredible story. After reading his story, you’ll never forget him…
In 1938, Karoly Takacs of the Hungarian Army, was the top pistol shooter in the world. He was expected to win the gold in the 1940 Olympic Games scheduled for Tokyo.
Those expectations vanished one terrible day just months before the Olympics. While training with his army squad, a hand grenade exploded in Takacs’ right hand, and Takacs’ shooting hand was blown off.
Takacs spent a month in the hospital depressed at both the loss of his hand, and the end to his Olympic dream. At that point most people would have quit. And they would have probably spent the rest of their life feeling sorry for themselves. Most people would have quit but not Takacs. Takacs was a winner. He did the unthinkable; he picked himself up, dusted himself off, and decided to learn how to shoot with his left hand! Instead of focusing on what he didn’t have – a world class right shooting hand, he decided to focus on what he did have- a healthy left hand that with time, could be developed to shoot like a champion.
For months Takacs practiced by himself. No one knew what he was doing. Maybe he didn’t want to subject himself to people who most certainly would have discouraged him from his rekindled dream.
In the spring of 1939 he showed up at the Hungarian National Pistol Shooting Championship. Other shooters approached Takacs to give him their condolences and to congratulate him on having the strength to come watch them shoot. They were surprised when he said, “I didn’t come to watch, I came to compete.” They were even more surprised when Takacs won!
The 1940 and 1944 Olympics were cancelled because of World War II. It looked like Takacs’ Olympic Dream would never have a chance to realize itself. But Takacs kept training and in 1948 he qualified for the London Olympics. At the age of 38, Takacs won the Gold Medal and set a new world record in pistol shooting. Four years later, Takacs won the Gold Medal again at the 1952 Helsinki Olympics. Takacs – a man with the mental toughness to bounce back from anything. Takacs definitely had a right to feel sorry for himself. He had a right to stay depressed and to ask himself “Why me?” for the rest of his life. He had the right to act like a mediocre man.
Takacs could have let his terrible accident cause him to become permanently discouraged, to take up heavy drinking, to quit on life alltogether, and maybe even to end his own life. He could have acted like a loser.
But Takacs made the DECISION to dig deep inside and to find a solution. To pick himself up and to learn to shoot all over again. Winners always search for a solution. Losers always search for an escape.
Next time you get knocked down, like a winner. DECIDE to act like Takacs. Get up quickly, take action, and astound the world!


The Tale of Two Seeds

Two seeds lay side by side in the fertile soil.
The first seed said, "I want to grow! I want to send my roots deep into the soil beneath me, and thrust my sprouts through the earth's crust above me ... I want to unfurl my tender buds like banners to announce the arrival of spring ... I want to feel the warmth of the sun on my face and the blessing of the morning dew on my petals!"
And so she grew.…….
The second seed said, "Hmmmm. If I send my roots into the ground below, I don't know what I will encounter in the dark. If I push my way through the hard soil above me I may damage my delicate sprouts ... what if I let my buds open and a snail tries to eat them? And if I were to open my blossoms, a small child may pull me from the ground. No, it is much better for me to wait until it is safe."
And so she waited.…….
A yard hen scratching around in the early spring ground for food found the waiting seed and promptly ate it.
Moral of  the story
Those of us who have  goals and dreams will grow and prosper.
Those of us who refuse to take risks will get swallowed up by life.


The Candle & The Fire

Tom was tired when he went to see his mentor. They sat quietly in his old cabin, whittling wood with their knives in front of the fireplace when Tom finally spoke up. “I don’t know how you do it,” he said. “Do what?” asked his mentor.
“I don’t know how you stay motivated to help people after so many years.  I feel like giving up and I’ve hardly started.” His mentor smiled wryly and replied, “Can you blow out that candle for me?” Tom did as he was asked. “Now, can you blow out this fire?  Dwyer asked. “Don’t be silly,” Tom replied, “Of course I can’t.”
He put down his knife and his piece of wood and looked his protégé in the eye. “When your motivation is as small as the candle’s flame, it’s easy to extinguish, but when it rages like the fire you see before you, nothing can blow it out.” My challenge to you is to find a reason for doing what you do that can’t be extinguished when you feel tired, when you come up against obstacles and when you don’t feel as though you are making any progress.  If you don’t have a compelling reason to press on, it’s too easy to give up.
So let me ask you, is your motivation level like a candle or a fire? And what are you going to do to keep it from dying down?  Tom realized his ignorance and promised his mentor, never to get dejected whatsoever!
So Friends, Have a Fire like motivation so that it can’t be extinguished by any force! All the best!


