Category Archives: people

Your life as a Zen Garden


Best-Zen-Garden-Wallpaper-on-Garden-Decor-zen-garden-wallpaper-iphone-I recently met a person who casually told me that she was in multiple relationships and hence is a bit stressed. I found it a bit strange for someone who I met for the first time said this to me in a formal business setting. Anyway, not wanting to be judgmental and  polite I didn’t make any comments or react to it in any particular manner. Honestly, it didn’t concern me much, its her personal life and it was fine with me. But she went on to explain her relationships a bit more to me in an effort to clarify her position and impress upon me that I or anyone for that mater should not judge her based on this casual comment she made.

This is how she explained:

Her father was a highly passionate gardener who specializes in building   nihon teien – Japanese Garden for his clients. Although a Zen Garden is mostly a Rock and Sand arrangement, he often combined the elements of a Japanese Garden with the Zen garden philosophies which was very popular with his clients.

But he did take the art and the philosophy of the Japanese/Zen garden to heart and made it the basic philosophy of his life in terms of his relationships and life in general. He raised her and her siblings with a strong belief that one should conduct their lives as a garden where they are their own gardeners. Especially, a garden of Zen, – a garden of tranquility, balance, aesthetics, space and peace. In this garden, you choose the elements that will make your life beautiful and all that you desire by you as a gardener, investing your time, passion, care and commitment. Thus, the Zen Garden of your life will be as follows:

The Japanese/Zen Garden. A pristine place of perfectly manicured trees, plants, clear path ways with perfectly located open space. The basic 4 rules to build such a beautiful place of tranquility and peace are

1) most trees and plants should be taken care of by constantly trimming them in perfect shapes and regularly watering them and nourishing them with the right amount of soil

2) some select trees and plants should be allowed to grow as per it’s natural beauty and shape

3) all paths should be clean without clutter and

4) each zen garden should have a space to sit and meditate.

5) Rocks should be strategically placed to support the garden.

Life. It’s similar to a Zen Garden where you are the gardener. Your relationships are like the trees. Each need to be trimmed and cared for as you want them to grow into your life. You shape them in your garden as opposed to them growing out of your bounds and liking. However, a select few of them can be allowed to grow to its own beauty such as a child or someone whose natural self just beautifies your life.

Always keep your thoughts and mind clear as the pathways and make it a point to provide for your personal space. A place to collect your self and your thoughts, meditate and calm down. In your life, similar to the rocks, there are a few relationships that will support you and hold you down to the ground when you need it most. You can always lean on them and use them for support. Pay a lot of importance to these rocks in your lives.

This will make your life a life of tranquility, beauty, peace and balance. Enjoy your own Zen Garden life!

 


Stop being the problem and Start becoming the solution


kc


Inspiration from Adversity


A few months ago I had watched Conan O Brian being interviewed by Piers Morgan on his show.  Although known for his antics and humor I like Conan for his inspirational quotes and experiences that he shares with his viewers or an audience he is asked to address. His popular address to the class of 2000 at Harvard, his 2011 Dartmouth College commencement address, or just his personal experiences and challenges have all been an inspirational and wisdom filled lessons.

Similarly, reading up several successful peoples biographies have often been a major source of inspiration to me as it has been for several others who seek to learn for other peoples experiences and struggles. As we anxiously seek to read up and learn about peoples success and learn their secrets to their individual fame and fortune, we often end up turning the last few pages of the book with a profound sense of wisdom gained and with an understanding and awe of the person for having the courage and perseverance to overcome their share of adversities and at times impossible challenges to achieve their successes. At times we also learn how their adversities changed the course of their lives to success in the form of new opportunities.

Some of God’s greatest gifts are unanswered prayers. ~Garth Brooks

From such knowledge we collectively learn one single and strong fact about life; that even the greatest of them all never had it easy or without problems. The road to any success for all of them have always been paved with several obstacles, hurt, pain, agony, delays,  misfortune, mistakes, blunders, and countless lessons. But with them also came, wisdom, courage, perseverance, valuable experience and amazing successes. And from learning these facts, it invariably begs the question, how ignorant or arrogant are we if we expect our success without such adversities? What makes us so special for us to expect our lives to be easier and pave our path to success with bed of roses?  Weather we expect success in our individual jobs, marriage, relationships, business, good health, sports, education, finances, parenting, or any chosen goals in life, it is almost certain that we will have to face and overcome our share of challenges.

When it is dark enough, you can see the stars. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Facing our challenges is very similar to how a mere stone is turned into a precious diamond. From a dirty stone in mud a diamond goes through a strenuous process of cutting, bruiting, grinding, polishing, and further cutting until all its facets are carved out to dazzle everyone.  Liked wise, our share of grinding, cutting, and hardships brings out our courage, wisdom, wit, will, perseverance and determination that enables us to dazzle others by our eventual success.

