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June 2005

May 2005

Attitude and Mindset

Your attitude is the way that you feel about yourself, other people, a situation or a circumstance. Napoleon Hill, the author of the best-selling book, Think and Grow Rich, put it so eloquently when he said, “The only thing over which you have complete right of control at all times is your mental attitude. Right of control means that you can control it, it does not mean that you do control it, you must learn to exercise this right as a matter of habit.” Think about the power of that statement and how it holds the key to building your positive attitude habits.

You have the right of control over your mental attitude. The purpose of the power of positive habits is to give you the information you need to exercise that right of control by the selective acquisition of positive habits. By doing this, you are creating a new mind set, a mind set geared towards success.


The Mayonnaise Jar and 2 cups of coffee.

When things in your life seem almost too much to handle, when 24 hours in a day are not enough, remember the mayonnaise jar and the 2 cups of coffee... A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, wordlessly, he picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was. The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with a unanimous "yes." The professor then produced two cups of coffee from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar, effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.

"Now," said the professor, as the laughter subsided, "I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things-your God, family, your children, your health, your friends, and your favorite passions -- things that if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full. The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house, and your car. The sand is everything else -- the small stuff. "If you put the sand into the jar first, " he continued, "there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life.

If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important to you. Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your partner out to dinner. Play another 18. There will always be time to clean the house and fix the disposal." Take care of the golf balls first -- the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand." One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the coffee represented. The professor smiled. "I'm glad you asked. It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there's always room for a couple of cups of coffee with a friend."

Your goals

-Karthik Gurumurthy

There’s never a good time to sit down and think about what you want to accomplish in life. We have busy lives, and even when we’re not busy, we might just feel more like vegging in front of the TV or checking our feeds than thinking about the rest of our lives.

Do it today, if you haven’t yet. It could take as little as 10 or 20 minutes, and it could make all the difference in the world.

And it’s not that hard. You probably already have a good idea of what you want to do, but you may not have it written down. Or maybe you’ve done this exercise before, but you haven’t updated your goals for awhile. Now’s the time to do it.

1. How to start? First, think about what you’d like people to say about you at your funeral. This comes from Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People — the habit called “Begin with the end in mind.” It’s also very effective. Imagine you are at the end of your life, looking back. What would you like to have accomplished? What kind of person would you like to have been?

Now here’s the key: start living your life so that you will eventually get to that point.

2. Now that you’ve given that a little thought, jot down some ideas for life goals you’d like to achieve before you die.

They can be in many areas, but here are a few to start with: professional, education, family, spiritual, travel, recreation, hobbies, community, charity. You can probably think of more, and you don’t need to have goals in all of these areas. Just some topics to get you started.

3. Refine your list, or expand it. After your initial brainstorm, you may want to trim it down. But you may also want to expand: sometimes it’s fun, and worthwhile, to dream big.

4. Now break it down. What should you accomplish in the next 10 years for each of these goals? How about 5 years? How about two years? One year? And this month?

Once you’ve planned out each goal for 10-year, 5-year, 2-year, 1-year and 1-month periods, you’ve got yourself a pretty solid plan.

5. Take action! I like to take my monthly goals, and make a to-do list for this week. What can I do today to further my goals? And if I can get just one thing done, I’ve done a lot to make those dreams a reality!

Take a step towards your dreams today by writing them down, and making a plan.

Character of a leader

-Karthik Gurumurthy

I was browsing this amazing book "21 indispensable qualities of a leader" by John Maxwell. One chapter a day really makes you a leader if you follow that chapter & implement it. It begins with chapter 1 as character. He talks about a guy who manufactured small planes & successfully sold over 50 planes to companies. In that 50 planes he sold to, couple of planes crashed! So he asked every customer of his to ground their planes till they fix the problem.. After 2 years of investigation & zero business, he simulates the case where the planes could crash.. Now to try this he himself takes the flight & nearly crashes before he manages to escape & ground the plane. This is what the author calls as character.. He risked his life to make sure his customers are safe. That is really a test of character!

