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August 2005
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September 2005

Never Give Up

One day I decided to quit...
I quit my job, my relationship, my spirituality...
I wanted to quit my life.
I went to the woods to have one last talk with God.
"God", I said. "Can you give me one good reason not to quit?"
His answer surprised me...
"Look around", He said. "Do you see the fern and the bamboo?"
"Yes", I replied.
"When I planted the fern and the bamboo seeds, I took very good care of
I gave them light. I gave them water.
The fern quickly grew from the earth. Its brilliant green covered the
Yet nothing came from the bamboo seed.
But I did not quit on the bamboo. In the second year the Fern grew more
vibrant and plentiful.
And again, nothing came from the bamboo seed. But I did not quit on the
bamboo. He said.
"In year three there was still nothing from the bamboo seed. But I would
not quit.
In year four, again, there was nothing from the bamboo see.
I would not quit." He said.
"Then in the fifth year a tiny sprout emerged from the earth.
Compared to the fern it was seemingly small and insignificant...But just 6
months later the bamboo rose to over 100 feet tall.
It had spent the five years growing roots. Those roots made it strong and
gave it what it needed to survive.
I would not give any of my creations a challenge it could not handle."
He said to me. "Did you know, my child, that all this time you have been
struggling, you have actually been growing roots"
"I would not quit on the bamboo. I will never quit on you."
"Don't compare yourself to others." He said. "The bamboo had a different
Purpose than the fern. Yet they both make the forest beautiful."
"Your time will come", God said to me. "You will rise high"
"How high should I rise" I asked.
"How high will the bamboo rise" He asked in return.
"As high as it can" I questioned.
"Yes." He said, "Give me glory by rising as high as you can."
I left the forest and bring back this story.
I hope these words can help you see that God will never give up on you.
Never Give up.

Hospital Window

A great note for all to read. It will take just 37 seconds to read this and change your thinking.

Two men, both seriously ill, occupied the same hospital room. One man was allowed to sit up in his bed for an hour each afternoon to help drain the fluid from his lungs. His bed was next to the room's only window. The other man had to spend all his time flat on his back. The men talked for hours on end. They spoke of their wives and families, their homes, their jobs, their involvement in the military service, where they had been on vacation. Every afternoon when the man in the bed by the window could sit up, he would pass the time by describing to his roommate all the things he could see outside the window. The man in the other bed began to live for those one hour periods where his world would be broadened and enlivened by all the activity and color of the world outside. The window overlooked a park with a lovely lake. Ducks and swans played on the water while children sailed their model boats. Young lovers walked arm in arm amidst flowers of every color and a fine view of the city skyline could be seen in the distance.

As the man by the window described all this in exquisite detail, the man on the other side of the room would close his eyes and imagine the picturesque scene. One warm afternoon the man by the window described a parade passing by. Although the other man couldn't hear the band - he could see it in his mind's eye as the gentleman by the window portrayed it with descriptive words.

Days and weeks passed.

One morning, the day nurse arrived to bring water for their baths only to find the lifeless body of the man by the window, who had died peacefully in his sleep. She was saddened and called the hospital attendants to take the body away.

As soon as it seemed appropriate, the other man asked if he could be moved next to the window. The nurse was happy to make the switch, and after making sure he was comfortable, she left him alone.

Slowly, painfully, he propped himself up on one elbow to take his first look at the real world outside. He strained to slowly turn to look out the window beside the bed. It faced a blank wall. The man asked the nurse what could have compelled his deceased roommate who had described such wonderful things outside this window. The nurse responded that the man was blind and could not even see the wall. She said, "Perhaps he just wanted to encourage you."

Epilogue: There is tremendous happiness in making others happy, despite our own situations. Shared grief is half the sorrow, but happiness when shared, is doubled.

"Today is a gift, that's why it is called the present."

Art of Thinking

This article is written by Mr. R. Sridhar who is a columnist in Times of India.

Fantastic article!

Does our body take in everything that comes its way? Take, for instance, food. When we consume food, does the body retain all that food? It doesn't, isn't it? It absorbs the vitamins and minerals (read, all the positiveness connected with that food) and discards the rest. Ditto for water. And air.

In all these cases, the body does the same: absorb what is useful, and discard the rest. The body would never be able to function if it were to retain all that it takes in. We know this, yet when it comes to thoughts, we never follow the same principle. When someone talks rudely to us, we tend to absorb the entire contents of the conversation: we don't absorb only the positive elements, do we?

As a result, we find people loaded with emotional baggage that they have been carrying in their systems for ages. They live in the past, harking back to those times when they had faced hurt and anguish. They may have forgiven, but they never forget.

