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November 2005

What we are here for

I was walking into the local grocery store today when I saw two, lovely, older ladies getting out of a car. It seemed to be a mother and daughter both beyond retirement age. It touched my heart to see how gently the daughter helped her mother to her feet, held her arm, and guided her steps as they both walked to the store's entrance. I felt my soul grow brighter as I watched this scene of tenderness, caring, and love. It made me smile to think that this loving bond had lasted well over seventy years and was still going strong.

I waited until both of these beautiful souls got to the door and then held it open for them to go through. It delighted me when the mother turned her tiny, smiling face to me and said, "Why thank you young man." I could see from the surprised sparkle in her eyes that she hadn't expected this tiny act of kindness and help. As I smiled back at her, though, I could see that she and her daughter had done a far kinder and more helpful act for me. They had shown me again what life is truly all about. It is about loving each other, caring for each other, sharing joy with each other, and helping each other from the second of our first breath until the moment of our last sigh.

God put us in this world to love each other just as He loves us. To do anything else is to stray from our purpose and invite misery and unhappiness into our lives. We are here to love everyone be it the family, friends, strangers, or even enemies. We are here to show and share that love with every smile we give, encouraging word we say, or kind act we do. Sometimes it is the easiest thing in the world to do and at other times it is the most difficult. Still, it is what we are here for and what we are made for. May we all follow those wonderful, old ladies' example and joyously show our love for each other unconditionally.


Understanding People

“No one ever understands me!” Many complain thus. Only a weak mind would wail like this! For, no one with mental toughness would moan like this! On the contrary, they claim that they understand the others around them.

This is applicable even to couples. Many couples live like enemies under one roof, because of a lack of understanding.

In everyone’s mind, there is a map of how others should be. We create pictures based on this map — how to laugh when happy, how to cry when sad, how to behave when angry... The answers to these are well defined in everyone’s minds.

We constantly try to view others in terms of our maps. If someone does not fit the image, we get upset. The question however is, should the map fit the territory or should the territory fit the map?

Here is an example.

A wife had the notion that speaking aloud was tantamount to showing disrespect to others. Her husband, from a different culture, felt that speaking aloud on an important issue would draw attention to the point being talked about.

What would be the result of this difference in perceptions?

Whenever the husband wanted to emphasize what he was saying, he would raise his voice. The wife would consider this as disrespect and move away. According to the husband, walking away from a discussion was disrespectful to others. So he would raise his voice still further and say, “Listen to what I have to say before you go!”

Just consider for a second, what would happen if the reactions were violent?

An ordinary conversation between the two would create a great rift between them.

Another example.

A wife was brought up in a culture in which the word ‘goose’ was a term of endearment. She liberally called her husband ‘goose’, meaning ‘darling’ or ‘sweetheart’.

The husband, from a different culture, viewed this as an insult. While studying in school, he had been branded as an ‘goose’ for no fault of his. This lingering insult surfaced whenever his wife addressed him thus.

Again consider for a second, what would happen if the reactions were violent!

When you converse with another, particularly while dealing with a problem, do not look at the literal meaning of the word spoken. Doubly check how the spoken word is understood by the spouse. There is a tantrum trigger in everyone.

Let your experience guide you. Please understand, each word triggers a subjective meaning in an individual. This subjective meaning depends on one’s own background. Be sensitive to others.

Check out this incident.

A Saint was delivering a discourse. During his discourse, he asked one of his favorite disciples, “Krishna, has it got in?” (he meant, had the student understood the lecture).

Krishna, whose attention had been diverted by a rat entering a hole in the wall, answered, “All except the tail has got in.”


Struggle & Victory

Many of us have a high regard for Japanese products. They are sold all over the world. Many American and European companies fear the invasion of Japanese products in their markets. Let us take the example of Honda, a leading automobile manufacturer.

In the centre of this company, we find the perseverance of an ordinary Japanese man named Honda. Honda was a simple person. He wanted to design a new type of piston to improve the performance of cars. He was sure his attempt would yield path-breaking results. He offered his designs to Toyota. The engineers turned him down even without meeting him. But he did not lose heart.

His repeated attempts to meet Toyota engineers finally succeeded – but they only ridiculed him. But he did not lose heart and put in a lot of effort to convince them. Finally he obtained an order to supply pistons to Toyota.

Honda invested all his resources – money, materials, knowledge, hard work as capital and constructed a plant to produce pistons.

Suddenly, there was an earthquake in Japan that destroyed his factory. Yet, Honda had faith in his own ability. Once again, he started construction.