Don't give up

Dear Friend,
If you are here and you are tired of the struggle; if you seen more pain than gain and you've been working hard for little or no perceivable progress; you've been weary for so long that you've forgotten what it feels like to be rested; it's taking longer than you ever thought it would take and you see those around seeming to succeed with the success you wish you had...

Yes, you are well aware that the road to glory is narrow and yes, you understand the road is not straight, but of late it 's so winding that you wonder if you're just running around in circles. You've been beaten up, knocked to the ground and kicked, and that's just by your own inadequacy and you just hope that you are able to conceal it with a brave face so that no one notices your discouragement. More than once, you have wondered if it's worth the effort. And you have lost count of how many times you've wanted to give up and drop out.

Well, I have been sent to tell you that if your goal is not just be a decent father, but to be a great one; if your goal is to be a mother who inspires and teaches her children to do something beautiful with their lives; if your goal is to be husband who exemplifies the definition of love and courage; to be a wife who by her grace and countenance brings out the best in others; if your goal is to be a parent who sets a tone in the home of peace and security, a parent who leaves a legacy of faith and prosperity for generations to come; if your goal is to a brother who is dependable, a sister who is trustworthy; if your goal is to be a person who overcomes fears, failures and self-criticisms; to be a person who rises above all disappointments to make a positive contribution to the lives of others...

If your goal is to complete the mission; to stay true to what is right; to be a leader who inspires others to do the same; if your goal is to one day stand before God and hear him say, " Well done good and faithful servant," then by all means, look up, get up, shape up but don't give up. The best things in life happens to those who DON'T GIVE UP!

Sincerely yours,
Wes Beavis

From the book " Give your life a success makeover" by Wes Beavis, page#56

Character Power

"Without self-mastery he has no understanding of inner power; without inner power, he has no peace; and without peace, where is joy?"

-Bhagavad Gita

Your character is who you are in the dark. It is your personal guidance system, your inner core of wisdom that is the governor which determines the heights to which you will rise on your upward path to self-mastery. The difference between peak performers and weak performers often comes down to character power. Cultivating a strong, disciplined, integrated character is the surest way to high-performance and a life rich with energy, achievement and satisfaction. Enlightened, fully-functioning individuals are led by their consciences rather than by the puppet strings of societal pressure. They place a premium on acting according to their own values and their deepest sense of what is right. They have kindled the courage to run their own races and never get swept up into the whirlpool of other peoples' expectations of them. "No man is free who is not a master of himself," said Epictetus.

Effective performers realize that life is too short to get caught up in the current of popular opinion. Instead, they lead their days in a very simple, clear and powerful way. They have taken the time to discover their life's purpose and focus their attention on this high-impact pursuit. This focus fills their lives with excitement, meaning and contentment. Robert Frost's famous poem "The Road Not Taken" says it all:

"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 traveled by
And that has made all the difference "

Start running your own race. Do the things that are most meaningful to you. Align what you do in your day with where you want to be at the end of your life. Be guided by the milestones and goals which will advance you along the path of your burning desire and your destiny. This is the way to happiness and personal and spiritual satisfaction. A character rich with integrity, courage and discipline is the bedrock of lifelong success.

The 4 Pillars of Character Power

There are 4 primary pillars or virtues that will liberate your character power and allow you to live by the blazing lighthouse of your conscience. By refining and polishing these human gifts, you will notice that you easily achieve your milestones and goals. You will be flooded by a remarkable sense of confidence, peace and strength and see balance returning to your life. These 4 timeless virtues lead to personal mastery and put you on the express train to enlightenment. Best of all, anyone can cultivate them through daily practice and reflection. As always, success on the outside begins within.

