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December 2005

What is Failure?

I am going to toss the coin.

Do you want heads or the tails?

You want head. Let me throw the coin, asking you to keep the head and return the tail to me? Is one separable from the other? Likewise, distress and delight, agony and ecstasy, sorrow and joy, gain and loss, appointments and disappointments are all two sides of the same coin. And so is success and failure. Enjoy failure as much as you enjoy success.

We say we are comfortable. For example, let us say we are comfortably seated. Can we not enhance the comfort? Still more and still more and so on. Why not develop the same attitude toward pain? Why not increase the pain and increase the ability to bear the pain? Increase the threshold of enduring pain. This continuous process of enduring pain prepares you to accept pain as part of the game as we accept pleasure. What applies to comfort zone applies equally to discomfort zone.

Tips to aspiring entrepreneurs:

Accept not booking orders as part of the role you are playing as an entrepreneur. Don’t get frustrated. Don’t think you are good for nothing and that you are useless to the organization. You don’t know your potential. Let me narrate a story.

A farmer used to carry two pots of water to an ashram. One pot would be left at the ashram for the requirement of the ashram inmates and the other pot would be utilised to water the plants around the ashram. One day, one pot was telling the other pot that he was jealous of the other pot. When asked by the other pot for the reason, the pot said he was not useful as there is a hole in the pot and most of the water leaked out before the farmer started watering the plants. The pot felt that the other pot was doing a great job as the entire quantity was useful to the inmates of the ashram. The farmer who heard this told the pot that was feeling distressed, "Oh, my dear pot, don’t ever feel you are useless. Come with me and you will see the growth of plants en route to the ashram. This is due to the water that you have given by way dripping all the way." The moral of the story is that no one created by the Almighty is useless. You have great powers in you. Introspect, investigate, find them, put them to use and you will succeed.

If winter comes, can success be far behind? Unless there is the pitch dark of the night, where is the brilliant sunshine of the day?

Alexander Lockhart, in his book Peptalk, speaks of Thomas A. Edison's advice on overcoming failures:

      First, one must have definite knowledge as to what one wishes to achieve.

      One must fix one’s mind on that purpose with persistence and begin searching for that which one seeks.

      One must keep on searching, no matter how many times one may meet with disappointment.

      One must refuse to be influenced by the fact that someone else may have tried the same idea without success.

      One must keep oneself sold on the idea that the solution of a problem exists somewhere and that they will find it.

Failure should challenge us to new heights of accomplishment, not pull us to new depths of despair. Failure is delay, but not defeat. Failure is not final but postponement of success. It is a temporary de-tour, not a dead-end street," so said William Arthur Ward. J. Paul Getty, encourages us to fail, says, "If you want to be a success, then double your failure rate. Only then will you double your learning experience to overcome future obstacles and defeats."

Keep this poem on your desk:

Failure does not mean I’m a failure:
It does mean I have not yet succeeded.
Failure does not mean I have accomplished nothing:
It does mean I have learned something.
Failure does not mean I have been a fool:
It does mean I had enough faith to experiment.
Failure does not mean I have been disgraced:
It does mean I dared to try.
Failure does not mean I don’t have it:
It does mean I have to do something in a different way.
Failure does not mean I am inferior:
It does mean that I am not perfect.
Failure does not mean that I have wasted my life:
It does mean that I have an excuse to start over.
Failure does not mean that I should give up:
It does mean that I must try harder.
Failure does not mean that I will never make it:
It does mean that I need more patience.The only people who never fail are those who never try.

Let’s enjoy failure as much as success! Success consists in converting failure into magnum opus triumphs.

-I received this article as an email forward and this article was originally written by Hariharaputhran

Some day is today

Do we resort to action? Are we activated? Ability is what we are capable of doing. What is responsibility? It is the summoning of capability to respond to a situation - good, bad, stressful, irritating, fair, unfair or whatever may be the type of situation – do we have the capability to respond? Likewise, what is dependability? Again, it is the quality ingrained as to what extent we are dependable. Whilst ability is what we can do, it is motivation that determines what we actually do. It is attitude that determines how well we do it. The key to success is action. Are we acting in the sense that are we taking actions commensurate with the situation? Or are we ‘acting’ the action? Are we acting without faith, hope and commitment in which case it is no action at all. Or are we postponing action? Are we procrastinators? Procrastination is the deadly enemy of success.

You need to promise to yourself to stop putting things off. You must make it your goal, commit yourself, study all about it and choose to stop procrastinating.

Well, then. Let's get started!
If you are sick and tired of putting things off...
If you seem to stop every time you start...
If you sabotage your efforts and hate yourself for being lazy...

You need to do something about it. And that something is stop procrastination..

Your life doesn't have to be a long history of unfinished projects, piles of paper, messy rooms and self sabotage.

Look at the alphabet A. There are 26 letters from A to Z. Have you ever pondered as to why A is the first letter, why not B, C or H? It is because A denotes action. Where there is no action, there is nothing. Action should be in the forefront of our plans. When you are discouraged or disinclined to do something, think of A. It is certain your mood will change and you will find yourself already launched on action front. Anthony Robbins has this to say:
"The one thing that separates winners from losers is, winners take action".

When there is action, there is no fear.

Swami Sukhabodhananda, the occult scientist and the Vivekananda of this millennium, says when the mind focuses on action, there is no place for fear. Fear cripples activities; fear creates diffidence.

He gives the instance of four people sailing in a boat that suddenly got into a stormy weather. The boat capsized. One of them could not swim. What did they do? Everyone was involved in action - action in terms of surviving the ordeal. The chap who couldn’t swim was asked to hold on to the capsized boat while others focused on moving towards the shore. Miracle it was, they all lived to see the day. When someone asked them whether they were in the grip of fear, came the reply:

"We were so focused on what needed to be done and we were doing all that was required and where was the scope for fear? When our mind was full of thoughts on action, where was the space for fear to get in?" Action dispels fear. Let’s be action-oriented.

The triumvirate, Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen and Les Hewitt in their book ‘The Power of Focus’ point out to a deadly factor that causes disasters. Just as slow poison depilates and ensures decay, so is the practice of procrastination. Remove procrastination from your life, success is all yours, all the time. They beautifully explain the hidden demon in the word PROCRASTINATION. Take a look at the word again - PRO CRAST IN ATE - make a word out of letters in colours – castrate.

"What a cunning word! It disguises the real word castrate, which also means to impoverish or render ineffective. From now on, when you get into a state where you tend to postpone action or a sense of laziness takes you over, just bring this demon – castrate – before your minds eyes. You will see that you are pushed into action. When there is action, there is result. So what if something goes wrong? One can learn from errors. Is it not said of Thomas Edison that he learnt how not to make a bulb 1,000 times when he was asked about his failure before he could make the bulb.

And now subject yourself to this test? From very simple day-to-day happenings to some thing more complex!

Your child is not doing well in the school. You have been wanting to meet the Teacher and find out what needs to be done. For some reason, you have been postponing the meeting. Now think of ‘castrate’ – sure, you will ask for an appointment with the teacher immediately.

You have a comfortable job; the company takes care of all your needs. The company has provided you with a three–bedroom apartment in a posh locality of the city. You have always been wanting to build your own home, but some how you have been pushing things to a later date. Why? Because you are comfortable now? What happens after you cease to be employee of the company? "Let’s see. Let me cross the bridge when I reach it. Now think of this word ‘castrate’ – sure, you will rush to HDFC or any other bank for finding finance for your own home.

‘One of these days is none of these days. Today is the day’ – this cryptic message will come out loud and clear if you deliberate on the word ‘castrate’ and you will never get into procrastination mode.

"Someday, when I grow up, finish school and get a job, I will start living my life the way I want….

Someday after the mortgage is paid off, the finances are on track and the kids are grown up, I will drive that new car and take exciting trips abroad….

Someday, now that I’m about to retire, I’ll buy that beautiful farmhouse and travel across this great country, and see all there is to see….

Someday…."