You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you. ~Walt Disney

People who succeed in their lives often learn and reinvent themselves by bring about the changes that are necessary to help then achieve their ambitions and desires. They are quick to identify their faults, self improve, struggle, and get out of their comfort zone towards attaining their dreams. For they quickly learn that they will get the same results by doing the same things over and over again, and that they need to change their ways to behaviour to drive the changes they seek towards success. They do not fear committing mistakes, they do not avoid challenges or risks, they do not choose to escape from their troubles, but they stand and face them courageously, they develop solutions to their problems, they face their adversities by staring back into its eye. Greatness comes from standing up and doing the right thing regardless of the difficulties in life, they never sacrifice their morals, values, principles and righteousness. They instead draw strength from them, they differentiate themselves from others by upholding such characteristics, and they believe in their self and never give up. From the prophets (who are considered to be the chosen ones by the creator), to several kings, scientists, leaders, sportsmen and women, experts, celebrities or businessmen, inventors or politicians, each have to go their share of challenges to succeed. There is no easy path to success.  It is almost imperative and essential to gain the wisdom and experience for everyone to not only succeeded, but to be able to handle their success and manage it with humility and greatness.

If you can find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn’t lead anywhere. ~Frank A. Clark

Alternatively those who choose to escape hardships, run away from their troubles, choose the easier options to avoid stress or risks, do not accept to make sacrifices, choose not to change for the better and take pleasure from their status quo as oppose to challenge it, often find themselves in the same place facing the same troubles time and over again. The same monotony, the familiar problems, the sweet self sympathy, and the embraced bitterness and negativity consume their lives. Every challenge remains a problem as opposed to being an opportunity to develop a solution.  Every adversity is a reason to wallow in self sympathy and depression as opposed to face it and overcome them.  The reasons to their problems become excuses and although they remain undeserving due to their lack of positive action, they become consumed by their growing false sense of self entitlement.

Much of your pain is self-chosen. ~Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet, 1923

So, if you are tired of your troublesome life and the adversities you face, or have resolved to giving up on turning your life around and giving in to failure, then ask yourself what are you doing to overcome your share of adversities? None of us are any different from the other in our abilities and will to change. The difference is in our minds and choices. Everyman was just an ordinary person until they overcame their challenges to do something extraordinary and succeed. No great person or successful person has escaped life lessons and constant need to face their share of challenges and overcome them by learning new facts about life over and over again.  We live only once and life is too short in today’s fast paced and rapidly changing world. Everything we do daily changes our course and destiny. Where do you choose to be? It is your choice and nothing can stop you from getting where you want to go in our life.  When we learn to compare our troubles with those several others who face physical disabilites, health challenges, famine, war, loss of loved ones, etc, we will quickly find shame in voicing our adversities. Remember that to become a greater fighter or a tennis player, it is important to choose an opponent to practice who is better and stronger then yourself to become good. Hence learn to see your adversities as your challenging sparring partner.

The trouble with most of us is that we would rather be ruined by praise than saved by criticism. ~Norman Vincent Peale


How your life experiences shape you!


We all are shaped by our experiences in our lives. And the memories, good and bad have permanently altered our outlook towards our lives and future. We are nothing but a mind over matter that is a product of our experiences under specific circumstances in our lives.  If our circumstances were any different our experiences would have been very different as well and would result in a different memory that will remain with us forever. Perhaps they lie dormant in our minds for long, but only until similar circumstance arises in our lives.  I tend to draw some inspiration from the character Guido; Roberto Benigni played in the movie Life is Beautiful where in the second half of the movie he tries to create a totally different experience of a Nazi Camp for his son by telling him that they are participants in a game to collect points. In the end the son thinks he won the game while his father got killed in the process.

Experience is what causes a person to make new mistakes instead of old ones. ~Author Unknown

Our response to situations, and events in our lives are all shaped by our experiences. Your thought process, our mind set, attitude, aspirations, expectations, and social behaviour are all altered or shaped by our experiences.  Many of our experiences are usually personal in nature and there are several experiences that are conceived. The personal experiences are usually deeper in nature that we hold on to for long because we have endured personally as opposed to the ones that are conceived by other people’s personal experiences or opinions which changes over time and based on our individual personal experiences on that subject. If you spend some time thinking about your experiences that have affected you and your opinions about certain things in life, you will soon realize how fragile your opinions could be as it would have been lot different only if the circumstances of your experience were different.

Experience is not what happens to a man. It is what a man does with what happens to him. ~Aldous Leonard Huxley

How you react to an experience and your choice of response leaves an almost  permanent code of response to similar future experiences in your memory. You are more likely to response very similarly the next time you encounter a similar experience. Thus what you chose to do with your experiences plays a major factor in your development, understanding, response, opinions and future behaviours. We all  carry several fond memories of your childhood that we often try to recreate for our youngsters or children. We often try to physically recreate the same atmosphere and circumstances hoping our children have the same experiences in their lives. We ape our parents’ behaviours at times in an effort to invoke similar response from our children, we tell the same old stories we grew up with to our children, or create similar environments such as taking them to a beach, playing in an open back yard etc. The core idea being that we hope our children to grow up with the same fond memories we did from our childhood.