As a result, thoughts, solidified emotions - emotional garbage you can call it -  gets stored in the solar plexus (near the navel). We put on weight, develop complications of the abdomen, start to get joint pain, develop a sluggish outlook towards life....basically live life wondering why the world's 'weight' is on our shoulders.

The best way to tackle this is to sit at night daily, evaluate the events of the day, consciously absorb only the positive elements in each of the day's events, and consciously discard the rest. You can do this by mentally saying "I absorb the positiveness from this event and discard the rest".

What this does is it builds a program in your subconscious, to follow this principle in every aspect of living. Follow this technique, and see the difference it makes to your life.

Thinking correctly is an art. Not many are able to do that. Do we really know how to think? Do we know what kind of impact each thought of ours has on our mind-body system? Do we know what acid is released in our body when we say - "God, I hate that man!" Do we know how successive, similar thought patterns form the basis of our lives?

We need to learn how to think. It is important because whatever we think continuously becomes our personal law over a period of time. Every time we think the same thought, we are giving energy to that thought. With this kind of repeated energization, our thinking patterns become fix and rigid. This is how we form our personal laws. Because of our unconscious thinking, often, we land up having negative personal laws and these laws govern us for lifetime in negative manner. "I'm poor", "I'm no good at this", "I'm fat", "I'm short", "I'm going to fail in exam / interview etc", "I'll not be able to achieve my goals", are typical negative thoughts. Once trapped in these kinds of negative thoughts, one can spend a lifetime floating in negative thinking. Not attending to the root cause of negative thinking can make you like a long-playing record that gets stuck on a particular note.

90/10 principle

Discover the 90/10 Principle. It will change the way you manage your life.

This extract is written by Stephen R Covey, the management Guru.

What is the 90/10 Principle?
10% of life is made up of what happens to you. 90% of life is decided by how you react. What does this mean?

We really have no control over 10% of what happens to us. We cannot stop the car from breaking down. The plane will be late arriving, which throws our whole schedule off. A driver may cut us off in traffic. We have no control over this 10%. The other 90% is different. You determine the other 90%.

How? By your reaction. You cannot control a red light,but you can control your reaction. Don't let people fool you; YOU can control how you react.

Let's use an example.
You are eating breakfast with your family. Your daughter knocks over a cup of coffee onto your business shirt. You have no control over what just what happened. What happens next will be determined by how you react. You curse. You harshly scold your daughter for knocking the cup over. She breaks down in tears. After scolding her, you turn to your spouse and
criticize her for placing the cup too close to the edge of the table. A short verbal battle follows. You storm upstairs and change your shirt. Back downstairs,you find your daughter has been too busy crying to finish breakfast and get ready for school. She misses the bus.

Your spouse must leave immediately for work. You rush to the car and drive your daughter to school. Because you are late, you drive 40 miles an hour in a 30 mph speed limit. After a 15-minute delay and paying fine,you arrive at school. Your daughter runs into the building without saying goodbye.

After arriving at the office 20 minutes late, you find you forgot your briefcase. Your day has started terribly. As it continues, it seems to get worse and worse. You look forward to coming home, When you arrive home, you find a small wedge in your relationship with your spouse and daughter.

Why? Because of how you reacted in the morning.

Why did you have a bad day?
A) Did the coffee cause it?
B) Did your daughter cause it?
C) Did the policeman cause it?
D) Did you cause it?
The answer is D.

You had no control over what happened with the coffee.How you reacted in those 5 seconds is what caused your bad day. Here is what could have and should have happened. Coffee splashes over you. Your daughter is about to cry. You gently say,” Its ok honey, you just need, to be more careful next time." Grabbing a towel you rush upstairs. After wearing a new shirt and with your briefcase, you come back down in time to look through the window and see your child getting on the bus. She turns and waves. You arrive 5 minutes early and cheerfully greet the staff. Your boss comments on how good the day you are having.

Notice the difference?

Two different scenarios. Both started the same. Both ended differently. Why? Because of how you REACTED. You really do not have any control over 10% of what happens. The other 90% was determined by your reaction.

Here are some ways to apply the 90/10 principle.
If someone says something negative about you, don't be a sponge (don't absorb). Let the attack roll off like water on glass. You don't have to let the negative comment affect you! React properly and it will not ruin your day. A wrong reaction could result in losing a friend, being fired, getting stressed out etc.

How do you react if someone cuts you off in traffic? Do you lose your temper? Pound on the steering wheel? (A friend of mine had the steering wheel fall off!) Do you curse? Does your blood pressure skyrocket? Do you try and bump them? WHO CARES if you arrive ten seconds later at work? Why let the cars ruin your drive? Remember the 90/10 principle, and do not worry about it.