Right Decision

At the 1924 Olympic Games in Paris, the sport of canoe racing was added to the list of international competitions. The favorite team in the four-man canoe race was the United States team. One member of that team was a young man by the name of Bill Havens.
As the time for the Olympics neared, it became clear that Bill's wife would give birth to their first child about the time that the U.S. team would be competing in the Paris games. In 1924 there were no jet airliners from Paris to the United States, only slow ocean going ships. And so Bill found himself in a dilemma. Should he go to Paris and risk not being at his wife's side when their baby was born? Or should he withdraw from the team and remain with his family?
Bill's wife insisted that he go to Paris. After all, competing in the Olympics was the culmination of a lifelong dream. But Bill felt conflicted and, after much soul searching, decided to withdraw from the competition and remain home, where he could support his wife when the child arrived. He considered being at her side his highest priority, even higher than going to Paris to fulfill his dream.
As it turned out, the United States four-man canoe team won the gold medal in Paris. And Bill's wife was late in giving birth to their child. She was so late, in fact, that Bill could have competed in the event and returned home in time to be with her when she gave birth.
People said, "What a shame." But Bill said he had no regrets. For the rest of his life, he believed he had made the better decision.
Bill Havens knew what was most important to him. Not everybody figures that out. And he acted on what he believed was best. Not everybody has the strength of character to say no to something he or she truly wants in order to say yes to something that truly matters. But for Bill, it was the only way to peace; the only way to no regrets.
There is an interesting sequel to the story of Bill Havens...
The child eventually born to Bill and his wife was a boy, whom they named Frank. Twenty eight years later, in 1952, Bill received a cablegram from Frank. It was sent from Helsinki, Finland, where the 1952 Olympics were being held. The cablegram read: "Dad, I won. I'm bringing home the gold medal you lost while waiting for me to be born."
Frank Havens had just won the gold medal for the United States in the canoe racing event, a medal his father had dreamed of winning but never did.
Take right decision on right time and don’t look back.  Don’t think about the criticism or opposition!


When all think alike, then no one is thinking.

Right after the fall of communism, a Belgian company sent two representatives to look into the feasibility of selling their products in Russia.
Two different reports were received. “Nobody wears Western shoes here,” wrote the first representative, “if we install a factory here, we will suffer heavy losses.”
“Nobody wears Western shoes here,” wrote the second representative, “If we install a factory here, we will start the fashion trend and sell the entire production.”
It’s in our hands how we see life.



There once was a king who offered a prize to the artist who would paint the best picture of peace. Many artists tried. The king looked at all the pictures. But there were only two he really liked, and he had to choose between them.
One picture was of a calm lake. The lake was a perfect mirror for peacefully towering mountains all around it. Overhead was a blue sky with fluffy white clouds. All who saw this picture thought that it was a perfect picture of peace. 
The other picture had mountains, too. But these were rugged and bare. Above was an angry sky, from which rain fell and in which lightning played. Down the side of the mountain tumbled a foaming waterfall. This did not look peaceful at all. But when the king looked closely, he saw behind the waterfall a tiny bush growing in a crack in the rock. In the bush a mother bird had built her nest. There, in the midst of the rush of angry water, sat the mother bird on the nest - in perfect peace.  Which picture do you think won the prize? The king chose the second picture. Do you know why? 
"Because," explained the king, "peace does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble, or hard work. Peace means to be in the midst of all those things and still be calm in your heart. That is the real meaning of peace."