We should be careful to get out of an experience only the wisdom that is in it – and stop there; lest we be like the cat that sits down on a hot stove-lid. She will never sit down on a hot stove-lid again – and that is well; but also she will never sit down on a cold one anymore. ~Mark Twain

When we realize how important a personal experience is to us and how it has influenced our lives in several ways, and how our choice of reaction to these experiences under specific circumstances has shaped our personality, it will dawn upon us the importance it is for us to create good experiences and circumstances for everyone who comes in contact with us in our lives. What we experience under specific circumstances shapes us and what circumstances and experiences we create influences every individual we come in contact in our lives. It is very similar to how we feel when we have met someone who makes us feel good or bad. And the other individuals’ response or reaction to the experience we bring to them affects us in return.

Who then can so softly bind up the wound of another as he who has felt the same wound himself. ~Thomas Jefferson

We all are made of our experiences that we encountered in a specific circumstance. If an individual behave in a particular way, it is because his or her experience thought him these responses and resulting characteristics were born. We are like them too and they are like is. We all are victims of our life experiences. But we each can change ourselves and others by changing the scars in memories by creating new and positive experiences and circumstances. We can influence opinions, understanding, memories, feelings, responses, love, hatred, prejudice, knowledge and lives by how we chose to behave and the experiences we create for ourselves and others. Thus by making every effort to create a positive interaction and experience every time you speak or contact others you create a better world of pleasant memories, experiences and happiness.

To do something, however small, to make others happier and better, is the highest ambition, the most elevating hope, which can inspire a human being ~ John Lubbock

So, the next time you visit family over holidays, go over to a friends home, take the time to inspire someone who looks up to you,  interact with colleagues at work, meet your grand parents, siblings, nephews or nieces, make an honest effort to create a positive experience for them and leave them with pleasant memories of you and your words and wisdom. For they often have a profound impact in their lives like your experiences have impacted you. You can begin at home with your siblings, wife and children and enjoy a life of pleasant experiences and memories. Your personal experiences are created by how others treat you. Likewise their experiences with you are based on how you treat them. It is a chain of continuous actions and reactions. But to change this link from a negative to a positive one, pressing the “start” button needs to come from you.


The difficult art of choosing right from wrong


The right choice is often a difficult path

Amongst all the wonders we are blessed with, one of the most powerful things that we have got is the power of “free will” or Choice. Specifically the choices we can make in life on a day to day basis between good and bad and how we wish to be or become as evolving human beings. I must also say that I am aware that choices are at times limited to people based on the circumstances they live in, but I am talking about the choices that still many have in lives in an effort to have a better living and happier and meaningful lives regardless of their circumstances.

It’s choice – not chance – that determines your destiny. – Jean Nidetch

Choice: a mental process which helps us to judge and analyze from multiple options and selecting one of them based on preference. Choosing from these multiple options usually results in a consequence or a need for action that would eventually derive at a desired consequence.  In any given day as human beings we are subject to making several choices that affect our living. They may be from the simplest forms to complex in nature. The consequences of these choices or decision to choose one from another may affect our lifestyle, religious affiliation, political position, finances, attitude towards others, reaction to situations, and health.

The strongest principle of growth lies in human choice. – George Eliot

Our life essentially is nothing but a collective result of the choices we have made along the way. There choices were made at several moments in life, based on several experiences and circumstances, but nevertheless these were our choices and we face and live the consequences of these very choices. We may choose to blame the circumstances, but nevertheless the choice was ours and we are solely responsible for those choices and the eventual outcome. We each have the power and freedom to choose right from wrong. Often we end up choosing easy from hard and sadly the hard ends up being the right one to choose. The righteous and just thing to do often involves hardships, disagreement from common folk, against certain odds, and at times contrary to common thinking. But it is in such choices that great accomplishments lie. Greatness has never been served on a silver platter, but it has only been earned by the choices made against all odds with the will, determination and perseverance. But it begins with the choice. And the power to choose is in your very power.

“There are two primary choices in life: to accept conditions as they exist, or accept the responsibility for changing them.”- Denis Waitley (1933-…, motivational speaker and author of The Psychology of Winning)

Before I was sent to England for schooling, my oldest brother sat me down and gave me a few valuable tips on what to expect and how to cope in a boarding school, new country, and above all how to uphold my dignity and self-respect. He always had a profound way to deliver his advice which would stick like a note with a board pin into my brain. His advises, as I can recall, always puts butterflies in my stomach and makes me smile as he would start off in all seriousness and end up with a hilarious one-liner and a smile. He told me about how friendships should be an equal relationship, how to take pride of who I am and uphold our decency, how to learn from my mistakes etc.  Among a barrage of things he threw at me that day over lunch he mentioned to me that there will be every vice, temptation, and choices of right and wrong thrown at me in my life as I go on. But, what makes one into a fine man or a failure, are the choices he makes and actions he takes once his choice has been made.