Just when it was ready and production was to begin, World War II broke out. Bombs rained on Japan, and most of the country was devastated. So was Honda's factory.

Although Honda lost his factory, property, wealth and friends, he did not lose his self-confidence. He continued his efforts and began to construct his factory for the third time.

Today, the Honda Car Company produces and sells more cars than Toyota.

Honda is not only an example of “perseverance”, it has also added honor to concept.

Most of us wilt when we face minor setbacks. We back out when problems recur. Successful people are always a part of a solution, not victims of problems. This is seen clearly from the life of Honda.

Einstein was dismissed from school with a remark that he was a dullard. Had he given up then, the world would never have known the greatest scientist of all times.

Norma Jean Baker was a young girl who aspired to be a model. The modelling company rejected her. She was offered the post of a clerk.

If she had buried her dreams of becoming a model, a wonderful film artiste called Marilyn Monroe would never have become the dream girl of thousands.

Music was the very life-breath for Beethoven. His hearing was impaired. At the age of 46, it became worse and finally he turned totally deaf.

For a great musician, nothing could be more devastating than this impediment.

An ordinary person would have been very distressed but Beethoven overcame the handicap.

He created great compositions including five rare symphonies.

A newspaper owner told a young artist to pursue any vocation but art because he did not possess creative ideas.

However, the young artist went on to build the Walt Disney empire through his original idea of Mickey Mouse.

In 1962, the Decca Recording Company turned down the work of the Beatles. The Beatles turned out to be great singers. “We will succeed” – this desire should burn like an ember within us.

The ember of enthusiasm should never be put off.

In order to reach the peak of success, it is only natural that one has to overcome many impediments.

Just as mountaineers face obstacles like stones, thorns, wild beasts, cold, snowstorms along the way, one has to face difficulties while progressing towards success.

If one gets disheartened and withdraws from pursuits, the joy of success will not be attainable.


Power of Personal Charisma

By: Brian Tracy

Become An Irresistible Person

Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary defines charisma as “a personal magic of leadership arousing special popular loyalty or enthusiasm for a public figure.”

Develop Personal Magnetism
Charisma is also that special quality of magnetism that each person has and that each person uses to a certain degree. You have a special charisma to the people who look up to you, who respect and admire you, the members of your family and your friends and coworkers. Whenever and wherever a person feels a positive emotion toward another, he imbues that person with charisma, or attractiveness.

Project Yourself Positively
In trying to explain charisma, some people speak of an “aura.” This aura is a light that is invisible to most people, but not to everyone, and that radiates out from a person and affects the people around that person in a positive or negative way. The halo around the heads of saints and mystics in many religious paintings was the artist’s attempt to depict the light that people reported seeing around the heads of these men and women when they were speaking or praying, or in an intense emotional state.

Control The Impression You Make
You also have an aura around you that most people cannot see but that is there, nevertheless. This aura affects the way people react and respond to you, either positively or negatively. There is a lot that you can do, and a lot of good reasons for you to do it, to control this aura and make it work in your best interests.

Sell Your Way To The Top
If you’re in sales, this aura, reflecting your level of charisma, can have a major impact on the way your prospects and customers treat you and deal with you. Top salespeople seem to be far more successful than the average salespeople in getting along with their customers. They’re always more welcome, more positively received and more trusted than the others. They sell more, and they sell more easily. They make a better living, and they build better lives. Salespeople with charisma get far more pleasure out of their work and suffer far less from stress and rejection. The charismatic salesperson is almost invariably a top performer in his field and enjoys all the rewards that go with superior sales.

Influence People Around You
If you’re in business, developing greater charisma can help you tremendously in working with your staff, your suppliers, your bankers, your customers and everyone else upon whom you depend for your success. People seem naturally drawn to those who possess charisma.

They want to help them and support them. When you have charisma, people will open doors for you and bring you opportunities that otherwise would not have been available to you.

Enhance Your Personal Relationships
In your personal relationships, the quality of charisma can make your life more joyous, happier. People will naturally want to be around you. Members of your family and your friends will be far happier in your company, and you will have a greater influence on them, causing them to feel better about themselves and to do better at the important things in their lives.

Action Exercises
First, identify the people with whom you seem to have a lot of charisma - the people who know you, like you, respect you the most. How could you increase your charisma with these people?

Second, identify the people who have charisma to you, the people you most like and respect and admire. What is there about them that you could copy or emulate?
If you think charisma, you’ll have more of it.


Conversation with God

God: Hello, did you call me?

Me: Called you? No, who is this?

God: This is GOD. I heard your prayers so I thought I will chat.

