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September 2010

Monitoring Self-Talk and counting your Blessings

-Karthik Gurumurthy

Let me share with you a strategy I use to avoid being flooded with feelings of gloom, depression and fear.

Every day is a good day. But when I'm experiencing a day full of frustrations, I don't call it a bad day, I call it an "interesting" day. This habit keeps me from being overwhelmed with negative emotions.

Why does this work?

Repetitive thoughts and words create feelings.
Those feelings create a positive or negative behavior pattern.

If I tell myself it's a bad day, I began to feel defeated and exhausted. If my day has one issue after another and if I tell myself it's an "interesting" day, this keeps my open to gratitude, hope, solutions, resiliency,and sometimes even a sense of humor.

I try to monitor my words when I'm feeling in a slump so I can avoid those "knot in your stomach" - stressful - anxious - sickening - I'm losing it" feelings.

I had one of those "interesting" days recently and reminded myself to stop, do some deep breathing and re-group.

If you're having an "interesting" day, let these words minister to you.

Sometimes the children are screaming,
The boss is irritating,
The traffic is slow and
The bill collectors won't go.

Sometimes you feel strong and confident.
Sometimes you're full of regrets and wonder where all the time went.

Sometimes you feel like you want to give up.
Sometimes you're too tired to move 'cause you have so much to do.

Sometimes you're lonely and wonder if love will ever come.
Sometimes you're glad to be alone to think your own thoughts.

Sometimes life is easy and sometimes hard.

Today be grateful that you've come this far. Breathe in peace, faith and hope.

All the answers...I do not know.


But I'm here to say,

Count your Blessings.
Don't Give Up.
You can make it.

Little miracles happen each day.
Don't miss them because you're focusing on your pain, frustrations and fears.

Paradox of our time

I got this as an email forward and loved to share this with you all.

-Karthik Gurumurthy


Paradox of our time

by George Carlin

The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings but shorter tempers, wider Freeways, but narrower viewpoints. We spend more, but have less, we buy more, but enjoy less. We have bigger houses and smaller families, more conveniences, but less time. We have more degrees but less sense, more knowledge, but less judgment, more experts, yet more problems, more medicine, but less wellness.

We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too little, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom.

We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values. We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often.

We've learned how to make a living, but not a life. We've added years to life not life to years. We've been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet a new neighbor. We conquered outer space but not inner space. We've done larger things, but not better things.

We've cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul. We've conquered the atom, but not our prejudice. We write more, but learn less. We plan more, but accomplish less. We've learned to rush, but not to wait. We build more computers to hold more information, to produce more copies than ever, but we communicate less and less.

These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion, big men and small character, steep profits and shallow relationships. These are the days of two incomes but more divorce, fancier houses, but broken homes. These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throwaway morality, one night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer, to quiet, to kill. It is a time when there is much in the showroom window and nothing in the stockroom.

Remember; spend some time with your loved ones, because they are not going to be around forever.

Remember, say a kind word to someone who looks up to you in awe, because that little person soon will grow up and leave your side.

Remember, to give a warm hug to the one next to you, because that is the only treasure you can give with your heart and it doesn't cost a cent.

Remember, to say, 'I love you' to your partner and your loved ones, but most of all mean it. An embrace will mend hurt when it comes from deep inside of you.

Remember to hold hands and cherish the moment for someday that person will not be there again.

Give time to love, give time to speak! And give time to share the precious thoughts in your mind.


Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.


Are you ready for a new opportunity?

-Karthik Gurumurthy

When faced with the adversities of life, leaders refuse to wallow in despair. Be it by design or unexpected discovery; leaders are purveyors of solutions by which everyone around them reaps the rewards. Thomas Edison said, “Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed up in overalls and looks like work.”

The same ground that was the source of their famine has now becomes the source of their fortune. How you look at your circumstances can either hold you back or move you forward. The solution to your problem is not as far away as you might think. The challenge of the leader is to look under the rocks with a fresh set of eyes to the possibilities before him.