ED Foreman beautifully brings out the mind of a man steeped in procrastination who always believes that he would do something some day but where is that some day? Get into action mode and convert that someday into today.

"If only I’d done things I really wanted to do, my life would have been so different" - a man bemoaning missed opportunities.

"If only I had invested 10 per cent of my monthly income?"

"If only I had brought the shares of Microsoft in the ‘80s at that price?"

"If only I had purchased that land in the ‘80s?"

"If only I had ventured and started my own business."

Do we not hear these statements of woe, grief, disappointment and despair? These are all statements of procrastinators. Beware of the fatal trap - the "someday syndrome".

I received this article as an email forward and this article was originally written by Hariharaputhran


Consistency and Persistency

So many thoughts and ideas never see the light of day for want of just one thing - the start and the beginning. We are not lacking in inspiration and sometimes we are inundated with ideas. And especially after we are done taking our shower… these thoughts disappear like the fog that disappears as we come out of the bathroom.

Just imagine acting on these thoughts and following it up. You will be amazed at the fantastic and fabulous results. Some of us do begin but then give up at the first sight of setback. It is nice to remember that we should expect to fail. If you expect to fail, and fail, failure in itself is a success. You are motivated by failure as what you wanted was failure. Persist with failure and as you persist and practice, inadequacies slowly get removed and soon you are on the road to success. Let's reflect on the story of the two brothers who began well in their pursuits of money but gave up at the sight of setbacks. Here's a tale to contemplate upon.

This is the tale of two brothers who sold their assets and migrated to where gold was supposed to exist. They started looking for the gold initially but gave up when there was no trace of gold despite continuous excavation.

They were frustrated and felt there was no point spending more money and energy on a project that seemed to have nothing in store for them. They looked for a buyer and sold the plot of land along with the right to the mine. The person who purchased the plot went on digging despite finding no gold and came the day when he found the mud amalgam that had ores of gold. Faith and perseverance had paid him rich dividends.

Perseverance was the key to success of the one who bought the mine. He did not give up saying "there is no potential". There is enough to be taken but are we taking them? Winston Churchill's motto for success was 'Never, never give up'. 'Keep on keeping on' should be the driving thought. More often we don't succeed not because we don't know what we want, but because we don't want it intensely enough - so says W Wattles.

Let's learn "PURGATORY" from Craig McDermott.

The great Australian pace bowler of the '90s, Craig McDermott, was in the dumps and humiliated when he was dropped from the side that was touring England. McDermott played for Australia during 1984-1996 in 71 Test matches and 138 ODIs, having won man of the match awards in Test matches five times and three times in ODIs. He was the Wisden Cricketer of the Year for 1986. Suddenly, he found he was losing rhythm and was no longer the force he was and was dropped from the team. His pride was hurt and he felt as though the earth was slipping from under his feet. He lost his place in the team but what he did not lose was his belief in himself and the attitude of perseverance.

He realized he had to do something and he began and persisted. He realized he had to shed the extra pounds he had collected around his waistline and the only way to get rid of those extra pounds was to put in lot of hard work. He strained every sinew for six hours each day swimming against the tide. He was running, jogging and never did give up swimming against the tide.

Running improved his performance on a sustained basis and swimming against the tide gave him a strong chest as also strong shoulders. Since he was swimming against the tide, he developed uncanny ability to bowl against the wind. When he was delivering the ball with a strong shoulder, he was able to generate extra bounce and match after match, he was the most feared bowler dismissing batsman after batsman. This was called cricketing purgatory. Purgatory is nothing but cleansing oneself of unwanted things and focusing on what needs to be done.

Living purgatory is the essence of perseverance. Let us get rid of such practices such as procrastination, delving into negatives, not focusing on issues, gossiping, abusing body and mind and in the process generating stress, strain. These are to be purged.

H .Sherman commends that we make this affirmation as we start the day:

I will never give up so long as I know I am right.
I will believe that all things will work out for me if I hang on till the end.
I will be courageous and undismayed in the face of odds.
I will not permit anyone to intimidate me or deter me from my goals.
I will fight to overcome all physical handicaps and setbacks.
I will try again and again and yet again to accomplish what I desire.
I will take new faith and resolution from the knowledge that all successful men and women have had to fight defeat and adversity.
I will never surrender to discouragement or despair no matter what seeming obstacles may confront me.

No pain, no gain - so goes the saying. We expect rewards without trials and tribulations. We forget that there is a price for every thing. When the price is paid, the prize is ours.

Tips for aspiring entrepreneurs: Never have this approach - The market is saturated. I can't find any buyer and there is no way I can sell.

1. Never conclude there is no potential. Realize that you are yet to find the way to unearth the potential.
2. Expect to fail; expect to be rejected.
3. Remember, what gets rejected is your proposal, your presentation and may be you need to examine your proposal. What is rejected is you, the sales person, and not you, the person.
4. Persist with the customer - Ask him for his feedback on your presentation - the style, the content and the intent. Not only will he be your customer as you go along, he will be your life-long referral. He will sell for you. Isn't it great?

Just think of this fascinating phenomenon. Can any one person claim exclusive rights to the sun, moon, stars, rivers, mountains and hills? Does the sun say that his bountiful sunshine is only for so and so and not for so and so. Does the rain say, "I will be raining and it is for him and not for you?" The bounties of nature are for everyone and how is that the flavour of success is only for some and the frustration of failure is for many?

Creation is such that they are universal. How is it then that when there are successful people there are an equal number, if not more, unsuccessful people? When the Almighty has been generous enough to give all these for everyone, how is it that success goes to some and failure and frustration goes to some others? It is the ingredient of attitude. What all of us have is the power of choice; the power to choose; the power to be positive or negative, the power to have faith and confidence and the power to have diffidence and lack of trust in ourselves. Success depends on the choice we make. In other words, if we are unsuccessful, it is only because we choose not to be successful.

The glory of doing is outdone only by the glow of achieving. To win, let's begin and persist.

"It's so hard when contemplated in advance, and so easy when you do it." - Robert M. Pirsig

I received this article as an email forward and this article was originally written by Hariharaputhran

Where is God?

Let’s look at an incident in the life of Ramakrishna Paramahamsa. He was an enlightened master. People from all over the country flocked to him in Calcutta. There was a famous pandit during his time. This man was very learned. He was an expert in many areas of learning, but had no faith in God. He was very jealous of Paramahamsa’s popularity.

He wanted to have a debate with Ramakrishna Paramahamsa to prove that there was no God. The pandit argued well, citing many examples.

All the disciples of Ramakrishna Paramahamsa listened with rapt attention. The disciples feared that the non-existence of God was going to be proved. He argued his case eloquently. Ramakrishna Paramahamsa listened to him – even if his attitude was nonchalant.

Finally, he smiled and said, "Excellent. Wonderful. Your point of view was fantastic. You spoke with great eloquence. In every single word you uttered, I could see God’s radiance reflected ... My heartfelt thanks to you for showing me God through your logic." The pandit was dumbfounded.

The Vedas describe God as a being without a beginning and an end. What is it that is without a beginning or an end? Existence itself. In this way, existence is God.

Once upon a time there lived a farmer. He died of some illness. He had three sons. After completing the funeral rites of their father, the sons wanted to read his will and final testament. His will read: "One half of my property should go to my first son; one-third should go to my second son and one-ninth should go to my third son."

After reading the will, the sons were confused. The farmer had left behind 17 elephants, nothing more. How could 17 elephants be divided into half, or one-third, or one-ninth? As they grappled with the problem, a sage came by and offered to help them. He read the will carefully and smiled. He made the elephants stand in a row. He said, "There is one elephant in my ashram. Please go and bring it, make it stand alongside the other elephants left behind by your father. The total number would then be 18. Let the eldest son take one-half of the total number of elephants — that is, nine."

The eldest son got nine elephants.

Then he called the second son and gave him six elephants, one-third of the share, and to the third son, two elephants.

Then he said, "My children. Now according to your father’s will, I have divided the elephants among you all. Now all three of you together have 17 elephants. One elephant remains, which is mine... which was just added for the purpose of calculation. So now I will take back my elephant."