A personal expereince on chosing to do what is right :

I was 17 then and I remember it was a Wednesday. Quiz day in Physics every Wednesday, first lesson in the morning. I wasn’t prepared, totally clueless and dumb as a needle on the subject that week. Perhaps my heart was too tangled in my dreams of falling in love with the amazingly new cute girl who helps out at our daily lunch hall. Anyways, as soon as our teacher came in, he passed out our question paper and told us that he will be very disappointed with anyone who will get less than 90% in this weekly quiz as it was one of his easier ones. Translated it means as follows: “It’s a tough paper, as it has just one question which clearly involves a lot of calculations. Should you get less than 90% he will put in a good word in our principal’s ear about our performance.” Having distributed the question paper and made his statement, he gave us 45 minutes to finish and he walked out of the class room.

The moment he walked out. There was the usual yet typical mumbling, cursing and looking at each others face for a few moments. Then one of us boldly walked up to the door stuck his neck out to see if our teacher wasn’t close by, and shut it back firmly and walked back to his desk. Quickly, almost everyone flipped out their text books and began to answer the equation precisely and fast. I looked around in amazement as I saw my buddies scribble away in a frenzy like they were writing their wish lists for toys and girls. I too had my text book with me, but I was thinking if I should or shouldn’t follow suit. And just then I remembered my power of choice and should my poor choice get the best of me, how will I let down my dearest brother’s aspiration about me. So, I sat there and stuck to my choice and decision to do the right thing and not cheat. My closest buddy glanced at me and asked me what was wrong? He quickly offered his text book to me to follow suit. I politely refused. He called me an idiot and nodded his head in disgust and disbelief. I sat through for 45 minutes and tried working out some other equation I knew as practice on a piece of paper. The teacher came back and collected everyone papers and took off again.

Next morning I was at the center meeting hall in school where all students gather to grab their mug of coffee or tea before the classes begin. I knew I was going to be embarrassed and humiliated in my Physics class just before our first break. So I was being quiet and already being embarrassed of my upcoming doom. And before I realized, as all bad things do, the hour was upon my head. I dragged my foot from one class to another and planning out how I will react and how will other classmates react at the meeting hall soon after the class and spread the news about the scores to everyone in school. Particularly, how my score will be announced by our ever so sarcastic teacher in his classic British humor with a snide remark that will make everyone laugh.

After all of us sat down and there was this impatient silence for a bit for the scores, our teacher called out my name first. I stood up with my chin stuck to my chest. He said I was the only student who passed the quiz and the rest failed. He further went on to say that if anyone disagreed with his scoring they were free to talk to the principal about it. For a moment I took it as his first sarcastic jab. I waited for a few more seconds for the next. But no one else reacted, and he asked me to sit down and continued with that day’s lesson. No one questioned his scores due to their guilt and I sat there feeling silly but yet still unsure of his decision. At the end of the class, he walked up to me as I was leaving the door, and said, he was extremely proud of my decision not to cheat and offered to tutor me after class if I needed any help in his subject as he was pleased to have a student with such honesty and integrity in his class.

During the break at the main meeting hall, my class mates walked up to me and shook my hand and said they had a lot of respect for me and my decision. They also went on to share this news with their other school mates. I was approached by other fellow school mates who heard about this and shook my hands and expressed their appreciation. And I was amazed to see how a simple choice to do the right thing could have such an amazing impact. I couldn’t help but think of what I had expected of my choice earlier that morning and what it had turned out to be. It was an experience that I still am very proud off till date. And it was an experience that thought me and reaffirmed what my brother had told me about choice. “What makes one into a fine man or a failure, are the choices he makes and actions he takes once that choice is made”.

Start with what is right rather than what is acceptable. – Peter F. Drucker

We are always faced with such choices in our lives. We are always given these options and choices to choose from in almost every aspect of our life. But we need to have the wisdom, integrity, and the will to make the right choices for ourselves. The life we live is designed to challenge you to make the right choices in life. And each of your day to day choices result in a continuous change and the resulting consequences that shape your life. One must always remember that one can change his or her life by simply making the right choices in life. It’s entirely up to you. You can get rid of old habits, change unwanted situations, make better lifestyle choices, choose a better diet, choose better food, better friends, better reactions to situations and problems, and give yourself the wisdom and courage to achieve great things in your life by making good, educated and right choices in life.

“Until a person can say deeply and honestly, “I am what I am today because of the choices I made yesterday,” that person cannot say, “I choose otherwise” – Stephen R. Covey (1932-…, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People)

In today’s world, many of us are also spoilt with choices. We do not know what is good for us and what is not. Young high school kids have trouble picking a profession, university or a carrier. Young graduates have trouble picking jobs, or company to work for, others have to choose their life partners, financial options, cars, life style, cell phones, televisions, computers, and even a simple cup of coffee is from a list of options and variations. There were times where I can walk into a Café and ask for a cup of coffee. I would get a cup of coffee, a jar of sugar and a pot of milk. Today in the name of quality service, brand and marketing gimmicks for an extra $4 whether you like it or not, you are forced to pick from Columbian, American, Costa Rican, host of other gourmet beans, ground, coarse, fine, Grande, Venti, Tall, milk, 2% milk, cream, black, white sugar, brown sugar, honey, sweetener, and still end up with just a coffee to kick-start your morning. But often these wonderful choices for many are bigger problems than convenience or luxury.