Sometime back I read a story in RD which illustrates the power of right thinking and a positive outlook. It describes how both the hummingbird and the vulture fly over our nation's deserts. All vultures see is rotting meat, because that is what they look for. They thrive on that diet. But hummingbirds ignore the smelly flesh of dead animals. Instead, they look for the colorful blossoms of desert plants. The vultures live on what was. They live on the past. They fill themselves with what is dead and gone. But hummingbirds live on what is. They seek new life. They fill themselves with freshness and life. Each bird finds what it is looking for. We all do.

Benjamin Disraeli said, “The great secret of success in life is for the man to be ready when his opportunity comes.” Opportunities are knocking, are you ready?


- Karthik Gurumurthy

Most people would rather work on their personality than on their character. Personality development brings more immediate rewards, is less rewarding and, in most cases, involves little sacrifice on our part. Personality development involves learning new conversational skills, style or  developing a speaking ability.

Character development often involves making changes that are at least temporarily uncomfortable and often very demanding. The development of good virtues requires more times because it means we must discipline some of our appetities and passions. Keeping promises and being sensitive to the feelings and convictions of others are not things that most of us do naturally. We have to work at them.  Development of character is the best indicator of maturity.

It is true that it is difficult to develop character than personality and and rewards are not as immediate. However, the long-term rewards are infinitely greater. In today's world, the need for character and leadership outweighs the need for more people with better personality. The good news is, when you develop the character, the personality develops far more easily and naturally.

Characteristics of Great leaders

-Karthik Gurumurthy

" A great man is always willing to be little".
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

In the arena of conventional wisdom much has been said and written on how to go from good to great as a leader. While much has been penned about how to get to the top it is important to understand how leaders stay there.

John Maxwell said, “Great people have little use for fame or notoriety; they are consumed with productivity, not image. They are content when the moment calls for them to be little, ordinary, or common – as long as the goal is achieved.” While many look to unlock the deep secrets and mysteries of leadership; is it possible to overlook simple characteristics that propel leaders to the top and keep them there? I believe it is, and here are a few observations on how great leaders do it.

Great leaders are comfortable in their own skin; they are authentic. Authentic leadership has a vested interest in the lives and well-being of others. In the life of your organization and the credibility of your leadership style, is there anything more important?

Dale Carnegie said, “You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.” This is at the heart of leaders who make it to the top. Hang around any great leader long enough and you will soon find that you feel right at home around them. Why? When the leader is at ease others around him will be also and productivity will flourish. Great leaders have nothing to prove and care deeply for those near them.

Great leaders are content to ride shotgun; they delegate. By and large, great leaders did not get to where they are by going it alone. Neither will they remain there without being surrounded by a devoted group of leaders with a shared vision.

Jim Collins said, “The moment you feel the need to tightly manage someone, you’ve made a hiring mistake. The best people don’t need to be managed. Guided, taught, led – yes. But not tightly managed.” A great leader is great because he gives adequate space to those around him to achieve their full potential.

Great leaders understand the greater purpose of riding shotgun. The leader understands that he will not sit atop his perch forever. Success calls for a successor and riding shotgun is merely driver training for a seamless transition. Leaders delegate for the greater good.

Great leaders are careful to share the limelight; they are humble. All that matters to the leader is that the goals are achieved. Robert Woodruff said, “There is no limit to what a man can do or how far he can go if he doesn’t mind who gets the credit.” If achieving goals requires the leader to be little, ordinary, or common, then look for the leader to step up for the greater good.

Thomas Merton said, “A humble man can do great things with an uncommon perfection because he is no longer concerned about accidentals, like his own interests and his own reputation, and therefore he no longer needs to waste his efforts in defending them.”

A great leader demonstrates strength in allowing the light to shine on others. For in understanding the big picture he accurately understands his small role.

Great leaders stay on top not by acts of vanity but rather by acts of mercy. Great leaders dare to be authentic, delegate responsibility, and walk in humility. The secret to understanding how great leaders stay on top is found in the discovery that these were the habits formed from the beginning and have been practiced ever since.