Instead of endlessly debating whether God exists or not, we must realize the divine potential within us. Focus on strengthening this potential in yourself.

There is no stronger divine power other than this truth.


Success and Failure

-Swami Sukhabodhananda

One has to go beyond one’s personal will to be attuned to the divine will. Because of personal will, we grapple with the cosmic will. In this fight we become like rocks and lose the softness of our inner being. This rock-like texture prevents the germination of noble ideas just as infertile soil inhibits the burgeoning of buds from the seeds sown in it. One can win only with the whole, not against the whole.

A successful man once approached me and said, "I am successful but I feel unfulfilled, I experience an inner void. Success has not really brought cheer to my life. Neither do I want failure. I am unhappy, but others think I’m happy. That is the only happiness I have. That happiness is more like a dress on me, not the real me. How shall I deal with both success and failure?"

The love to serve people will release another energy in us. This force will make us feel that we are instruments or channels of help to others. It is said in Hasidism: "When God gives something, he doesn’t give it to you but through you."

There is an interesting insight in esoteric teachings – "The Law of the Pendulum". Just as a pendulum swings from one point to another, life swings between opposites; success and failure, pain and pleasure. But what is important is to be centred…being calm.

Be centred in both success and failure. What does it mean?

When the pendulum swings to success, there is a natural tendency to be dragged to the other end, i.e., you will either have greed for more success or fear of failure. When the pendulum swings to failure, the natural pull is to worry about failure or greed for success.

If one is not pushed around by these ordinary energies, but stays centred, then one can experience another sacred force, which makes one see the beauty of both success and failure.

I remember a student who once asked me a question. "I love your workshop. Many people ask questions on interpersonal relationships, on how to be a winner, on how to go about setting goals, on how to deal with stress. My question is a spiritual one. Who was I in my previous birth?"

Why do you want to know about your previous birth? There is enough to know about your present birth. Why burden yourself with the past or the future? But the man persisted.

I told him that I would teach him the technique. I said that in his previous birth he could have been a rat, knowing that it would be extremely difficult to kill a rat for fear it could be his great grandchild.

Why do we complicate life?

Life is simple, but we raise complicated questions.

Lord Krishna said in the Bhagavad Gita, "Forgetfulness is also my glory."

Nature in its infinite wisdom has given us the gift of not remembering previous births. Please respect it.


Learn from the Dolphins

-Swami Sukhabodhananda

Traders encroach walkways, authorities demand bribes to issue birth certificates, police misuse their authority, politicians indulge in corruption without bothering about the welfare of the people; everywhere, anti-social elements rule the roost. When I think of them, my blood boils and my brain heats up as if it were filled with hot acid. My limbs tremble and I get tense! God, can no one change these?

There are many who pour out their frustrations like this. They get angry and their blood pressure shoots up! There are others who get depressed and withdraw into their shells.

Their frustration is legitimate.

A busy marketing guru was waiting to board a flight.

A sweet feminine voice came on the closed circuit TV, "We are sorry to announce that the flight is delayed by about four hours". "Fantastic!" said the marketing guru.

"What is fantastic about it?" asked a passenger seated next to him.

"I see three reasons for the delay", he said. "Some technical snag in the plane; or something wrong with the pilot or the weather condition may be bad at the destination. I would not like to fly in any of these conditions."

After a few hours, there was announcement of further delay.

The marketing guru again said, "Fantastic!"

"Why do you say fantastic?" asked his co-passenger.

"More time to prepare for my next seminar," said the marketing guru.

The co-passengers, watching him, were confused. They asked him, "Please tell us the truth. Are you not irritated by the delay?" He replied, "I am saying fantastic… only to avoid getting irritated. What choice do I have? By saying fantastic, I am creating an energy field of what I want to feel."

This is called transformation vocabulary. This type of vocabulary creates an empowering energy field.

How to face issues like corruption, bribery… which are intolerable?

To wish for a society free from corruption and bribery is ideal. It is a perfect state of affairs. But what is the reality? Our society is steeped in corruption and bribery!

There is another approach. "Ending corruption? Impossible!" So, accept reality as it is!

Both these approaches are wrong.

Some people get annoyed not only by corruption, but also by silly mistakes committed at office or home... Their blood pressure goes up and their nerves get frayed... such an emotional state, they lose control and resort to marring the opponent.

Such violent reactions land us in trouble.

In boxing it is necessary to control emotions and play by the rule. Similarly, it is essential for us to be balanced in life. We play not one game, but many games, and that too in multiple roles.

In the ocean, there are mainly three categories of fish.

The first, tiny fish, are unable to thwart the urges of the predatory fishes. Eventually, they become food for the predatory fishes.

The second, the sharks, survive by swallowing other fishes.

The third, the dolphins, swim in the same ocean as the sharks, but they do not succumb like small fishes. They know how to swim with the sharks and still stay alive.

Can we be like dolphins i.e enjoy ourselves, be good and at the same time keep safe distance from negative people and still stay alive?


20 self-improvement tips

1. Give people more than they expect and do it cheerfully.

2. Marry a man/woman you love to talk to. As you get older, their conversational skills will be as
important as any other.

3. Don't believe all you hear, spend all you have or sleep all you want.

4. When you say, "I love you," mean it

5. When you say, "I'm sorry," look the person in the eye.

6. Be engaged at least six months before you get married.

7. Believe in love at first sight.

8. Never laugh at anyone's dream. People who don't have dreams don't have much.

9. Love deeply and passionately. You might get hurt but it's the only way to live life completely.

10. In disagreements, fight fairly. No name calling.

11. Don't judge people by their relatives.

12. Talk slowly but think quickly.

13. When someone asks you a question you don't want to answer, smile and ask, "Why do you want to know?"

14. Remember that great love and great achievements involve great risk.

15. Say "bless you" when you hear someone sneeze.

16. When you lose, don't lose the lesson

17. Remember the three R's: Respect for self;Respect for others; and responsibility for all your
actions.

18. Don't let a little dispute injure a great friendship.

19. When you realize you've made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.

20. Smile when picking up the phone. The caller will hear it in your voice.


Power of the moment

We lose the power of the moment because we're so rarely in it. We're reliving the past or speculating about the future. We continue to believe that tomorrow's the day when I'll be more capable, more wealthy, more fit and more loving. Meanwhile, I'm just putting in time, dreaming of better things but not making any concrete move to realize them.

When you find yourself thinking of the future or the past, bring your awareness into the present moment. Really experience how you feel and what’s happening around you, without judgment. If we can treasure each moment, our lives will be rich, no matter what we have accomplished.

"Lost, yesterday, somewhere between sunrise and sunset, two golden hours, each set with sixty diamond minutes. No reward is offered for they are gone forever."

-- Horace Mann

"If, before going to bed every night, you will tear a page from the calendar, and remark, 'there goes another day of my life, never to return,' you will become time conscious."

-- A. B. Zu Tavern


Being Aware

Start building the awareness habit: STOP and PAY ATTENTION. Set an intention to become aware of how you automatically react to different things in your life.

For example, how do you react to the alarm clock, the shower, traffic, work colleagues and situations, your partner or children? How do you react to anger or fear in someone else? How do you react to your own anger or fear? Become a witness to your own life. Pay attention to how you do things.

“What is necessary to change a person is to change his awareness of himself.”

-- Abraham H. Maslow


Anger Management

"How Do You Work With Anger?"

"Character isn’t inherited. One builds it daily by the way one thinks and acts, thought by thought, action by action. If one lets fear or hate or anger take possession of the mind, they become self-forged chains."

-- Helen Douglas

How do you feel about anger, in yourself and in others? How do you deal with it?

Anger is powerful energy. If we are afraid of this energy, we may attempt to deny or hide it. And when we lack control of the energy of anger, we impose it on other people or things.

The ways we react to anger usually reflect how we experienced anger as children and how our own anger when we were young was handled by the adults at the time.