Positive Vision

One teacher had two disciples. One of them had an auspicious positive vision and he always sought out good points from anything he observed while the other one had an inauspicious vision and always found out some negative or faults from his observations.
One day, the teacher went out to a park with both the disciples and while wandering in the garden, they came across a mango tree from which some ripe and juicy mangoes were hanging. On seeing this, the teacher thought to test both of his students. Therefore, he called them beside him and asked them to observe the tree full of mangoes very carefully. Then, he asked the first one, "my dear child, what do you think of this mango tree?"
The disciple answered instantly, "teacher, in spite of people hitting this tree with stones, it gives us sweet and juicy mangoes. It feels hurt but still it gives us fruits. I wish all human beings learn this important message from the mango tree - to share their belongings even if they have to suffer for this."
After that, the teacher asked the same question to the other disciple, "my dear child, what do you think of this mango tree?" the student aggressively answered, "teacher, this mango tree is no good and will not give mangoes by itself but only when we hit it with stones and sticks. Therefore, we should hit it hard to get sweet mangoes from it. That is the only way to get these mangoes. It is also clear from this tree that in order to get good fruits from others, we need to be violent and only when we become violent, then and only then will we get happiness."
Teacher was delighted with the answer given by the first student because he had an admirable vision and appreciated the tree with positive vision while on the other hand the second student's answer dissatisfied him because he saw the tree with negative vision and insisted on learning the wrong way of getting fruits in life. He showered his blessings on the first disciple whole-heartedly.
So friends, even though the situation is same, it still depends on how we interpret it, which shows our mental status and the way we think of others. Let's take an example of lovely roses that have thorns on them. A person with an inauspicious vision would say, "oh god! Even these beautiful roses have thorns on them", while a person with an auspicious vision would say, "wow! What a wonderful creation of nature - a beautiful rose amongst thorns."
Always develop a vision that can find out something good even from a bad thing or person. And by doing so, slowly your mind and intellect will become pure day by day.
Develop a positive vision and always find out something good from everything and everyone.
Positivity is the biggest strength in life. Success follows who are positive in all situations. Many great celebrities had one or more weaknesses but they were always positive for self, others and situations and hence became successful by overcoming all sorts of obstacles. A little poison of negativity about others in our mind can destroy our relationships with them. Everybody has definitely something that can be appreciated, we only need to apply positive vision and appreciate others.


Be humble, love and respect those around you.

Juan worked at a meat distribution factory. One day, when he finished with his work schedule, he went into the meat cold room to inspect something, but in a moment of bad luck, the door closed and he was locked inside with no help in sight.
Although he screamed and knocked with all his might, his cries went unheard as no one could hear him. Most of the workers had already gone, and outside the cold room it's impossible to hear what was going on inside. Five hours later, whilst Juan was on the verge of death, the security guard of the factory, eventually opened the door and saved Juan's life.
Juan then asked the security guard how he got to open the door, as it wasn't part of his work routine, and he explained thus: “I’ve been working in this factory for 35 years, hundreds of workers come in and out every day, but you're one of the few who greets me in the morning and says goodbye to me every night when leaving after working hours. Many treat me as if I am invisible.
Today, like every other day, you greeted me in your simple manner ' Hello ' at the entrance when resuming for work. But curiously, after working hours today, I observed I've not heard your ' bye! See you tomorrow '. Hence I decided to check around the factory. I look forward to your ' Hi ' and ' bye ' every day. To you, I am someone. By not hearing your farewell, I knew something had happened. 
Then I Sought and found you! 
Be humble, love and respect those around you. Try to have an impact on people in ways we can’t even imagine, especially the people that cross our path every day. Someone seemingly so insignificant and irrelevant today could be the only help you can get tomorrow.


You control how much negativity gets inside your head

Negativity will be everywhere you look; if you are looking for it that is. Similarly, if you choose to look for the positive, and become proactive about what you see, you will feel better about your environment almost immediately. It’s a strange phenomenon, but we actually have the ability to choose how we see and interpret our world. This is not the same as convincing yourself that the colour of a leaf is blue rather than green. Moreover, it’s about seeking out what else is in your field of vision or changing your perspective on an initially perceived negative element or vision.
Positive affirmations work great! And with practice, they become automatically part of your subconscious thoughts. Mastering your subconscious thoughts to become positive may not be as simple as flicking on a light. Real change may take weeks, months, or even years… especially if you’ve had a long history of negative thoughts and behaviors. However, there are many people who do have ‘that moment‘, when a light does suddenly glows and they seemingly change their thoughts in an instant. Eckhart Tolle writes about his sudden moment when his world became a little brighter in his 1997 best seller, The Power of Now.
If you have not had this moment, do not despair! If it’s a change you want to see happen, then an exciting journey awaits. As body builders take years to sculpt their physique, the mind too will takes a lot of work to get in shape. It will take a lot of focus, dedication, and ongoing discipline before you become a master, but there will be plenty of rewards along the way. It is a different journey for each of us, but an exciting one nonetheless.