A. Integrity

Ben Franklin, Jonas Salk, Gandhi and Nelson Mandela are all models of integrity. These are individuals who exercised the bravery and strength of character to walk their talk. They acted on what their hearts told them was right and just and good rather than simply following the herd and doing that which was socially pleasing. Each one of these individuals, who raised their lives from the ordinary into the realm of the extraordinary through their efforts, lived under a higher standard, a strict moral code. And they never moved off this course.

Integrity is all about wholeness. I would like to use the example of Mahatma Gandhi when speaking of courage and self-leadership. His wisdom is enduring and his life is a beautiful tribute to the best within each of us. "One cannot do right in one department of life whilst he is occupied in doing wrong in any other department. Life is one indivisible whole."-Mahatma Gandhi. This is the essence of integrity and an integrated life: making sure that you consistently do what your conscience tells you is correct not just in one department, but in all departments of your life. Life truly is one indivisible whole. The different areas of your life are like rivers flowing together to form an ocean. The emotional influences the physical and together they influence the social and together these affect the spiritual elements of your world. Neglecting any department of your life whether this means relationship neglect or physical neglect or spiritual neglect, profoundly touches all of the other areas. Raise each to its highest level of functioning, however, and you create a highly satisfying, enlightened, fully integrated life.

2. Imagination

According to the timeless wisdom of the sages, the second virtue of the person of strong character is an abundant and vivid imagination. All high achieving, spiritually fulfilled people live from their imaginations and are inspired by their visions for the future. They are servants only to what they dream and have shed the shackles of their history. They are the architects of their futures rather than the prisoners of their pasts. Remember, you are far more than the sum of your current circumstances. It is not what you are that is holding you back-it is what you think you are not.

Napoleon Hill said: "Cherish your vision and your dreams as they are the children of your soul- the blueprints of your ultimate achievement." Study the lives of Edison, Onassis or Ella Fitzgerald and you will be studying models of creative thinking and big dreaming. They realized that the imagination knows no bounds and when you paint empowering pictures across it of the life your are dedicated to building, you set unseen forces into play which steadily manifest your vision into reality.

3. Compassion & Contribution

One of the most important of all the timeless principles for character mastery can be simply stated: the richness of your life can be measured by the richness of your service. He who serves the best profits the most, not just materially but emotionally and perhaps more importantly, spiritually. The purpose of life is a life of purpose.

If you want to quickly improve your own life, start taking immediate action to improve the lives of others. The universe is in a dynamic state of flow. When you give out compassion, it flows back to you in a river. This is one of the oldest laws of nature: as you give so shall you receive. As the Chinese philosophers have said "a little bit of fragrance always clings to the hand that gives you roses." Practice daily acts of kindness and respect. Give to charity. Connect with your humanity. Spend a weekly period giving something back to your community and awaken your mind to ways of assisting those in need. Create what I call a "service inventory" of 52 acts of selfless service that you will perform over the next 12 months and plan to perform one every week. The results in terms of your levels of happiness, energy and fulfillment will be remarkable.

4. Disciplined Effort

Media visionary Ted Turner was asked the secret of his extraordinary success. He replied: "Early to bed, early to rise, work like hell and advertise." One of the shared traits of the most effective, productive and high-achieving individuals is their understanding of the paramount importance of hard work in advancing their dreams. Without hard work, your vision for the future is impotent.

Thomas Edison worked 18 hour days even after he became a millionaire. Bill Gates still works 6 days a week even though he is a multi-billionaire. Mother Theresa got up at 5 every morning to advance her good work for the disadvantaged. Why? Because they love what they do. They have found their life's purpose and by acting on it each day, they advance it. They are doing what they were meant to do and this gives their days-and their lives-an immense sense of meaning, energy and direction.