In reality, anger, like any emotion, brings us information. It tells us how we feel about what is being experienced. If we receive anger’s message and learn more about ourselves, the energy will pass.


Procrastination

"The greatest amount of wasted time is the time not getting started."

-- Dawson Trotman

Procrastination seriously drains our energy and our morale. What remains undone nags at us.

What are you avoiding? Make a list of items and then review each one. Does it really need to be done? After you've reviewed your list, prioritize it and start one task today.

Please do not procrastinate taking one minute to write down your answer to this question. Capture it on paper and this will help build awareness, commitment and discipline.

"How soon not now, becomes never."

-- Martin Luther

"Talk does not cook rice."

-- Chinese proverb

"Do you know what happens when you give a procrastinator a good idea? Nothing!"

-- Donald Gardner


Quotes for today

Quotes for today
"The difference between the impossible and the possible lies in a person’s determination."

– Tommy Lasorda, baseball manager
"It has been my philosophy of life that difficulties vanish when faced boldly."

– Isaac Asimov, author
Circumstances are beyond human control, but our conduct is in our own power. Thinkexist.com Quotations

- Benjamin Disraeli

All the flowers of tomorrow are in the seeds of yesterday Thinkexist.com Quotations
- Proverb. 


Say "I can and I will"

The "I can't" syndrome has probably stopped more people from living full, happy lives than any of the major diseases. "I can't stop smoking," "I can't get out of debt," " I can't make it in my job". How many times have men and women come up pleading with such execuses? Once you overcome the crippling "I can't' block in your life, there's really no limit to what you can accomplish. Of course, you'll want to develop your own technique for combating the 'I can't' feeling, one that is natural to you. Many people murmur a prayer to themselves to get over obstacles.

Researchers seem to agree that at birth children possess a normal self-esteem and self-confidence. The child instinctively knows that everything he or she wants can be obtained by crying or cooing. The child is a natural born positive thinker, an 'I can' individual. The trouble is that low self-esteem and lack of self-confidence in childhood can plague one into adulthood, especially when facing career crisis. "Once in a high school football game the coach sent me in to save the situation and I blew it.

It has happened again and again. I can handle a normal situation fairly well, but when it comes to a crisis like the football game, I know I'll mess it up." Too many of us let some little negative incidents from the past control our whole lives.

I know of a woman whose self-belief was so related to an absolute faith, it enabled her to overcome the greatest difficulties. She had a total objective of helping people, especially those in pain. And her belief that she could heal had some remarkable results. And actually, the truth in a nutshell is:

We become what we think.

Be confident, have faith and persevere.

To conceal the I can't feeling, affirm the fact I can.

When we make up our mind we can accomplish miracles.

Just believe, always believe in yourself.

By Norman Vincent Peale


Human Angels

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Beings Of Light
Human Angels

During each of our journeys, there are those inevitable moments when someone comes into our life at precisely the right time and says or does precisely the right thing. Their words or actions may help us perceive ourselves more clearly, remind us that everything will turn out for the best, help us cope, or see us through difficult situations. These people are human angels - individuals designated by the universe to be of service to those in need at specific points in time. Some human angels make a commitment before their births to make a positive contribution to the world at a particular moment. Others were chosen by the universe. All human angels, however, come into our lives when we least expect them and when we can most benefit from their presence.

A few of the human angels we may encounter are in professions where helping others is an everyday occurrence. But most of them are regular people, going about their daily lives until called upon to be in the right place at the right time to bring peace, joy, help, or heal someone when they most need it. You may have met a human angel in the form of a teacher who gave you a piece of adv ice that touched your soul and influenced your path. The person that momentarily stopped you to say hello on the street, delaying you long enough to avoid an oncoming car or a collision, is also a human angel. They may offer nothing more than a kind word or a smile, but they will offer it when you can draw the most strength and support from their simple action.

You may be a human angel yet not know it. Your fate or intuition may guide you toward other people's challenging or distressing situations, leading you to infer that you simply have bad luck. But recognizing yourself as a human angel can help you deal with the pain you see and understand that you are there to help and comfort others during their times of need. Human angels give of their inner light to all who need it, coming into our lives and often changing us forever. Their task has its challenges, but it is they that have the power to teach, bring us joy, and comfort us in times of despair.

Bill Gates "Life lessons"

In the year 2002, Bill Gates delivered a speech at a high school graduation about 10 things the students did not and will not learn in school. He talked about how feel-good, politically correct teachings created a generation of kids with no concept of reality and how this concept set them up for failure in the real world. ( MT. Whitney High School in Visalia, California).

Rule 1: Life is not fair - get used to it.

Rule 2: The world won't care about your self-esteem. The world will expect you to accomplish something before you feel good about yourself.

Rule 3: You will NOT make $40,000 a year right out of high school. You won't be a vice-president with a car phone until you earn both.

Rule 4: If you think your teacher is tough, wait till you get a boss.

Rule 5: Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your grandparents had a different word for burger flipping - they called it opportunity.

Rule 6: If you mess up, it's not your parents' fault, so don't whine about your mistakes, learn from them.

Rule 7: Before you were born, your parents weren't as boring as they are now. They got that way from paying your bills, cleaning your clothes and listening to you talk about how cool you are. So before you save the rain forest from the parasites of your parents' generation, try delousing the closet in your own room.

Rule 8: Your school may have done away with winners and losers, but life has not. In some schools, they have abolished failing grades and they'll give you as many times as you want to get the right answer. This doesn't bear the slightest resemblance to anything in real life.

Rule 9: Life is not divided into semesters. You don't get summers off and very few employers are interested in helping you find yourself. Do that on your own time!

Rule 10: Television is NOT real life. In real life people actually have to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs.


Dare to Dream

Every great achievement was once impossible until someone set a goal to make it a reality. Lewis Carroll's famous masterpiece "Through the Looking Glass"contains a story that exemplifies the need to dream the impossible dream. There is a conversation between Alice and the queen, which goes like this:

"I can't believe that!" said Alice.

"Can't you?" the queen said in a pitying tone. "Try again, draw a long breath, and shut your eyes."

Alice laughed. "There's no use trying," she said. "One can't believe impossible things."

"I dare say you haven't had much practice," said the queen. "When I was your age, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast."

When you dare to dream, many marvels can be accomplished. The trouble is, most people never start dreaming their impossible dream. Both works of Lewis Carroll urges the readers to dream.

Dreams are the raw materials for adventure. They are heady stuff that enliven people and move mountains. While Martin Luther King Jr.'s stirring "I have a dream" impacted human rights around the world, the renowned dramatist George Bernard Shaw's visionary words still inspire the masses whenever they are quoted: "Some men see things as they are and say, "Why?" I dream things that never were and say, "Why not?"


Failure and Success

Every success story is built on the foundation of a great failure. Let us take some examples from history:

Take the case of a man who failed in business at the age of 21; was defeated in a legislative election at 22; failed again in business at 24; had to overcome the death of his sweetheart at 26; had a nervous breakdown at the age of 27; lost a congressional election at 34; lost a senatorial election at 45; failed in an effort to become the vice-president at the age of 47; lost yet another senatorial election at 49; and was elected President of the United States at the age of 52! This man was Abraham Lincoln!

At the age of 65, Colonel Sanders had only a car and $100, and realized he had to do something to make a living. He remembered his mother's recipe and went out selling. He had to knock at as many as 1000 doors to get his first order. Now his recipe is one of the world's best selling dishes,  known as KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken). How many of us would have had the fortitude to try this hard at the age of 65?

A lady was about to have her 9th child. All her children had been affected by some handicap during their birth. The doctors predicted that her 9th issue would also suffer from a handicap. They advised her to abort the child but she refused. When the child was born, it was found that he was deaf. The child was sent to a music school, but he was asked to go back home because he was deaf. The boy was none other than Beethoven. Despite his handicap, he gave some of the unforgettable music to the world.