The Unhappy Farmer – A Story About Contentment

Career expert, Dan Miller recently shared this story about a farmer who grew discontent with his farm.
A farmer complained about the lake on his property that always needed to have the fish thinned out.  The rolling hills made it more difficult for him to run the fence rows.  Sometimes he couldn’t even see his cows because they had so much territory to cover.  At night it was so dark it was hard to walk from the barn back to his house. He decided to sell the place and move somewhere really nice.  He called a real estate agent and made plans to sell his property.
A few days later he picked up the local paper, looking for a new place to live.  His eye caught an ad for a lovely country home in an ideal location – quiet and peaceful. It had soft rolling hills; a pristine lake stocked with bass, a classic barn surrounded by natural flowers and soft grass, and came complete with a wonderful herd of Black Angus cows.  It was just close enough to a small town to be convenient but far enough out to be uncluttered by city lights, traffic and noise.
He read the ad a second and then a third time before realising the real estate agent had given her description of the place he currently owned.  He called her and told her to cancel the ad.  He said, “I’ve changed my mind.  I’ve been looking for a place like that all my life.” It’s easy to complain about your current situation, but how would your life look to an outsider?
Is your job really that bad? Are your kids that annoying? Is your financial situation as dire as you really think it is?
Sometimes, just like the farmer, we need a new perspective on our circumstances to understand that our lives aren’t as bad as we sometimes believe.


The Miller, his son & their ass

Not everybody can make a good leader as leadership requires a different skill set and a high degree of responsibility and accountability.  
Let us read this story!
The Miller, His Son, and Their Ass
 A Miller and his son were driving their Ass to a neighboring fair to sell him. They had not gone far when they met with a troop of women collected round a well, talking and laughing. "Look there," cried one of them, "did you ever see such fellows, to be trudging along the road on foot when they might ride?” The old man hearing this, quickly made his son mount the Ass, and continued to walk along merrily by his side. Presently they came up to a group of old men in earnest debate. “There," said one of them, "it proves what I was a-saying. What respect is shown to old age in these days? Do you see that idle lad riding while his old father has to walk? Get down, you young scapegrace, and let the old man rest his weary limbs. "Upon this the old man made his son dismount, and got up himself.
In this manner they had not proceeded far when they met a company of women and children. "Why, you lazy old fellow," cried several tongues at once, "how can you ride upon the
beast, while that poor little lad there can hardly keep pace by the side of you?” The good-natured Miller immediately took up his son behind him.
They had now almost reached the town. "Pray, honest friend," said a citizen, "is that Ass your own?” "Yes," replied the old man. "O, one would not have thought so," said the other, "by the way you load him. Why, you two fellows are better able to carry the poor beast than he you." "Anything to please you," said the old man; "we can but try."
So, alighting with his son, they tied the legs of the Ass together and with the help of a pole endeavored to carry him on their shoulders over a bridge near the entrance to the town. This entertaining sight brought the people in crowds to laugh at it, till the Ass, not liking the noise nor the strange handling that he was subject to, broke the cords that bound him and, tumbling off the pole, fell into the river.
Upon this, the old man, vexed and ashamed, made the best of his way home again, convinced that by endeavoring to please everybody he had pleased nobody, and lost his Ass in the bargain.
Moral: Tried to please all and you end up pleasing none.


Successful Sales Manager

A friend of mine is a very successful sales manager. After he had carefully interviewed and then selected a new salesman, he would take to the salesman to a Cadillac dealership and insist that he trade in his old car for a new Cadillac. The salesman would usually balk at the idea. He would be frightened of the cost of the car and the huge monthly payment involved. But the sales manager would insist that he buy the Cadillac as a condition of employment. 
What do you think happened afterwards? First, the salesman would drive the car home and wife would most have a heart attack when she saw that he had bought a new Cadillac. But after she had settled down, he would take her for a ride around the neighborhood in the new car. The neighbors would see them driving in a new Cadillac as he waved on the way past. He would park his new Cadillac in front of his house or in his driveway. People would come over and admire it. Gradually, imperceptibly, at a subconscious level, his attitude toward himself and his earning potential would begin to change.
Within a few days, he would begin to see himself as the kind of person who drove a new Cadillac. He would see himself as a big money earner in his field, one of the top performers in his industry. And time after time, almost without fail, the sales people in this organization became sales superstars. Their sales performance jumped and they earned more than they had ever before. Soon the payment on the new Cadillac were of no concern because their incomes were so much greater. 
Emmet Fox, the spiritual teacher, once said that, “Your main job in life is to create the mental equivalent within yourself of what you want to realize and enjoy in your outer world.” Your focus must be on creating the beliefs within yourself that are consistent with the great success you want to be in your outer world. 
You achieve this by challenging your self-limiting beliefs, rejecting them and then acting as if they did not exist. You reinforce the development of new, life-enhancing beliefs by increasing your knowledge and skills in your field to the point where you feel equal to any demand or challenge. You accelerate the development of new, positive beliefs by setting bigger and more exciting goals in every area. Finally, you act continually as if you were already the person that you desire to be. Your aim is to reprogram your subconscious mind for success by creating the mental equivalent in everything you do or say.