In this complex age where too many people face too much stress and strain, some people are sick of work. This is simply because they have not done their inner work and discovered a pursuit that is right for them, work which beautifully blends their unique talents and brilliance with a worthy objective. Once you take the time to find your life's aim, things will never be the same. You will be filled with a flaming sense of desire and hope for the future. You will be flooded with power and enthusiasm. You will look forward to getting out of bed every morning to advance your life's work and doing what your heart is telling you to do. And you will enjoy working hard because it will not be work at all.

Self Discipline

Study anyone who has achieved a measure of greatness, from the CEOs and entrepreneurs who have built wildly successful businesses to the best mothers, fathers, teachers and poets and you will be studying discipline in motion. Discipline is the cornerstone of self-mastery. The ancient Eastern book of wisdom, the Bhagavad-Gita says: "without discipline he has no understanding of inner-power; without inner-power, he has no peace; and without peace, where is joy?

Self- discipline is a fundamental virtue to inner-power. Discipline is the source, the wellspring that lets you live the life that you deserve. You must strengthen your inner core if you are truly dedicated to manifesting your highest potential for personal and professional success. With discipline, you will possess the inner fire needed to focus on your primary goals and realize your dreams.

The Real Secret of Discipline

I define discipline as the virtue that gives you the courage and the inner resolve to do what you said you would do - when you said you would do it. Discipline is all about promise keeping. I am not talking only about those promises you have made to others such as your promise to your wife about the vacations that you will be taking hero or your promise to your boss that you will become a better worker, for example. I am also talking about the promises that you make to yourself; those small daily resolutions ranging from the promise to read thirty minutes a day to a personal commitment you have made to raise the standards of your work at the office.

Discipline means that you take time away from the little emergencies which seem to eat up your day to kindle the fire of self-mastery. Discipline means that you get up early to go for a run on a freezing winter's day because you made this one of your personal mastery milestones and you are dedicated to raising the level of your physical fitness. Discipline means that you refuse an invitation to go out to a party on Saturday night because you had planned to review your goals and refine your purpose statement and think deeply about where your personal, professional and spiritual life is going. Discipline is having the power to turn off the TV and go into your study to read some of those books that you know will truly improve your effectiveness. Discipline is having the bravery and the inner-strength to stop giving so much time to the unimportant things in your life and to start directing your energy to those high-impact activities which will truly make a measurable difference in the richness of your life.

Integrating the habit of discipline into your days takes effort, willpower and courage. Having the discipline to follow through on the life goals you have set for yourself and living the kind of life you have imagined in your mind's eye is a very brave way to live. It is a very noble way to live. It is also a very liberating way to live because you have become the master of your own life. You begin to take control of your destiny. It's the source of great enlightenment. You set your course and then you have the resolve to follow it. And this also leads to tremendous amounts of confidence because you realize that you alone are the influencer of your life and if you don't like what you see, you can change it. You shape your circumstances rather than letting them shape you. You become the master of your life rather than letting life master you.

Building Discipline

How do you build self-discipline? The principle can be stated in nine words: put off short term gratification for long term satisfaction. You build discipline by sacrificing what is easy to do for what is right to do. When you put off doing what is impulsive, those things that simply feel good in the moment but offer no long-term benefits and start doing what your heart tells you is good, you start to build discipline. When you do the things you don't like to do but know you should do, you build discipline. This is the seed of greatness. I would like quote H.P. Liddon's words: "What we do upon some great occasion will probably depend on what we already are; and what we already are will be the result of previous years of self-discipline."

The top performers on the playing fields of business and life continuously raise their standards. They realize they are bound for glory and destined to actualize the full extent of their personal genius. So they have done their inner work and are focused on achieving personal excellence. They know that they are here for a life of meaning and action. Leaders have the wisdom to understand that self-mastery comes one day at a time. And the days slip into weeks. And the weeks into months. And a time comes when those small, daily improvements in their discipline levels have created extraordinary results in life quality.