One day a partially deaf 4-year-old kid was sent home from school with a note, "Your son is too stupid and deaf to learn. Please don't send him to school." The boy had only four months of formal training. As he grew up he tried to invent the filament. In this attempt he failed nearly 10,000 times! In 1914 at the age of 67 he lost his million-dollar worth factory due to a fire. In spite of the disaster, he said, "There is great value in this disaster. All our mistakes are burnt up. Thank God we can start anew." Three weeks after the disaster he invented the Phonograph. What an attitude! The great man was none other than Thomas Edison who brightened the world.

These are just some of the success stories that began with a failure. There are many more untold stories. Setbacks are inevitable in life. A setback can act as a driving force and also teach us humility. In grief you will find courage and faith to overcome the setback. Fear and doubt short-circuit the mind so keep away from it. We need to become victors, not victims.


Story of Cracked Pot and beautiful flowers

Once upon a time there was a water-bearer who had two large pots, hanging on each end of a pole which he carried across his neck. One of the pots had a crack in it, while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water. At the end of the long walk from the stream to the master's house, the cracked pot arrived only half full. For full two years this went on everyday, with the bearer delivering only one and a half pot full of water in his master's house.

Of course the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments, perfect to the end for which it was made. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it was able to accomplish only half of what it had been made to do. After two years of what it perceived to be a bitter failure, it spoke to the water-bearer one day by the stream. "I am ashamed of myself, and I want to apologize to you." "Why?" asked the bearer. "What are you ashamed of ?"

"I have been able, for these past two years, to deliver only half my load because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your master's house. Because of my flaws, you have to do all of this work and you don't get full value from your efforts," the pot said. The water-bearer felt sorry for the old cracked pot, and in his compassion he said, "As we return to the master's house, I want you to notice the beautiful flowers along the path."

Indeed, as they went up the hill, the old cracked pot took notice of the sun warming the beautiful wild flowers on the side of the path, and this cheered it to some extent. But at the end of the trail, it still felt bad because it had leaked out half its load, and so again it apologized to the bearer for its failure.  The bearer said to the pot, "Did you notice that there were flowers only on your side of the path, but not on the other pot's side? That's because I have always known about your flaw, and I took advantage of it. I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back from the stream, you've watered them. For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate my master's table. Without you being just the way you are, he would not have this beauty to grace his house."

We have disadvantages, but success lies in turning those disadvantages into advantages.


Get out and do something

The critical ingredient is getting off your butt and doing something. It's as simple as that. A lot of people have ideas, but there are few who decide to do something about them now. Not tomorrow. Not next week. But today. The true entrepreneur is a doer.

- Nolan Bushnell, Founder of Atari Computer


Quotes for today

Quotes for today

"Being busy does not always mean real work. The object of all work is production or accomplishment, and to either of these ends there must be forethought, system, planning, intelligence and honest purpose, as well as perspiration. Seeming to do is not doing."

– Thomas Edison, inventor

"High expectations are the key to everything."

– Sam Walton, entrepreneur

"The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack of will."

– Vince Lombardi, football coach

Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you'll land among the stars. Thinkexist.com Quotations

- Brian Littrell.

"Most battles are won before they are ever fought."

– George Patton, US Army general


Standards to live by

"Who Sets The Standards You Live By?"

"If I get to pick what I want to do, then it's play... if someone else tells me that I have to do it, then it's work."

-- Patricia Nourot

Are you continually struggling to accomplish what is expected of you? If so, stop to think for a moment: who holds those expectations?

Perhaps you’re trying to meet the expectations of a parent or a teacher or other authority figures who may not be meeting you everyday. But many of us toil under the critical eyes of a vague ‘somebody’ who always judges that we’ve never done enough or done things well enough. Who is this phantom judge? And do we need to care about what they think any longer?

We find both our own power and happiness when we begin to set our own standards around what has heart and meaning for us.

"Doubt yourself and you doubt everything you see. Judge yourself and you see judges everywhere. But if you listen to the sound of your own voice, you can rise above doubt and judgment. And you can see forever."

-- Nancy Kerrigan


'Dreamer' in you...

While aspects of you encourage "Go for your dreams," simultaneously other parts threaten "Don’t you dare." A cast of characters lives inside of you and at different times you may receive conflicting or contradictory messages. If you want to be happy, successful, and fulfilled, consider putting your "dreamer" in the director’s chair.

What are the voices inside of you saying? As you turn the volume up on the voice of your dreamer and down on the voice of your doubter, you can practice discernment allowing for greater clarity. To assist you in hearing these voices, let’s set up a simple scenario. Picture something you want, something that matters to you. Choose a personal or professional dream and consider how these various parts of you might respond.

Dreamer The dreamer inside says, "What if..." and is open to a creative process without over-analyzing it. This is the part of you that imagines, believes in possibilities, has hope, and seeks kindred spirits. Dreamers talk about their ideas with intention, clarity, and passion. Great dreamers get others excited about their vision. And most importantly, successful dreamers take action to make their dreams a reality.

Doubter This voice is often heard saying such things as, "I don’t think this is a good idea." The doubter provides concern touting, "But what if..." and imagines the worst. If you crank the volume up it can even become annihilating with accusations shouting things like, "Are you out of your mind?" William Shakespeare said, "Our doubts are traitors." Carlos Castaneda said, "In order to experience the magic of life, you must banish the doubt." My favorite quote on this subject is in The Prophet where Kahlil Gibran wrote, "Doubt is a feeling too lonely to know that Faith is its twin brother."

Realist "Be realistic..." Modulate the doubter down a notch or two and it becomes the essential voice of the realist. This part wants to know, "What’s the plan?" including where the time and monëy are coming from.However, in the early phase of dreaming, you may not know. The challenge is not to allow the realist to immediately turn into a doubter who might judge or obliterate your idea. Honor this voice by (to the best of your ability) giving it the information it needs. If you ignore or reject
it, it will cleverly agitate or distract you. Being realistic offers prudence and makes you do your homework, but if you are overly realistic or go to strategy too soon, you will most likely compromise the dream and kill your passion.

Visionary This voice says, "Anything is possible so let’s dream big!" These are the leaders and people we look up to and admire. They have learned the process of realizing their dreams and embody what it means to be a big dreamer. Setbacks or failures do not stop them. Simply put, a visionary has a vision and invites others to join them. They are found in all walks of life and we are often so inspired when they are in the presence of a true visionary that we sign up just to be near them or part of what they’re doing.

A visionary is not defined by the size of the dream since dreams are precious and come in all sizes, shapes, and areas of life. If you were living your dream life, how would it be different? What do you see yourself doing? How many lives would you touch? What would you change? Who would you help if you were truly living as a visionary?

Avoid Sabotaging Your Dream

When these different voices merge they can become muddled and result in confusion and poor decisions. For example, you might poison your dream by projecting doubt into it. Then with each step you take toward what you want, you also move toward your doubt. Doubt and fear, which most of us may have at some time or another (especially when embarking on a new or big dream), do not belong in your dream. These feelings are simply part of your reality. This is a subtle and essential point.

Here’s a simple technique for avoiding this sabotaging pattern. On a piece of paper draw a line across the middle. On the top half write out your dream with as much detail as possible. On the bottom write out your reality in relationship to your dream, where you are now. Reality usually includes good news and (so called) bad, as well as any fear or doubt you may have. Just state the facts and your feelings about them.

Now, which one are you more committed to: your dream or your reality?
We tend to choose "reality" when we don’t have a clearly defined dream or when we saturate our dream with doubt. If your dream is loaded with your worst imagined nightmares, reality will always seem safer and saner. But doubt placed appropriately as part of your reality, allows two things to happen. First, no longer blown out of proportion, it’s an obstacle that basically requires a strategy to manage it. But more importantly, with doubt where it rightfully belongs, you are frëe to move forward.

It’s like a play. All the characters have wisdom and insight, but you can’t clearly understand them when they’re speaking at once. Take time to tune in, to listen, and on a regular basis, have the courage to give your dreamer its directorial debut or even the leading role.


Do it anyway

The version found written on the wall in Mother Teresa's home for children in Calcutta:

People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.