You are told you lost your job. Why lose sleep and get irritated? It will work out. Use your worrying energy and time into finding another job. The plane is late; it is going to mangle your schedule for the day. Why take out your frustration on the flight attendant? She has no control over what is going on. Use your time to study, get to know the other passenger. Why get stressed out? It will just make things worse.

Now you know the 90/10 principle.

Apply it and you will be amazed at the results. You will lose nothing if you try it. The 90/10 principle is incredible. Very few know and apply this principle. The result? Millions of people are suffering from undeserved stress, trials, problems and heartache. There never seem to be a success in life. Bad days follow bad days. Terrible things seem to
be constantly happening. There is constant stress,lack of joy, and broken relationships. Worry consumes time.

Anger breaks friendships and life seems dreary and is not enjoyed to the fullest. Friends are lost. Life is a bore and often seems cruel. Does this describe you? If so, do not be discouraged. You can be different!

Understand and apply the 90/10 principle.

Great Quotes on Winning!

"A successful individual typically sets his next goal somewhat but not too much above his last achievement. In this way he steadily raises his level of aspiration".

– Kurt Lewin, 1890-1947, German-born Psychologist

"Defeat doesn't finish a man--quit does. A man is not finished when he's defeated. He's finished when he quits".

– Richard M. Nixon, 1913-1994,
37th President of the United States

Forgive and Forget

Many authors and speakers talk about the power of forgiveness. Forgiving others for the wrongs they have done to us is an important step for living our best life. Some people do things, consciously or not, that lead to years of pain and turmoil in the lives of others. Forgiveness allows us to deal with a situation and move past it. Dwelling on past wrongs will only stop us from living in the present and preparing an abundant future for ourselves.

But what do you do when the person who has hurt you the most is someone you've nevër considered forgiving? What if that person is you?

Everyone makes mistakes. No one is perfect. When you do make a mistake it is perfectly fine to acknowledge it. But, please, don't hold it against yourself for the rest of your life.

If the mistake you made has hurt someone in some way -- apologize. Really apologize. Acknowledge the other person's feelings, say you're sorry, ask for their forgiveness. Then forgive yourself.

If the mistake you made has hurt only you -- perhaps you hate your body, don't think you're good enough, etc. -- apologize to yourself. Really apologize. Acknowledge you've been too hard on yourself, say you're sorry, ask yourself for forgiveness. Then forgive yourself.

When you make mistakes, learn from them. Show your conviction to learning from your mistakes by not making the same one twice. Live consciously. Forgive yourself and do better the next time around.

Ask wisely, with love, for everything you want.

Action Step

In closing this week, I'd like to offer an exercise to complete in the week ahead:

Sometimes it's harder to forgive ourselves than to forgive others who have wronged us. But it is just as important for inner peace and tranquility. Take out a journal or notebook and ask yourself these questïons:

-- Do I use my inner dialogue to beat myself up mentally and spiritually?
-- Do I not allow myself happiness because I believe, deep down inside, I don't deserve to be happy?
-- Am I holding myself back from relationships because I believe I'll just screw them up -- repeating patterns in the past?
-- Am I settling for a career, relationship, etc. because I believe I'm not worthy of anything better?

If you answered "yes" to any of these questïons it is time to make a change. Acknowledge what you have done to yourself in the past. Forgive yourself. Write down a declaration that from this day forward you will make a conscious effort to treat yourself (and others) with dignity and respect, and love yourself unconditionally.

You deserve the best. Start treating yourself well today!

-Mark Victor Hansen

Are you a driver or a passerby?

by Karthik Gurumurthy

There are moments in our life that will last forever. They don’t have to be huge or spectacular. They can be a simple meeting on a bus or a conversation at an office party. These moments tend to happen more often to those who choose to participate in life. Choose to be a driver rather then just a passenger.

Don’t get me wrong, sometimes being the passenger is ok. The challenge for many people I meet while travelling are they’re simply taking up space. I was at the mall last night doing some shopping with Shobana and her friend Vidya. I went to the bathroom and had the opportunity to watch and listen to three young guys probably in their late teens or early twenties. Pants hanging down so low it looked as if they should be wearing some adult diapers! Hats on sideways and coats barely on their shoulders.

As I observed these three, as I listened to them I couldn’t help but feel a little sorry. The were swearing every second word, mumbling, shuffling along as if they had no power in their legs. It was a sad scene.

After they left, an older gentlemen in his late seventies looked over at me and said… “They’re going to miss out on the beauty of life, hmmm.” and winked and smiled at me and was gone.

That was a moment. One that I won’t forget. The beauty of life. That’s what it is all about. You don’t have to make millions of dollars and have lots of “things”. The beauty of life is all around us. Be a driver, choose some directions and have some great adventures.

Here is my question for you! How will you become the driver in your life? What choices could you make today to create some wonderful adventure, some brilliant moments?