3 Lessons For Creating Self Discipline

1. Finish What You Start

As a Professional with many competing demands on our time, it is essential that we, at all times, have the strength of will to follow the daily plan I have set for ourself and concentrate only on those pursuits which are central to my mission. To cultivate the kind of discipline required to be able to do this, a philosophy that I apply in my own life is to finish what I start. This simple practice is enormously effective because, in practicing it, you are no longer a slave to your weaker impulses which silently prod you to take the path of least resistance and quit before your goal is reached, no matter how small that goal may be. Instead, you are in full control of your self and use your inner power to accomplish worthy ends, whether this means completing a hot new book on creativity, learning a new language or growing a dynamic business.

2. Be Silent

The Buddhist monks have a favorite strategy to build willpower - one that has been used by many cultures over the years to build enormous amounts of inner-strength and resolve. It is the vow of silence. You might wonder how would staying quiet for days on end build willpower? It is because you are exerting force on your will. You are not giving into the impulse telling you to talk. You made a promise and set a goal that you would be silent for a few hours or maybe even a full day and then you had the courage to keep this promise. And this courage and capacity quickly spills over into every other areas of your life. Following through on this small goal builds your capacity to follow through on larger goals like managing your time more efficiently or building richer relationships or mastering your physical endowments. Speaking your goals is important..but having the resolve to be silent is equally important.

3. Get Up Early

Early rising is one of the key life habits of so many of the highly successful people I have studied from Ted Turner to Nelson Mandela. In my own life, I've now trained myself to get up around 6 am since I have found that rising at this time allows me the time I need to write peacefully and think deeply Without a doubt, it's one of the best things I do for myself. But I earned the rewards that I have received from getting up early. I wasn't always an early riser. Yet, the more I studied the lives of the people who were truly creating happier, healthier and more meaningful lives than others, the more I realized the value of getting up early. And the more I exercised the power of my will and got up from a warm bed to do what I had promised myself I would do, the stronger it became.

Above all else, however, the real key is to appreciate that discipline in your outer world comes from a disciplined inner-world. And a disciplined innerworld comes from thinking correct, inspiring, disciplined and enlightened thoughts. Your thoughts form your world. Life management begins with mind management. And as you exercise your character power to build self-discipline, meditate on these words of Emerson: "That which we persist in doing becomes easier to do, not that the nature of the thing has changed but that our ability to do has increased."

Fear and Faith cannot co-exist

Most often than not, our lives are wasted in fear! In order to drive away darkness from his house, a foolish person was found carrying out bucket loads of darkness and emptying them. Despite the many years he spent in this task, it was futile. His preoccupation with driving out darkness took him nowhere. Darkness is the absence of light. If only he had attempted to light a small lamp, darkness would have disappeared!

Fear is also similar to darkness. Absence of faith is fear! Once you have more faith, fear would disappear. If a man and woman do not have trust in each other, there can be no love or affection between them. Reflect on an incident in the life of Mullah Nasruddin, a character in Sufi literature.

Mullah Nasruddin was married just that morning. The same night, he and his wife were travelling in a boat across a river, along with their relatives. A sudden storm broke out and the river was turbulent. The boat rocked wildly. Everyone in the boat, including the bride, was in mortal fear. But Mullah remained calm.

The bride noticed this and asked in surprise, “Aren’t you afraid?” Mullah, without replying, took out the dagger from his waistband and raised it as though he was going to slit her throat.

There was no reaction on her face. He asked, “Are you not afraid of the dagger?” and she said, “The dagger may be dangerous, but the person who is holding it, is my loving husband.

So I am not afraid”. “Exactly!” exclaimed Mullah, “These waves may be dangerous but Allah who is moving them is full of love. So I am not afraid”! Mullah Nasruddin had faith in Allah. Hence, he was loving and compassionate. Without faith in God, he would have been devoid of love and compassion.

Some go from one astrologer to another with their horoscopes to find out when death would strike them. As far as they are concerned, their horoscopes are “horrorscopes.” Such people are more afraid of when they would die rather than what they would do while being alive! This fear would devastate them both mentally and physically!