Choose Faith, Not Fear...

Before a comedian takes the microphone, he needs to have faith in his material, not be fearful that no-one will laugh.
Before a tight-rope walker steps onto the rope, he needs to trust his training and technique, not be afraid of falling.
Before a leader launches an innovative initiative, she needs to believe that it will work, not have her mind dominated by lingering doubts.
Before a pilot takes off, he needs to know that the plane will get off the ground safely, not suspect that there will be issues.
Before a football player takes a crucial penalty, he needs to have conviction that the ball will end up in the back of the net, not worry about the implications of a miss.
And before you launch into your goals this year, you have to act in faith, believing in your skills and the purpose to which you have been called, not be fearful of the consequences of failure.
It’s time to choose faith, not fear!


The Trevi Fountain

The Trevi Fountain is one of the most remarkable landmarks of the great city of Rome. Every day, thousands of tourists throw coins over their left shoulder into this icon.
After winning the commission to build the fountain, Nicola Salvi started working on his masterpiece in 1732.  He laboured away for 19 years before dying in 1751, leaving the project unfinished.  A team of designers took over and the Trevi Fountain that we see today was finally completed in 1762.
Do you want to create a masterpiece?
Do you want to develop your skills to an elite level?
Do you want your life’s work to matter?
Remember that greatness takes time.
How much time?
I have no idea, but it could be 10, 20 or even 30 years.
So stay focused, keep working, never stop learning, be relentless and persistent, enjoy the journey, maintain the faith and when you start to lose faith, remember that the Trevi Fountain was worth the wait and so will your masterpiece!


Be the Oxpecker, Be the Trailblazer! 

Oxpeckers are amazing birds. They are a small bird, only about 20 cm long, who get all of their food from landing on large mammals and consuming ticks and other small parasites.Birds are normally flighty and timid, but these guys are incredibly brave, landing on antelopes, wildebeest, cattle and even elephants to gather their food.
But how did it start? Who was the first oxpecker?  Which bird decided that seeds weren’t getting the job done and thought that maybe there were better options on the back of an impala? Because there had to be a first.
There had to be a trailblazer. There had to be one who took the risk and told everyone else that it was going to be OK. Perhaps there is something that you are scared to do. You suspect that it would be a great opportunity, but you don’t know if can be done. And there are others around you who are just as timid.
You can be the first oxpecker.
You can be the trailblazer.
You can change the world.
Be the Oxpecker, Be the Trailblazer! 


Always believe in yourself

A tired bird was resting on a branch for support. It enjoyed the view from the branch and the safety it offered from dangerous animals. Just as it had become used to that branch and the support and safety that it offered, a strong wind started blowing and the branch started swaying back and forth, with such great intensity, that it seemed that it was going to break.
But the bird was not in the least worried for it knew two important truths. One was that even without the branch it was able to fly and thus remain safe through the power of its own two wings. The second is that there are many other branches upon which it can temporarily rest.
This small example represents the ideal relationship between ourselves and our relationships, possessions and social and professional positions. We have the right to enjoy all these, but cannot as long as we are dependent on them and are afraid of losing them. They are all in a state of change and can disappear at any time.
Our real strength dose not lie in those external ephemeral things, but rather on our two internal wings of love and wisdom. These must become our security base, our source of enjoyment and happiness.