If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies. Succeed anyway.

If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you. Be honest and sincere anyway.

What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight. Create anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous. Be happy anyway.

The good you do today, will often be forgotten. Do good anyway.

Give the best you have, and it will never be enough. Give your best anyway.

In the final analysis, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.


Quotes for today

Quote of the Day

"If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader."

– John Quincy Adams, 6th US president

"Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do."

John Wooden, UCLA Basketball coach

"We cannot rise higher than our thought of ourselves."

–Orison Swett Marden


Getting from here to there

By Dr. John C. Maxwell

When I travel, my daily agenda is always full.

I don't get up late, linger over breakfast, and then start meandering down one country road after another, just to see where they might lead. I'm up early, ready to cram as much into each day as I possibly can. I know exactly where I want to go and, map in hand, I know how to get there.

Come to think of it, that's also how I approach life. I can't just let life happen to me. I need a road map that shows me how to get from where I am now to where I want to be in the future. Of course, if I want to be successful, I can't just leave the roadmap in the glove box. I have to follow it. Diligently.

In our series about traveling through life, we've already talked about traveling light (getting rid of excess emotional baggage and keeping "short accounts") and taking someone with you. Today, my traveling tip is to follow the roadmap. In life, a roadmap is akin to a game plan—a carefully thought-out strategy for achieving success. My game plan probably doesn't look exactly like yours, because my definition of success might be different from yours. But the fact that we might be following slightly different roadmaps doesn't negate the wisdom of using one in the first place. As the saying goes, if you aim at nothing, you're likely to get it.

Regardless of our position and station in life, following the roadmap means:

1. Knowing where you are at this moment.

How can you know where you are at this moment? The key word is reflection.

2. Knowing where you want to go.

For me, success is knowing my purpose in life, growing to my maximum potential and sowing seeds that benefit others. That's where I want to go.

3. Understanding that life happens between where you are at this moment and where you want to go, and that it's the "between where you are and where you want to go" that causes people to miss life.

Some people have what I call "destination disease." They live life thinking, "When I get promoted, I'll be fulfilled" or, "When I get married, I'll be happy" or "If I could just meet that person, I'll be on my way." It's good to plan for the days ahead, but if you're basing all your hopes for fulfillment on some future event, you're actually missing out on the essence of life itself. As John Lennon once wisely observed, "Life is what happens when you're busy making other plans."

When it comes to traveling through life, I can't over-emphasize the importance of following the roadmap. But it's also crucial to note that, even if you're following the best map ever made, you'll most likely have to stop and ask for directions from time to time. I'm well aware that this practice is excruciatingly difficult for some of us. And we just might be stubborn and persistent enough to avoid doing it, at least when we're driving somewhere in a car. But in the journey we call life, people who refuse to stop and ask for directions aren't stubborn or persistent; they're foolish.

Unfortunately, an unwillingness to seek advice is all too common among businesspeople today. In The Corporate Steeplechase, New York social psychologist Srully Blotnick says that career men and women in their twenties tend to be ashamed to ask questions, and in their thirties, the desire to be individualistic makes it difficult for them to counsel with colleagues. The value of advice becomes clear only with maturity, he writes.

That's so true. As philosopher John Collins has noted, "To profit from good advice requires more wisdom than to give it." That said, people often make the mistake of following advice without carefully evaluating it first. To avoid this common error, ask yourself the following questions when appraising the validity of any piece of advice:

1. How credible is the source?

2. Am I getting the same advice from different people?

3. Have I made allowances for any biases, pro or con, an advice giver may have?

4. Have I talked with more than one person so I have a basis for judging the advice?

5. Am I in an emotional state to act wisely on this advice?

6. What is the ratio between the potential cost of acting on the advice and the potential benefit that it may hold?

Taking the time to stop and ask for directions might seem like a big hassle when you're busy with the daily stuff of life. And to some, sticking to a roadmap might seem unnecessarily restrictive. But as one traveler to another, I encourage you to make both a priority. Otherwise, you just might end up on a fast road to nowhere.

"This article is used by permission from Dr. John C. Maxwell's free monthly e-newsletter 'Leadership Wired' available at www.MaximumImpact.com."


How to think?

by R. Sridhar , Times of India

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? D o 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.

Guys and Gals-Just watch out what you are thinking!!


Counting your blessings

This is one of the nicest mails I have seen.

-Karthik

I dreamt that I went to Heaven and an angel was  showing me around. We walked Side-by-side inside a  large workroom filled with angels. My angel guide  stopped in front of the first section and said,  "This is the Receiving Section. Here, all petitions  to God said in prayer are received." I looked around  in this area, and it was terribly busy with so many  angels sorting out petitions written on voluminous  paper sheets and scraps from people all over the  world.

Then we moved on down a long corridor until we reached the second section. The angel then said to  me, "This is the Packaging and Delivery Section. Here, the Graces and Blessings the people asked for  are processed and delivered to the living persons  who asked for them." I noticed again how busy it was  there. There were many angels working hard at that  station, since so many blessings had been requested  and were being packaged for delivery to Earth.
 
Finally at the farthest end of the long corridor we stopped at the door of a very small station. To my  great surprise, only one angel was seated there,  idly doing nothing. "This is the Acknowledgment  Section," my angel friend quietly admitted to me. He  seemed embarrassed. "How is it that there's no work  going on here?" I asked.

"So sad," the angel sighed. "After people receive  the blessings that they asked for, very few send  back acknowledgments. 

"How does one acknowledge God's blessings?" I asked.  "Simple," the angel answered. "Just say, "Thank you, Lord"

"What blessings should they acknowledge?" I asked.

"If you have food in the refrigerator, clothes on  your back, a roof overhead and a place to sleep  ...you are richer than 75% of this world."

"If you have money in the bank, in your wallet, and  spare change in a dish, you are among the top 8% of  the worlds wealthy."

"And if you read this on your own computer, you are  part of the 1% in the world who has that  opportunity."

Also "If you woke up this morning with more health  than illness .....you are more blessed than the many  who will not even survive this day."

"If you have never experienced the fear in battle,  the loneliness of imprisonment, the agony of  torture, or the pangs of starvation, you are ahead  of 700 million people in the world"

"If you can attend a church meeting without the fear  of harassment, arrest, torture or death ... you are  envied by, and more blessed than, three billion  people in the world."

"If your parents are still alive and still married  ... you are very rare."
   
"If you can hold your head up and smile, you are not  the norm, you are unique to all those in doubt and  despair."
   
"Ok, what now? How can I start? "

If you can read this message, you just received a double blessing in that someone was thinking of you  as very special and you are more blessed than over  two billion people in the world who cannot read at all.

Have a good day, count your blessings, and always remind yourself when you are down how blessed we all are.


Art of seeing the right thing

-Swami Sukhabodhananda

No one understands me," is the grumbling of many. Swamiji, even my wife does not understand me. What should I do? – this is the cribbing of many a husband. If a person cannot develop a good relationship with his wife, then who else can be got along with?

E-mail and Internet have brought people from all over the world much closer than ever before.

No country or people operate individually, in isolation. In the information age, friendship and contacts with people the world over, have become imperative.

But, what is the reality? We find it difficult to even begin a conversation with an unknown person. We are unable to strengthen existing friendships.

We move away from others with complaints such as “he has no manners, she is an egoist.”

You greet your superior but he fails to respond. This one incident makes you conclude that “he thinks too much of himself and does not respect others.” This is where the trouble starts. Perhaps, your superior may not have noticed you greeting him.

A monk came to me to learn the Vedas. During a brief interaction, I taught him Sanskrit. In return, he offered to teach me tantra.

“Tantra” does not mean black magic or some such mumbo-jumbo. There’s a technique to read the minds of other people. He offered to teach certain methods; but I refused saying that I did not need them. When my mind itself is a big mystery, why should I try to know the minds of other people?

The next day, the monk told me, “It is terrible to know what is in the minds of others. I am able to see all the lies, slyness, ulterior motives and perversions. I am unable to show affection to anyone or tolerate it.