How is life coming along?

When asked: “How is life?,” many of us say: “It is not too bad, or hanging in there, or nothing much ” with an expression of utter boredom. If we act with this mental attitude, we will not be able to move forward in life, not by even an inch. Our life would be bereft of interest or enthusiasm. How to get out of this quicksand called boredom?

If others get more attention, we feel jealous. It is this jealousy that builds up the attitude of apathy and lethargy. The words and expressions that we use to describe situations are the root cause of our depression. So, if you want to chase away the blues, throw out such words from your everyday vocabulary.

One method to drive away depression and energies ourselves is to employ auto-suggestion! “You have everything that it takes! You can get this job done better than any one else!”- if we begin to talk to ourselves like this, fresh energy will begin to flow in our minds and bodies.

If we become enthusiastic, the light waves that emanate from our bodies would make those around us also enthusiastic. This is a scientifically proven fact! When we say “I,” there are three factors involved: the body, the mind, and the waves or vibrations that emanate from the body. When we speak of great leaders, we usually say that there is a brightness or aura around them. This aura is from the light waves that emerge from the body of a person. Your energy field will also touch people.

Make sure you have good energy and create good vibration around you. No matter how enthusiastic we are and however well we motivate our colleagues, even a small failure could dash us down the abyss of depression.

At such times, remember- just as the experience of success is sweet, the experience of failure is also sweet. We can understand this if we learn to view failure as merely postponed success... that is all! There is nothing in it to make us depressed. Treat each experience as a unique one. In this wordless experience, your being starts relaxing and always be enthusiastic as enthusiasm means 'God within".

Happiness is within you

Lots of people are confused about "Happiness". They always feel happiness is outside which they have to seek out...and most of the times they get disappointed. The following story reflects on this.

One day, Mullah Nasruddin was very sad. A close friend who visited him asked, “Why are you so down?” In response, Mullah began to cry. “My maternal uncle died last month- he has left all his property to me before dying. I thought of that and am crying now!” he said.

“I know your uncle very well!” said the friend, in an attempt to console him. “He was well over 90...death is but natural! In fact, you should feel happy that you got his vast property!” But Mullah was inconsolable.

“You don’t understand my grief, my friend!” he said. “Only last week, my paternal uncle died, leaving me property worth millions of dollars.” He wept more and was almost uncontrollable. His friend was really confused. “I know your paternal uncle too! He was 95... instead of feeling happy that you got so much money, why are you crying like an idiot?” the friend asked out of irritation.

“My sorrow is worse than that... my grandfather who is over a 100 years died yesterday, bequeathing property worth over 20 million dollars in my name!” cried Mullah. Now the friend was really fed up and irritated. “I really fail to understand, why at all you should be crying,” he asked. Mullah sniffed, wiped his tears and explained: “My maternal uncle, paternal uncle and grandfather who were extremely rich are all dead. Now I do not have any more uncles left, to die”!

This tale implies a very important truth. Greed is one of the sources of unhappiness. If we allow it to expand unreasonably, then joy or peace of mind would be the casualty. Happiness and satisfaction are within us.

Water poured into a cracked pot will not remain in it. Similarly, people without contentment cannot be happy. They will only worry about what they do not possess. Their hearts are always full of sorrow. Once the crack in the pot is sealed, it would hold water poured into it. Similarly, when the blind spots of the mind are removed, it would be filled with joy.

“If I get this and this alone, I would be happy,” declares the mind. This gives rise to many desires. These desires in turn become blind spots. For some, settling down in USA means happiness. For others, getting a visa to go to USA is happiness. When they pin their happiness on events that are likely to happen in the distant future, they let go of the present joys available to them; exactly like a pot with a crack!

Then there are those who think that happiness is sold in shops. The wise stay miles away from this wrong notion, paving way for true joy. Make a decision to be happy and stay Happy always!. Have a pleasant June!