“Man is made or unmade by himself. By the right choice he ascends. As a being of power, intelligence, and love, and the lord of his own thoughts, he holds the key to every situation.” – James Allen (1864-1912, author of As a Man Thinketh)

Often individuals who make deliberate poor choices in life often seek the easy way out continue to take poor decisions that end them up assimilating a string of bad experiences, and resulting consequences due to their poor state of living. They will rather choose to get a fat loan or more than affordable car whether they have the means to fill the gas to run it or not. Some choose to spend their parents earnings on their cell phone bills and but never on a clean pair of jeans or clothes. They will choose to take advice and rest on the opinion of some half baked, semi-educated, councilor or a “friend” who will encourage dropping off from school and taking a hike across the country or to another country, smoke weed and have fun or get into a get rich quick dot.com business or buying their share of the pyramid scheme they themselves got suckered into. But they will hardly choose the advice of their selfless, hard-working, sacrificing and extremely caring parents and well-wishers who will often be willing to support their ambition with the best quality of education, universities, and help along the way by paying off their tuition fees as opposed to bank loans, get them a vehicle, give them a house to stay, etc.  I once was told that a person will invariably choose the best and eventually become very successful in life, if he or she is given only the best option as the only and last option to choose from. I guess is has become even more essential to educate todays’ youths on the realities of life and the consequences of human choices. Especially to help them from chasing unrealistic dreams such as the numerous pyramid or other get rich quick schemes with very little efforts. They need to be educated of the resulting proven consequences of better choices and to indulge in creative thinking and strategic planning and development of ideas for the real world that will help them succeed.

Educated and quality choices about self, others, life, and character will only result in success, happier life and great achievement!


Becoming a better man; inspiring a better world


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He who rejects change is the architect of decay.  The only human institution which rejects progress is the cemetery.  ~Harold Wilson

I have always feared change. Change is something that I usually disagree with because it makes me get off my comfortable state and do something with my life that will not put be back into the former position.  But whether I agreed with change or not, I have been changed and I keep changing. And looking back, I cannot thank enough for these changes. When I was forced to change, it always pushed me into a better life, and when I didn’t, I realized how I was killing my own potential and destroying my life while the world around me progressed.

Action and reaction, ebb and flow, trial and error, change – this is the rhythm of living. Out of our over-confidence, fear; out of our fear, clearer vision, fresh hope. And out of hope, progress. ~Bruce Barton

The only thing that remains constant in our lives has been the changes that happened to the world, people and us. Amongst all the things that changed around us the most important is the change that happened to us. The changes to our personal progressive evolution into better human being, our perceptions, wisdom, knowledge, tolerance, opinions, and the ability to love, forgive, and perhaps become selfless. These endless collections of experiences that impacts us on a daily basis and that which helps us evolve into the people we eventually become is what life is all about. Similarly the process of this evolution is also enhanced or hindered by our choices and the resulting actions we take that helps carve our personalities and our personal world, in terms of family, lifestyle, character and image. Yet with all this progress and evolution of systems and people, we seem to be living in a more complex, tiring and unhappy world.

Never believe that a few caring people can’t change the world. For, indeed, that’s all who ever have. ~Margaret Mead

One thing I learned early in my life was that I needed to evolve, change and continuously work hard to become better should I desire to accomplish a few things in life. Change is good, and positive change is absolutely necessary. Those who stifle their growth and advancement will one day be challenged to change, evolve and advance or be left behind. People are continuously moving ahead. Old methods are challenged, old fears have changed to aggression, silence has found a voice and oppressed compliance has changed into intelligent and courageous defiance. The recent political changes in the world shows that we no longer need to fight wars to over throw dictators or unjust oppressive governments. People have begun to exercise their rights and use democracy to their advantage. Traditionally countries that were considered to be poor are economic super powers now. The wealth of these countries diminishes the might of nuclear powers. Old belief systems are challenged if they haven’t progressively evolved with the times. People now increasingly need sensible and logical processes and systems to follow. The intelligent people today question age-old senseless rituals, old systems, stagnant status, cultural norms etc.  Such are the many signs of the struggle of progressive evolution of people. It is nevertheless a struggle. It is a struggle because many systems and people still happen to continue to sit at the opposite side of this progressive evolutionary spectrum. These are the people and systems that are yet to be challenged in our every changing world. But the struggling progression and evolution of people into better and sensible beings shall continue and soon the demands of positive change will come knocking at their door.