“When someone talks highly of me, I am unable to listen.

“My attention is rivetted to what he is thinking inside.”

Why learn skills that create problems? Why pick on inessentials?

The ability to know what is essential and what is not is called “viveka” which means discrimination in Jainism.

A tramp was limping with a high-heeled boot on one foot and none on the other. Seeing him struggling a passerby asked, “Have you lost one of your shoes?”

He said, “No” but added that he had found one boot and, therefore, wore it.

We pick up the inessential and suffer.

To develop friendship, it is essential to listen to others attentively. This helps us to build interpersonal relationships.

Interpersonal skills are essential to develop friendship with people around us, at home, at the workplace.

Once Leo Buscaglia met a stranger in a park.

“Hello! How are you?” he greeted the stranger.

“We have not even met each other earlier. How can you say hello to me?” asked the stranger, and moved away.

The next day, Leo met the same person again. He said, “Hello, how are you? We have met before”. The person could not help but laugh.

What does a person with interpersonal skills do when he meets a business associate for the first time? He begins to build a rapport.

If the associate is sitting up, the other person too will sit up. If the associate sits in a relaxed position, the other person too will sit in a relaxed manner. This is known as “body match.”

The experts in interpersonal skills do not talk continuously, denying others the chance to speak.

They listen attentively, and encourage others to talk – indicating their interest in others.

The next most important point is "eye contact”.

If someone talks to us and we look somewhere else, the speaker will infer that we are bored and will stop speaking.

So no matter who we are talking or listening to, it is imperative to have “eye contact” during the interaction. There is a difference between “looking” and “staring.”

Isn’t it possible to learn the art of looking?


Don't Procrastinate

For some people, getting out of the bed early in the morning is a difficult job. Though there is work to be done, in the house, at school and at the workplace, they find it difficult to give up their morning sleep. "How can one get out of bed without that lazy feeling?"

What does this mean? It reflects a sad state of affairs. So roll over, lean on your elbow and get up. The brain is more than a computer, unmatched in many ways. We are lucky. Our heart works for 24 hours without resting. Our eyes are more efficient than the best movie cameras of the world.

The word "procrastination" means putting off, postponing doing things. In spite of the body being wonderful, there is a lot of psychological lethargy. Procrastination destroys our lives silently. Procrastination is another form of psychological lethargy.

Beware, be aware.

We may feel like clearing the cobwebs in the house, but instead we say, "Let us do it tomorrow". We take refuge in postponing the job. At work too we may put off doing things. Drafting a letter may be put off or postponed for weeks. "We can do it tomorrow" or "Let us think about it later." Finally, the very purpose of writing that letter is lost. How does one deal with the disease of procrastination, the obstacle to progress?

One must diagnose the disease before treating it. How does the disease of procrastination evolve? We are awake in the morning but still drowsy. There are a lot of things that need to be attended to. In fact they are just piling up. Yet we do not feel like getting out of bed. In order to justify our lethargy, we console ourselves by saying: "Today is Saturday...or Sunday..." or, "the manager is on leave today..." and so on. We just want to loll in bed. Look at the reasons for lying in bed. We are happy just lolling in bed. But if there is an announcement that the first person to reach office in the morning will receive $ 4000, won’t we rush to work? If you wish to get out of bed at 5 am, try similar techniques to motivate yourself: What I want to convey through these examples is a fact. There is no point in wasting time after you wake up. Real joy comes from accomplishing tasks that come up during the day. Shift your focus.

"The two rules of procrastination:
1) Do it today.
2) Tomorrow will be today tomorrow."


Attitude of Gratitude

Today is my birthday... I am wanted to take this opportunity to thank all the wonderful people who have helped me and supported me.I wish to express my deep sense of gratitude to the following people. Without these people's guidance, blessings, Love and affection, I wouldn't have reached here.

My parents

Words are inadequate to express my deep sense of gratitude and indebtedness to my parents. They always encouraged me to take up whatever I am interested and inculcated great values in me. Their confidence in me really helped in shaping up my career. Owe them big time.

Wife Shobana

I am so fortunate to have her as my wife. She is always been uplifting and bringing out the best in others. Her enthusiasm is so contagious that one can sense friendliness from a distance.

Brother Aravind

It was fun to grow up with him. I am really looking forward to being in the beaches of the world with him.

Mentors

I am thankful to my mentors Tirthankar and Suparna, Bijon and Mita  who are leading by example how to lead a meaningful life. We will work hard to make him be proud of us.

Relatives and Friends

I am very thankful to Athai & Athimber, Chitra &Kalyan, Prasad, Gayathri & Sampath, Pats and Vidhya for always being there making my stay in US very pleasant and for helping me out in different occasions. Each one has played a vital role in my life and I am really owe them big time.

I would like to thank God for blessing me with wonderful friends Susi, Vijay and PG whom I have known from kindergarten. I also thank God for the wonderful friends (many to name!) whom I associate on a regular basis and also for the wonderful friends whom I will be meeting in the future.

Dr.K.S.Viswanathan, Scientific Officer, Indira Gandhi Center for Atomic Research, Kalpakkam 603 102, India

If I am here in US that's because of his encouragement , guidance and best wishes only. A wonderful person to work with, who was passionate about doing research and was my mentor in India. I worked with him in a Masters' project titled "Matrix Isolation FT-IR Spectroscopy of 1,2- dichloroethanes".

Dr. A.K.Mishra, Professor Of Chemistry, IIT Madras 600 036, India

A great motivating person to work with, I worked with him in the research project titled " Development of Fluorescence based fiber optic Sensors for monitoring pollutants in Organic effluents " at the IIT Madras.

Dept. Of Chemistry, Ramakrishna Mission Vivekananda College, Madras 600 004, India

Thanks a ton to the great faculty in Viveka who inspired and encouraged the students to take a career in Chemistry. Strongly recommend this school to any high school graduate who has interests in pursuing a career in Chemistry.


Care for everyone

A mouse looked through the crack in the wall to see the farmer and his wife open a package.

"What food might this contain?" The mouse wondered - then he was devastated to discover it was a mousetrap.

Retreating to the farmyard, the mouse proclaimed the warning: "There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!"

The chicken clucked and scratched, raised her head and said, "Mr. Mouse, I can tell this is a grave concern to you, but it is of no consequence to me. I cannot be bothered by it."

The mouse turned to the pig and told him, "There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!"

The pig sympathized, but said, "I am so very sorry, Mr. Mouse, but there is nothing I can do about it but pray. Be assured you are in my prayers."

The mouse turned to the cow and said "There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!"

The cow said, "Wow, Mr. Mouse. I'm sorry for you, but it's no skin off y nose."

So, the mouse returned to the house, head down and dejected, to face the farmer's mousetrap alone.

That very night a sound was heard throughout the house -- like the sound of a mousetrap catching its prey.

The farmer's wife rushed to see what was caught. In the darkness, she did not see it was a venomous snake whose tail the trap had caught.

The snake bit the farmer's wife. The farmer rushed her to the hospital,and she returned home with a fever.

Everyone knows you treat a fever with fresh chicken soup, so the farmer took his hatchet to the farmyard for the soup's main ingredient.

But his wife's sickness continued, so friends and neighbors came to sit with her around the clock. To feed them, the farmer butchered the pig.

The farmer's wife did not get well; she died. So many people came for her funeral, the farmer had the cow slaughtered to provide enough meat for all of them.

The mouse looked upon it all from his crack in the wall with great sadness.

So, the next time you hear someone is facing a problem and think it doesn't concern you, remember -- when one of us is threatened, we are all at risk.

We are all involved in this journey called life. We must keep an eye out for one another and make an extra effort to encourage one another.

Remember: Each of us is a vital thread in another person's tapestry: Our lives are woven together for a reason.

One of the best things to hold onto in this world is a friend.