A Glass of Milk

One day, a poor boy who was selling goods from door to door to pay his way through school, found he had only one thin dime left, and he was hungry.He decided he would ask for a meal at the next house. However, he lost his nerve when a lovely young woman opened the door.  Instead of a meal he asked for a drink of water! She thought he looked hungry so brought him a large glass of milk. He drank it so slowly, and then asked, How much do I owe you?" You don't owe me anything," she replied. "Mother has taught us never to accept pay for a kindness." He said ... "Then I thank you from my heart."
As Howard Kelly left that house, he not only felt stronger physically, but his faith in God and man was strong also. He had been ready to give up and quit.Many years later that same young woman became critically ill. The local doctors were baffled. They finally sent her to the big city, where they called in specialists to study her rare disease.
Dr. Howard Kelly was called in for the consultation. When he heard the name of the town she came from, a strange light filled his eyes. Immediately he rose and went down the hall of the hospital to her room. Dressed in his doctor's gown he went in to see her. He recognized her at once. He went back to the consultation room determined to do his best to save her life. From that day he gave special attention to her case. After a long struggle, the battle was won.
Dr. Kelly requested the business office to pass the final bill to him for approval. He looked at it, and then wrote something on the edge and the bill was sent to her room. She feared to open it, for she was sure it would take the rest of her life to pay for it all. Finally she looked, and something caught her attention on the side of the bill. She read these words ...
"Paid in full with one glass of milk" (Signed) Dr. Howard Kelly. Tears of joy flooded her eyes as her happy heart prayed: "Thank You, God, that your love has spread broad through human hearts and hands."
There's a saying which goes something like this: Bread cast on the waters comes back to you. The good deed you do today may benefit you or someone you love at the least expected time. If you Never see the Deed again at least You will have made the World a Better Place - And, After All, Isn't That What Life is All About..?


An Inspirational Story

Once, in Heaven there was a discussion among the Gods to decide where the miraculous secret power, the power by which man can achieve anything in this world was to be kept hidden. One of the Gods suggested that it could be kept hidden in the depths of the Sea. Another said it could be buried on top of high mountains. The third one thought of a cave in the woods as the right place.
At last, the most intelligent among them said, 'Keep it in the depths of man's mind. He will never suspect that the power is hidden there because right from his childhood, his mind is prone to wandering and he will not look within. Only the intelligent among them will look within, and use the power and become great.' All gods agreed. So, do you see that the difference between two people lies in their minds? One knows how to tap its power and the other does not.
So, the truth expressed here is that in the depths of man's mind lies hidden the miraculous power, using which one can become great. Whatever you think, that you will be. If you think yourselves weak, weak you will be; if you think yourselves STRONG, STRONG you will be.


Teaching Right and Wrong

When the Zen Master Bankei held his seclusion-weeks of meditation, pupils from many parts of Japan came to attend. During one of these gatherings a pupil was caught stealing. The matter was reported to Bankei with the request that the culprit be expelled. Bankei, however, ignored the case.

Later the pupil was caught in a similar act. It was reported but again Bankei disregarded the matter. This angered the other pupils, who drew up a petition asking for the expulsion of the thief.  If otherwise, they would leave the gathering.

Bankei read the petition and smiled.  He called everyone before him. "You are wise brothers," he told them. "You know what is right and what is not right. You may go somewhere else to study if you wish, as you are wise.  But this poor brother does not even know right from wrong. Who will teach him if I do not? I am going to keep him here even if all the rest of you leave."
There was complete silence. 

A torrent of tears cleansed the face of the brother who was the thief.  The desire to steal had vanished.  He was a changed man.
Punishment is not the only way to teach right and wrong or wholesome and unwholesome.  Touch the weakness with soft and warm hands or sweet and suggestive words.  It leaves more impact than punishment.


Life is beautiful

Put a frog in a vessel of water and start heating the water. As the temperature of the water rises, the frog is able to adjust its body temperature accordingly. The frog keeps on adjusting with increase in temperature. Just when the water is about to reach boiling point, the frog is not able to adjust anymore. At that point the frog decides to jump out.. 

The frog tries to jump but is unable to do so, because it lost all its strength in adjusting with the water temperature. Very soon the frog dies. What killed the frog?

Many of us would say the boiling water. But the truth is what killed the frog was its own inability to decide when it had to jump out. We all need to adjust with people and situations, but we need to be sure when we need to adjust and when we need to confront face. There are times when we need to face the situation and take the appropriate action. If we allow people to exploit us physically, mentally, emotionally or financially, they will continue to do so. We have to decide when to jump.

Let us jump while we still have the strength !! Think on It!!


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