The bamboo that bends is stronger than the oak that resists.  ~Japanese Proverb

However, this struggle can only thrive and gain momentum on clear, positive morals, peaceful intentions, values and principles that collectively benefits humanity. The struggle is also within every individual because such collective strength shall only stem from realizing the need for individual self-improvement. We as people are still required to evolve as individuals first. We cannot afford to hold on to our prejudice anymore, we can no longer choose to resent change, we cannot hide our limited and age-old beliefs, and we cannot afford to sacrifice humanity and personal peace for age-old rituals and blind faith. It is time and age for us to progress and not regress. WE have to make the change, and make it first within us. We need to self-analyze our everyday actions, behaviours, goals, objectives, words and character and list the changes we need to make and follow through. We cannot blame the world, the people, system, and change. We need to change, adopt, or inspire change. It has become more vital for our own existence and survival and for the future of our children. We can no longer blame the status quo and failing conditions of everything around us. It is now in our hands. WE need to make the change, and/or inspire change. It is our responsibility, our life, our world, and our choice. We are told things, educated, inspired, motivated, asked, and forced into learning things from other people’s’ experience, their opinions, and the existing ways. What we do with all that we know now, is our choice. It is our world and our move next.

You must be the change you wish to see in the world.  ~Gandhi
 
A few simple things we can do to change our world for the better, starting today:
 
    1. Reflect a little on our speech and make small changes by using more positive words, kinder expressions and honesty.
    2. Think how you treat your loved ones regardless of what they do. Are you inspiring or loving in your behaviour?
    3. What you give is what you get. Do you give positivity, smiles and love to the world you share?
    4. When did you last give your mother or a wife a day off chores?
    5. Complment someone for doing something you liked.
    6. Ask yourself, what have you done lately to inspire positivity and goodness
    7. Opt for a salad today for a change, eat lesser calories today, chew longer and drink plenty of water.
    8. Forgive someone and let the hatred go. Give them a call, or write a note just to say “Hi”. You will feel much better.
    9. Share a joke to lighten the moment and see how the problems get resolved and  fades away.
    10. Take up a greater cause
    11. Praise someone for thier efforts and encourage them to carry on
    12. Put in some extra time and effort to change something for the better, be it at work or home
    13. Take up a creative project
    14. Learn something new or something you are not good at
    15. Spend time with your child and be silly for a while.
    16. If you appreciate someone tell them about it
    17. If you are guilty of something you did, or doing, stop it and walk up and apologize
    18. Do one right thing daily
    19. Make an effort to stop complaining about something, or being cynical about something daily
    20. Do one thing daily to change your personality and character for the better, be it appearance wise, or act, speach or behaviour.
 
 

Be a HERO to someone today


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You know, heroes are ordinary people that have achieved extraordinary things in life.  ~ Dave Winfield

The funny thing about us people is that we are perhaps the only species that does a mistake knowingly and with full awareness. We are the only creation on this planet that know what is wrong and still make a deliberate choice to do it anyway.A superior creation with the greatest gift of skills, knowledge, and abilities that surpasses every other creation, do this.We know the consequences of smoking and fully aware of the numerous stats and facts there are available, yet we willingly choose to smoke.We know how our actions, careless attitude and words may hurt the very people we love, yet we do it.We know what we need to do to succeed in life, become better people, and make simple yet great contributions to our world, yet we choose to take the lazy or easier path in life.

We the “Knowledgeable Man” – “Human Beings” do it.

If there is anything that the world, history, people, life, and every major event has thought us, it is that we people can do the most amazing of things in each of our lives. We can destruct, create, hate, love, take or give and live as nobody and stay bitter due to our prejudice or become somebody and leave behind a legacy. We can make great positive contributions to humanity, our family or even just one individual. We can influence, coax, inspire or provide.

Yet we either choose to do nothing or often choose to do what is wrong.

When we compare to those who lived just a few decades ago, we go to work in much more sophisticated cars, speak to people on a wireless telephone linked to our car via Bluetooth, work on a laptop with soft wares that practically required basic data input, come home to super think 3D TV programs, best of foods, inside our fanciest houses, and sleep on perhaps the most comfortable and scientifically developed luxurious mattress. And never stop finding reasons to complain about our life, people, fate, bad luck and anything we can find to blame things on!

A little patience and thought in making choices, a little bit of honest introspection, a positive attitude, some faith, and a whole lot of tolerance. Hold these together using sound morals, good values, and sincere and consistent attempts to make yourself a better person, shall make you nothing short of a “Super Human” or more so a “Super Hero”.

My heroes are the ones who survived doing it wrong, who made mistakes, but recovered from them. ~ Bono

So, what does this “Super Hero’s” do? Well, just about what we have known them for doing. They do good deeds, serve humanity, protect people and loved ones, help the poor and needy, fight every obstacle, fail but never give up, goes away in silent contemplation, returns with solutions and courage, accomplished their objectives, succeeds and become a hero amongst those who depend on them.