Embrace Change

by Lori Radun

Last Sunday I was sitting in on a class we conduct for newcomers at our church. One of our pastors said, “If we don’t change, we aren’t growing, and if we aren’t growing, we are dying.” Isn’t that so true? If you want your life to remain status quo, then your best guarantee is to resist change. However, if you want a better marriage, more life balance, higher self-esteem, better behaved children, or more quality friendships, then you need to embrace change.

So many of us focus on changing other people around us, even though we know deep down this doesn’t work. In fact, there is so much resistance  to change that a book was written called "Why Should I Be the First to Change?". There are many answers to this question. First, you will be happier if you are continually growing and learning. You can only be responsible for you. When you change, people will follow. Lastly, by living your life to the fullest, you contribute to making the world a better place to live.

But let’s face it. Change is hard. We are creatures of habit, and many of our behaviors were learned in childhood. Maybe those behaviors served us at one time, but eventually we will be called to change if we want some part of our life to be different. As someone who has been committed to personal growth and change for over 20 years, let me share with you five essential ingredients I’ve learned you must have to successfully make changes in your life.

1. Action

You can read every self-help book, attend seminars, or talk with people about how they’ve made changes, but unless you actually take action, nothing is going to happen. Of course gaining nowledge helps. However, it’s only the first step to change. Our mother’s group at church recently read a book called "She’s Gonna Blow." In that book, there were hundreds of suggestions on how moms can better manage anger with their children. If a mom is dealing with frequent anger at her children, then she must takesome of the principles and actually apply them to her life. Maybe it means she has to resolve anger from her past, count to 10 before she responds, or reserve daily relaxation time for herself. She must do something different if she is going to conquer her anger issues.

2. Focus

To focus, you need a vision and a plan. How do you want your life to be different, and what is your plan to change it? This is one thing I have learned from starting my own business. I have a tendency to have a million(well, not quite) ideas about what I want to do to grow my business. I will start to work on one idea and then jump to the next, and then on to something else. Pretty soon I am wondering what exactly I am accomplishing. Is my business actually growing, or am I just doing a lot of tasks that don’t produce results? For every change you are trying to make, pick two or three things you can do to support that change and stick to them. Try those things for a substantial period of time before you move on to something else.

3. Discipline

This is what will carry you through when the going gets tough. Anyone can stick to change for a week or two. It takes a disciplined mindset to make lasting change. You have to be able to pick yourself up when you fall down, brush yourself off, and try again. For two years, my older son, Kai,played travel baseball. Then he encountered a long hitting slump, and he was no longer a superstar. His dad and I kept telling him he needed to be practicing or his hitting would not improve. It took two years of  crushing disappointment from not making the travel team for Kai to learn discipline. He now faithfully practices his hitting at least five times per week. It totally comes from him and his desire to succeed. His discipline has developed a lifestyle change for him that has tremendously improved his hitting and his confidence.

4. Courage

The number one reason we resist change is fear. Sometimes it can be scary to change. It is much more comfortable to remain status quo. It is normal to feel fear, but yet it is so crippling. To have courage is to not feel fear, but to push through the fear. I have always had a dream of singing on the music team at church. Singing on our church music team meant I had to go through an extensive and frightening audition. I could have easily sat on the sidelines and never taken that risk. Instead, I mustered the courage to try out. It was one of the most nerve-racking experiences I’ve had. Even though I didn’t make the team, I learned something about myself. I am capable of conquering fear, and I lived to tell about it.

5. Support

Change requires supportive people in your life. You need people who believe in you and who will encourage you on your journey. Sometimes you need someone to hold you accountable for what you say you’re going to do.You need friends and family members that won’t let you give up. You need love and understanding when you are struggling. Surround yourself with loving and helpful people, and put God at the center of your life. Some changes are so difficult, but all things are possible with God.


Quote of the day!

"Don't go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first."

Mark Twain, 1835-1910, American Writer and Humorist

"I would prefer even to fail with honor than wïn by cheating."

Sophocles, 496-406 B.C., Greek Tragic Dramatist

There are three constants in life... change, choice and principles.

Stephen R. Covey, American Speaker/Trainer/Author of "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People"


Power of intention

“A good intention clothes itself with power.”

-- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Our minds are incredibly powerful. We put that power to work for us when we consciously set an intention to be or do something. Get into the practice of consciously setting an intention for every activity in which you are involved.

Your intention might support efficiency – for example, to complete a job or project by a specific time. Your intention might support your personal growth, e.g., to undertake a task that scares you. Or it might support more soul connection, e.g., to see beauty in the chaos of your day.

When we make an effort to set an intention, no matter how trivial it may appear, we are taking the time to choose what we want for ourselves. And clearly, this is essential for our growth – to actively, thoughtfully choose what we want for ourselves.

“By becoming a conscious choice-maker, you begin to generate actions that are evolutionary for you.”

-- Deepak Chopra


Take someone with you

By Dr. John C. Maxwell

A year or two after my wife, Margaret, and I got married, we made a critical decision. We didn't have much money, but we decided that, whenever I was invited to speak in a city she wanted to visit, she would come with me.

This was important to me because I didn't just want to come home and tell her about all the wonderful places I'd seen; I wanted her to experience them with me.

We've traveled together for several decades now, and the memories and mementos we've collected from all the various places we've visited have greatly added to the richness of our life together. In fact, it's made such a difference in our journey as a couple that, whenever I see someone traveling alone, I always wonder, "Doesn't he have someone to take with him?"

Today, and for the next several issues, I'm going to stick with the theme of traveling through life and offer a few tips that hopefully will make your own journey a little more productive and fulfilling.

The traveling advice I want to give you now is the relationship tip I alluded to before: On your journey through life, take someone with you. As I already mentioned, I've practiced this philosophy with my wife since the early days of our marriage, and I've also tried to incorporate it into my professional life. This traveling tip is especially appropriate for people in leadership or mentoring roles; after all, you can't be a leader unless you have someone to lead, and you can't be a mentor without someone to mentor.

Now I must mention that, while being with people has provided some of the highlights of my life, it also provided some of the low lights. I'm sure you can relate to this. As I wrote in my book, Winning with People, most people can trace both their successes and their failures to the relationships in their lives. That's just how life works. I'll be the first to admit that, sometimes, taking someone with you doesn't end well. But despite this reality, if we believe that our value to society comes down to what we do with and for other people, it's very essential to take the trip with somebody else.

In Winning with People, I identify a number of principles designed to help readers get along well with others, many of which highlight the value of taking someone with you. For example, the community principle states that what we do together is not as important as being together. The foxhole principle advises that when preparing for battle, dig a hole big enough for a friend. And the learning principle comes directly from a quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson, who said, "Every man I meet is in some way my superior and I can learn from him."

As you think about the people that you are traveling with now, as well as others you might want to take with you in the future, here are two questions to consider:

1. How can I add value to them? This is a huge priority for me. Every evening, I ask myself a very simple question: Did I add value to someone today? In other words, did I encourage or help someone? Did I do something to help someone become a better worker, spouse or parent? If you're going to take someone with you, you must be intentional about adding value to their lives.

2. What can I learn from them? In order to learn, you have to listen. In fact, both these questions require listening. You can't help or learn from another person without listening to that individual. You have to find out where they are in their life journey before you can discover what you can offer to them, as well as what they can offer to you.

Before I close, I need to mention one more concept from "Winning with People" that addresses a more sobering reality of taking someone with you. I call it the patience principle, and it says, "The man who goes alone can start the day, but he who travels with another must wait until the other is ready." Here's the application. When you take someone with you, it will inconvenience you. You won't get started as early as you wanted to get started. You won't get to stop at every place you wanted to stop. And you won't get to do everything you wanted to get done.

All that can be very frustrating. And yet, if you decide to travel life alone because you don't want to be inconvenienced, all you will end up with is emptiness and loneliness. That's because we weren't placed here on earth for ourselves; we were placed here for others. And the moment that we understand and accept that, taking someone with us stops being a choice and becomes a responsibility.

"This article is used by permission from Dr. John C. Maxwell's free monthly e-newsletter 'Leadership Wired' available at www.MaximumImpact.com."