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January 2006

Think Big

High expectation always precedes high achievement.
You're as small as your controlling desires,
or as great as your dominant aspirations.

Once your mind stretches to a new idea
it never goes back to its original dimensions.
Think little goals and you can expect little achievement.
Think big goals and you'll win big success.

The first ingredient of your success is to dream a great dream.

No Pain. No Gain

"In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best is the wrong thing and the worst is nothing."

-Theodore Roosevelt.

Fear of failure incapacitates us and the result is inaction. Inaction postulates ignoring potential to succeed. We have it in us to succeed, to be blissful and happy but we refuse to tap that potential. Look at this anecdote of the denial of insurance benefits to a person who died.

Missed opportunities are born of potential. There was a very cautious man who never laughed or cried. He had his life insured for a hefty sum and, of course, on his expiry the amount insured would go to his beneficiary. He never risked, he never lost, he never won, he never tried. And did come that day, when he died. His insurance was denied, for they said since he never really lived, he never died. So claimed the insurance company while denying his nominees the insurance amount.

Jokes apart,the anecdote brings out the fact that he never lived because he never risked, never fought, never won and as such when he didn't live, how could he have died! Opportunities and potential meant nothing to him.

Difficulties and defeats are the preambles of triumphs and successes. If you have the potential, the focus should be on getting ahead despite setbacks and challenges.

Let us reflect on the story of marbles.

There was this museum laid with beautiful marble tiles with a huge woman's marble statue displayed in the middle of the lobby. Many people came from all over the world just to admire this beautiful marble statue.

One night, the marble tiles started talking to the Marble Lady.

Marble tile: Marble lady, it's just not fair, it's just not fair! Why does everybody from all over the world come all the way here just to step on me while admiring you? Not fair!

Marble lady: My dear friend, marble tile, Do you still remember that we were actually from the same cave?

Marble tile: Yeah! That's why I feel it is even more unfair. We were born from the same cave and yet we receive different treatment now. Not fair!

Marble lady: Then, do you still remember the day when the designer tried to work on you, but you resisted his tool?

Marble tile: Yes, of course I remember. I hate that guy! How could he use his tool on me, it hurt so badly?

Marble lady: That's right! He couldn't work on you at all as you resisted being worked on.

Marble lady: When he decided to give up on you and started working on me instead, I knew at once that I would be something different after his efforts. I did not resist his tool; instead I bore all the painful tools he used on me. My friend, there is a price to everything in life. Since you decided to give up half-way, you can't blame anybody who steps on you now.

The moral of the story is:

The more hard knocks you go through in life, the more you'll learn and put them to use in future.

Do not be discouraged by setbacks, challenges and failures. No pain…no gain

Past is past, you can't change it, but it is actually a blessing in disguise.

Past was good, present is better and the future will always be the best.

Potential is working on opportunities; availing of even half a chance to get the optimum results. It will be difficult for anyone not to talk of missed or more appropriately messed-up opportunities all their lives. Here are some tips as to how make the best of opportunities as they emerge. Are you the one who converts opportunities or fritters away openings?

Ask yourself these questions and give a rating on a scale of 1 to 5, 1 being poor and 5 being excellent. And now to the posers!!

1. How good am I in availing of opportunities that are available for a short time?

2. I know what suits me and what is not right for me. Very many offers come our way. Do we know what to choose and what to discard?

3. Do I know the knack of looking for possibilities rather than waiting for them?

Sometimes we are so impatient that our impatience would have closed the doors of happiness, fame, fortune or even some small gains.

4. Am I a master in analysis paralysis?

Do I indulge in too much of analysis, that I am led to the belief that nothing is possible?

5. Am I a master of 'What if.. .'? and 'If only…' . Please recall such of those instances where you are regretting in terms of missed opportunities that led you to statements such as "What if…." and "If only…"

6. Do I believe that changes bring in opportunities?

7. Do I realize that not acting on opportunities implies creating difficulties at a later point of time?

8. How good am I in creating opportunities? Am I good in imagining, am I good in visualization? You want some tips on visualization?

Get into serious exercise of visualizing things as though they are real. As though they are actually happening. This is visualization for you. Let me give you one example. Assume You have with you $500,000 (in reality you have nothing). You are sending your son for PhD in Biochemistry at Harvard. You see your son's name in the merit list of all subjects. You see his portrait in the hall of fame. President Bush has a special word for him for his innovative solution to the problem afflicting HIV victims. As a parent, you can't but feel elated and on top of the world.

This is something that is very real for you. You are envisioning the future. You see the potential. When you visualize the future in such vivid details, you are committed to doing all that it takes to make it real. Do we have this commitment? Do we have this focus?

Now, take a look at the score card. Are you good, excellent or do you need to work on some of your behavioral pattern? Yes, if help is what is wanted, it is always available..

Do you know who can help you to get the best of opportunities?