Nurture your minds with great thoughts. To believe in the heroic makes heroes.  ~ Benjamin Disraeli
In other words, they are generous and charitable in nature, helpful and giving in deeds, protective of their loved ones and others, brave enough to be willing to face every obstacle in life, and develop solutions to get over them, be willing to fail and learn from their experiences, always keep moving forward in life, think, indulge in some self-analysis, make some positive changes in self, change attitudes and muster courage and persevere until they win.If you give these a little thought, you will soon realize that every single one of these acts is possible by you, I or anyone else. Many of them are very simple ones. Easily do-able. The difference being the will and attitude! You do not have to freeze a lake, move a mountain, or fly around the world to do great things. Your greatness lies in the most simplest of things in your daily lives. Often your deeds are perceived to be much greater than you will ever know by those who value it and receive it. The drive, determination and will to keep trying to win regardless of the obstacles, failures, criticism, or time is what makes the difference.

Heroes may not be braver than anyone else. They’re just braver five minutes longer. ~ Ronald Reagan

Try being a “Super Hero” for just one single moment every day. It may become a habit. That habit may inspire another. That inspiration may become contagious and Voila! You have single-handedly influenced the world around you by that 1 single moment by being a”Super Hero”!  You can do small great things and be a hero at work, become a hero for your spouse, for your children, for your siblings, for yourself. Try doing one thing every day that is either generous, brave, selfless, caring or simply humble. Any of these will only add just another positive moment to your life. No, it doesn’t take much. And once done, make it a habit and collect such several “Super Hero” moments and make your life worthwhile. Sponsor a child, a family, be charitable, volunteer at a local shelter for those in need, be compassionate, tolerant, loving, generous, selfless and forgiving.
The reason progress is slow is that we always expect other men to be the heroes and to live the heroic lives. But we all have hero stuff in us. In our sphere of life we can always live more heroically and triumphantly and grow in heroic stature.  ~ Wilferd A. Peterson

Your CHARACTER defines the real you


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“Character is that which reveals moral purpose, exposing the class of things a man chooses and avoids.”

“A good character carries with it the highest power of causing a thing to be believed.” ARISTOTLE (c. 384 – c. 322 BC) Greek philosopher

 

We each in some form or another yearn for love, respect, compassion, acceptance or acknowledgement regardless of our denials or refusal of this fact due to our respective egos. These things have a larger impact in our lives by bringing “value” the several things we do or set to accomplish in life and in the process helps build our purpose and define our lives for us.

 

“A man’s character is his fate.” HERACLITUS (c. 540 – c. 480 BC) — Greek philosopher

 

 

We each end up searching and finding a mate, sometime we demand as opposed to command the respect we believe we have earned, and at times of difficulties and hardships we anticipate the comfort of compassion and frequently and often secretly desire some sort of acknowledgement or praise for the good deeds we have done or the things we have accomplished. When we do not receive these very things that we so dearly desire, we are left disappointed or hurt. Our life, the things we do, the efforts we put in and all our dreams end up feeling meaningless when we do not get the desired “ultimate outcome” .  Such is life. If victory wasn’t the desire wars would be futile and the ultimate outcome of conquering the land or resource will be meaningless.  We are ultimately simple beings often doing one things or the another to earn the very things we desire that completes us, or gives us purpose, satisfaction, meaning, direction and comfort in our lives.

 

“Fame is a vapor, popularity an accident, riches take wing, and only character endures.” HORACE GREELEY (1811-1872) — New York newspaper editor

 

But these things we so desire are only earned and stays with us based on our characters. For example: we can certainly attract people towards us and invoke love in them for who we claim we are or who we pretend to be, but the love will only be gained and will remain with us if it was built and based on our sound character.  Similarly we will attract a pseudo love or temporary love that will never stand the test of time, hardships, stress, or have integrity or loyalty. Worst is that we will lose such love the moment our true character comes out.

 

“The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically… Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education.” MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. (1929-1968) Civil Rights leader

 

The interesting thing about our personalities that invokes people to react to us is our character. Many of us manipulate others to gain the love, respect, compassion and acceptance by pretending to be who we are not and later left hurt and disappointed when we fail in this endeavour. There are those who pretend to be rich, pious, religious, holier than you, hard working, honest, smart, authoritative, experts, etc to gain their desired “ultimate outcome” be it respect, acceptance, love, etc. But when these are not based on truth or honestly the character shall soon reveal the truth and the true identity shall surface. Any honest or intelligent person who meets such pretentious individuals soon identify the true character.  One can do anything but the true ‘character” always prevails and defines the outcomes of what we set to achieve in our lives.

 

“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired, and success achieved.” HELEN KELLER (1880-1968) American blind and deaf writer/lecturer

 

In todays world character holds a greater bearing on our respective individual personalities, goals, values, and most importantly our choices that defines our lives.  Even those who play video games are given the option to build or choose a “character” that will define the strength, qualities, skills and level of success in winning the game. Each character brings with it a whole new and specific set of virtues, strength, character, personality that defines the outcome of the game. The exact same results are defined by our real life characters. What we attract, how we react to experiences in life, how we approach events and people, how we cope with situation, how we reach out and achieve success and how we persevere and fights against this difficult life to accomplish out “ultimate outcome” is defined by our character.