Me: I do pray. It just makes me feel good. I am actually busy now. I'm in the  midst of something... Life has become hectic. It's rush hour all the time.

God: Well I want to resolve your fight for time, by giving you some clarity.

Me: Tell me, why has life become so complicated now?

God: Stop analyzing life. Just live it. Analysis is what makes it complicated.

Me: Why are we then constantly unhappy?

God: Your today is the tomorrow that you worried about yesterday. You are worrying because you are analyzing. Worrying has become your habit. That's why you are not happy.

Me: But how can we not worry when there is so much uncertainty?

God: Uncertainty is inevitable but worrying is optional.

Me: But then there is so much pain due to uncertainty.

God: Pain is inevitable but suffering is optional.

Me: If suffering is optional, why do good people always suffer?

God: Diamond cannot be polished without friction.Gold cannot be purified without fire. Good people go through trials but don't suffer. With that experience, their life becomes better not bitter.

Me: You mean to say such experience is useful?

God: Yes in every term. Experience is a hard teacher. She gives the
test first, and the lessons afterwards.

Me: But still, why should we go through such tests? Why can't we be free from problems?

God: Problems are Purposeful Roadblocks Offering Beneficial Lessons to Enhance Mental Strength. Inner strength comes from struggle and endurance, not when you are free from problems.

Me: In tough times how do you stay motivated?

God: Always look at how far you have come rather than how far you
have to go. Always count your blessings not what you are missing.

Me: What surprises you about people?

God: When they suffer they ask "Why me?" When they prosper they never ask "Why me?" Everyone wishes to have truth on their side but few want to be on the side of the truth.

Me: How can I get the best out of life?

God: Face your past without regret. Handle your present with confidence.
Prepare for the future without fear.

Me: One last question. Sometimes I feel that my prayers are not answered.

God: There are no unanswered prayers, at times the answer is no.

Me: Thank you for this wonderful chat. I am so happyto start this
day with a new sense of inspiration.

God: Well keep the faith, and drop the fear. Don't believe your doubts and doubt your beliefs. Life is a mystery to solve not a problem to resolve.

Trust me, life is wonderful if you know how to live.

Best wishes for a good cause.


Committing to the Commitment

At the age of 67, Thomas Edison watched as fire destroyed much of his work and equipment.  Time to retire?  Time to hang up the lab coat?

No way.

"All our mistakes are burned up," the inventor said.  "Now we can start anew."

There is a time to retire, but Edison knew his time hadn't come. The fire that consumed his work didn't destroy the fire that burned within him to continue his work.  Edison's commitment remained.

People tend to associate commitment with emotions.  If they feel the right way, then they can follow through on their commitments. But true commitment doesn't work that way.  Commitment is not an emotion; it's a character quality that enables us to reach our goals.

Emotions go up and down all the time, but commitment must remain rock solid.  A solid team - whether it's in business, sports, marriage or a volunteer organization - must have team players who are solidly committed to the team.

Let's look at four things every team player needs to know about being committed:

1. Commitment is usually discovered in the midst of adversity.

You never know the level of your commitment or that of a team player until things get tough.  Every one of us could stay committed to a marriage if everything was always good.  Every one of us could stay committed to good health as long as we were healthy.  The trick is to stay committed to the commitment when the economy takes a turn for the worse or when you lose your biggest account or when your plant burns to the ground.

Commitment, because it is a character trait, is revealed, not built, by adversity.

2. Commitment does not depend on gifts and abilities.

Commitment and talent, I have found, are unconnected.  Many very talented people lack commitment.  Many people who lack skills and talent are tremendously committed.  So if you find somebody who's extremely talented, there is no guarantee that there is a high level of commitment.

For this reason, it becomes a great day when we connect talent with commitment - for ourselves and for those on the teams we lead.  The moment that happens, the team goes to a whole new level.

3. Commitment results from choices, not conditions.

In writing about choices, Frederic Flach notes that most people look back on their lives and point to a specific time and place that marks a significant life change.  "Whether by accident or design," Flach writes, "there are the moments when, because of a readiness within us and a collaboration with events occurring around us, we are forced to seriously reappraise ourselves and the conditions under which we live and to make certain choices that will affect the rest of our lives."

Our commitment springs from those choices.

4. Commitment lasts when it is based on values.

Establishing commitment from a team is a critical piece of leadership, but leaders I work with are equally concerned about sustaining that commitment.

I've found the only way to sustain commitment is to link it with the personal values of an individual.  Once your commitment is based on your values, you have no problem sustaining it.  Values are what drive your choices; they transcend your talents and skills and they stand up under the tests of adversity.