"There's a person, I know,
A person I can go to,
And HE/SHE is living deep inside me"

Opportunities will keep on knocking at your door but we must have the ears to respond; if one door closes, many will open. The world is yours if you keep yourself focused on our highest values, your goals and aspirations in life. Who can guide you better than YOU? Never underestimate how far you can go by merely being yourself - the real YOU.

4Ds of spiritual Growth

"Strive to be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind. To be too wise for worry, too tolerant for hate, and too courageous to be fearful. In short, to be happy."

-- Unknown Source

Reflect on this pathway for meaningful growth:

DISCIPLINE - To create change in our lives, we need to consistently focus on what we want.

DETACHMENT - Practice the art of detached observation. Let go of automatic defenses and patterns.

DISCERNMENT - Seek to discern the lower from the higher. What is self-serving and what is soul-inspired? Discernment carries no judgment. There are no goods and bads. Remain as a detached witness.

DHARMA - This is an East Indian word meaning "living your unique purpose." How do you find meaning and fulfillment in ways that are natural to you? How do you best serve and contribute to the world?

"If you wish to travel far and fast, travel light. Take off all your envies, jealousies, unforgiveness, selfishness, and fears."

-- Glenn Clark

Playing your role

"What concerns me is not the way things are, but rather the way people think things are."

-- Epicetus

When we are basically unconscious, we live according to social roles. We perform as sons and daughters, mothers and fathers, husbands and wives, employers and employees, as society expects us to.

As we grow in awareness, we gain the freedom to bring our own unique perspectives to these roles. We can express ourselves authentically and creatively, without letting our roles dictate how we should behave.

"Risk! Risk anything! Care no more for the opinion of others, for those voices. Do the hardest thing on earth for you. Act for yourself. Face the truth."

-- Katherine Mansfield

Working smart..not hard

"The whole secret of freedom from anxiety over not having enough time lies not in working more hours, but in the proper planning of the hours."

-- Frank Bettger

We need to commit time to doing the right things for ourselves, and only we can judge what’s right for us. We need to clearly know what we want, and we need to believe we can have it. Having goals in mind, we can avoid the trap of busyness and get right down to business. Efficiency is not nearly as important as effectiveness.

For fulfillment, we need to take our lives off autopilot. We need to consciously decide what we will and will not do, moment by moment. We need to give ourselves the space, support and freedom to be proactive in choosing how we live each day.

"Learn to use ten minutes intelligently. It will pay you huge dividends."

-- William A. Irwin


"To get to forgiveness, we first have to work through the painful experiences that require it."

-- Christiane Northrup

To forgive, we do not have to say that whatever happened was okay. In fact, before we can forgive, we need to allow ourselves to really feel the pain of the experience. If we don’t fully acknowledge our hurts, we will continue to carry them subconsciously and they will drain our energy.

To forgive, we need to decide that we won’t allow the memories of the event to poison us any longer. We’re ready to heal this wound from the past and open to a fresh new beginning.

The blessing is that when we’re really ready to experience our pain and we open to it, it usually fades away. By honouring our pain, we release it.

"We must let ourselves feel all the painful destruction we want to forgive rather than swallow it in denial. If we do not face it, we cannot choose to forgive it."

-- Kenneth McNoll


"Money is better than poverty, if only for financial reasons."

-- Woody Allen

To become more prosperous, we need to change on at least two levels. First, we must ensure our financial affairs are in order. We need an income that at least covers our expenses. And we need a foundation of habits, tools and skills so we achieve some financial stability in our day-to-day experience.

Second, we must become aware of the beliefs we hold around money and prosperity. If we unconsciously believe we are lacking in some way, then no matter what we do, we will unconsciously sabotage our own efforts to improve our finances.

And third, it's helpful to understand the spiritual principles that govern our level of abundance. Once we know those principles, we can work effectively within them to attract abundance to us.

"If you're prosperous in soul, you'll be prosperous in whole."

-- Mark Victor Hansen

Freedom to choose

"On Freedom"

"Our ultimate freedom is the right and power to decide how anybody or anything outside ourselves will affect us."

-- Stephen Covey

A Greek myth can help us understand the freedom that comes with power of choice.

In the Underworld, Sisyphus was condemned to roll a large stone up a hill from which it always rolled down again. Realistically, he was trapped in an endless cycle of rolling the stone. When he perceived himself to be imprisoned by the curse, he was a victim.

At one point, however, he turned the tables -- he changed his mind and decided to CHOOSE to roll the stone up the hill. In doing so, he empowered himself and defused the curse.

"Freedom is what you do with what's been done to you."

-- Jean-Paul Sartre

"One cannot make a slave of a free person, for a free person is free even in a prison."

-- Plato

Success has a price tag

There's a price to pay if you want to make things better,
and a price to pay for just leaving things as they are.

Whatever you want in life, you must give up something to get it.
The greater the value, the greater the sacrifice required of you.

Nothing worthwhile ever comes easily.
Work, continuous work and hard work,
is the only way to accomplish results that last.
Use your imagination more than your memory to achieve success.

There is no success at bargain basement prices.
Everything has a price.

©2006 by Max Steingart