Commitment based on something other than solid values usually is a house of cards; when the wind kicks up, the house comes down.

This article is used by permission from Dr. John C. Maxwell’s free monthly e-newsletter "Leadership Wired" available at http://www.injoy.com.


Great Quotes!!!

"What we do on some great occasions will probably depend upon what we already are, and what we are will be the result of previous years of self-discipline."
- H.P. Liddon

"Self-respect is the fruit of discipline; the sense of dignity grows with the ability to say no to oneself."
- Abraham J. Heschel

"Success in business requires training and discipline and hard work.  But if you're not frightened by these things, the opportunities are just as great today as they ever were."
- David Rockefeller

"Avoid having your ego so close to your position that when your position falls, your ego goes with it."
- Colin Powell

"Never do a wrong thing to make a friend or to keep one."
- Robert E. Lee


Understanding People

by John C. Maxwell

Successful leadership is about 90 percent people knowledge and 10 percent product knowledge. Henry Ford once said, "You can take my factories, burn up my buildings, but give me my people and I’ll build the business right back again."

You can have strong people skills and not be a good leader, but you cannot be a good leader without people skills. In my thirty plus years of leadership, I’ve discovered that many people in leadership positions fail to ever gain a proper understanding of the people they lead. As a result, neither they nor their people ever reach their potential.

But successful leaders are able to discern the needs of their people instinctively, then take action to meet them. The following is a list of the most common needs of people and how to meet them effectively. Though every item may not be true of the people you lead, take the time to determine what items do describe them. Then commit to take the proper action to put you and your people on the road to success.

1. PEOPLE LIKE TO FEEL SPECIAL... COMPLIMENT THEM
The highest compliment a person can receive is one given by his or her leader. Mark Twain said, "One compliment can keep me going for a whole month." Take the time to notice your people’s work and don’t hesitate to tell them when they’ve done a good job. Make a habit of being generous and sincere with your compliments.

2. PEOPLE LOOK FOR A BETTER TOMORROW... GIVE THEM HOPE
Jean Kerr said, "Hope is the feeling we have that the feeling we have isn’t permanent." In other words, when your people are having trouble seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, remind them of the purpose of their work and help them envision what their work will accomplish. With hope your people will work harder and longer to see a task through to completion.

3. PEOPLE NEED TO BE UNDERSTOOD... LISTEN TO THEM
Every leader would be wise to heed the Cherokee saying: "Listen to the whispers and you won’t have to hear the screams." Don’t judge what your people want to tell you before they’ve told you. Take time to understand their point of view and listen to their suggestions. It’s the best way to ensure that they’ve been listening to you and it opens the door to innovative ideas for improvement.

4. PEOPLE LACK DIRECTION... NAVIGATE FOR THEM
Don Herald said, "Unhappiness is not knowing what we want and killing ourselves to get it." Part of your job as a leader is to help your people figure out what they’re most passionate about, then help them pursue it. Sometimes that may involve a position change within your organization or even allowing a person to pursue another opportunity. But when you understand that effectiveness comes as a result of surrounding yourself with people who love what they do, it’s not difficult to let a person go who doesn’t enjoy their work. Spend your best time developing and giving direction to those who are passionate about the work your organization is accomplishing.

Tom Peters said, "Techniques don’t produce quality products or pick up the garbage on time; people do, people who care, people who are treated as creatively contributing adults." Before you ask anything of your people, make sure you’ve taken the time to understand and meet their needs. In doing so, you will give yourself a decided edge in maintaining their continued support.

This article is used by permission from Dr. John C. Maxwell’s free monthly e-newsletter "Leadership Wired" available at http://www.injoy.com/">www.injoy.com.


Your Subconscious mind!

"The power to move the world is in the subconscious mind."

-- William James

Our subconscious mind creates our lives perfectly according to how it has been programmed. It works 24 hours of every day, 365 days per year. It accepts instructions from the conscious mind, checks on old inner programming and executes.

The subconscious mind acts on old beliefs stored over a lifetime. Many of those beliefs you may have accepted without thinking. Or you may have absorbed them when you were too young to exercise choice. Many of the beliefs that govern your life may no longer match what you now hold to be true.

Nonetheless, the subconscious mind is the director till you rewrite the scripts. Put some effort into getting it working on your positive, conscious intentions instead of your old limiting, unconscious beliefs and your life will change.

"If a man devotes himself to the instructions of his own unconscious, it can bestow this gift [of renewal], so that suddenly life, which has been stale and dull, turns into a rich unending inner adventure, full of creative possibilities."

-- Marie-Louise von Franz