 

“The best index to a person’s character is (a) how he treats people who can’t do him any good, and (b) how he treats people who can’t fight back.” ABIGAIL VAN BUREN (“Dear Abby”) advice columnist

 

Love, respect, regard, acceptance, compassion, are all attributed to an individual’s character.  One can be rich, occupy an authoritative position, look dashingly good, appear very beautiful, or religious, the true character is what will eventually prevail and get the world to react to it. Character is what will make or break you. So, what does a desirable and respectable “character” look like and what does it consist of?

 

 

Honesty: One needs to be honest and deal fairly with people regardless of how they feel about the individual. Keep your commitments, fulfill your promises and honor your words.

 

Respectability: Respect yourself and others. Conduct yourself with decency and be watchful of your behavior. Learn to be considerate of other people’s feelings and beliefs. You do not have to agree with them but you need to have the wisdom that peoples beliefs can be just different but not necessarily right or wrong and they are build by years of personal experiences and events in their individual lives. Respect them.

 

Choices: Your life is nothing but the result of YOUR choice. Make educated choices and weigh in the different outcomes of the choices you make. It is your life and your choices is all that makes the difference. By making good choices you influence the desired outcomes in life and all the appreciation, admiration and gratification that comes along with it.

 

Fairness and balanced opinions: Life is not fair, nor are many people and things. But it doesn’t help you becoming like them. You can only bring about fairness by how you play life. Build and uphold fair values and ideologies in life. Be fair in your judgment and actions. Develop and hold balanced opinions. Nothing is the “only” way. There are several ways to look at one single thing in life. Be fair, be known by your fairness and balanced judgment and suddenly you will find the world around you react to you in similar manner.

 

Compassion: Be honest in expressing your feelings ands care for others. Lend a helping hand whenever you can. Serving humanity is the greatest and the most satisfying aspects of life. Like yourself almost every other human being at some point in their life seeks other peoples help. Be there for others when they need you, especially those who depend on you.

 

Gratitude: Express gratitude every time you have an opportunity. Be thankful for all the things you are blessed with in life and appreciate them. There are many who are less blessed than you and there are many who may appear to be more blessed than you. Every human being finds himself or herself in the middle. The rich are unhappy so are the poor. Each person at the end of their spectrum have their share of happiness and unhappiness. Do complaint or compare. But be appreciative and strive to get better and build on what you are blessed with.

 

Be self critical: In order to become better and truly grow in life, one has to learn to be self critical. Ask yourself if how you live is right? Develop moral values and high principals in life. Strive to become a better person. Improve your quality of life, thinking, speech, behavior and choices.

 

Inspire: Build your personality on sound values and actions of positive progress in life. Just as you have a set of individuals and experiences that have inspired you in your lives, you too will invariably have that effect on others. Learn to live life in a manner that inspires others. Your advices and wisdom fall short of your actions and deeds in life.

 

Moral Values: Do things that is right and that which appeals to your moral conscience. Moral behavior develops moral character. The most difficult of times in life are the most testing of your moral behavior and choices. Strive to always be connected to your moral self and chose to do what is right, even if it is the most difficult. It will help you live a life free of any burden of guilt.


20 simple ways to become a greater person and live happier


Few will have the greatness to bend history itself; but each of us can work to change a small portion of events, and in the total; of all those acts will be written in the history of this generation. ~Robert Kennedy

What is greatness and what does it take to become a great person?

It is a state of mind where one feels or is believed to be superior when compared to others who are similar in type and kind. It is a quality an individual posses that is perceived to be better than all others who are comparable. And we bestow this generous title on those who have do something that is considered beyond ordinary or attainable. Or at times greatness is also witnessed in simple and basic human behavior which elevates someone to a higher status than others. An act of charity, sacrifice for another person’s benefit, inspiring others, being of timely help to someone, visiting a friend a relative to spend some time with them and make them laugh, selflessness, or even a simple kind gesture of kindness can all account for small greatness that each of us can achieve. Needless to say the gratifying experience that we enjoy when we do such small things helps us perhaps reflect upon our own purpose and value in our lives too.  It also encourages us to more such acts and spread more kindness to the people around us.

 Greatness lies, not in being strong, but in the right using of strength; and strength is not used rightly when it serves only to carry a man above his fellows for his own solitary glory. He is the greatest whose strength carries up the most hearts by the attraction of his own. ~Henry Ward Beecher

Greatness can be directed towards self. Greatness in character, in thinking, and taking the trouble and initiative to self improve and progress in our lives. Every one of us gives up at some point in our life on the account of hardships, obstacles, lack of resources or support. But we usually come back to it again and try again. If we didn’t try to over come these obstacles and had given up every time we feel or stumbled , we would never have learned to walk, talk, read, learn, survive, educated ourselves, get a job,  love, trust people, and succeed in life. And people, who are very similar to us, went on to achieve small greatness in each of these simple aspects in their respective lives. They chose to run, speak with beautiful words, choose great material to read, leaned lot more, survived difficult times, learned and chose to get better qualification, get better jobs, earn more, love more, forgive and go small but many such greater things in life.

  As human beings, our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world – that is the myth of the atomic age – as in being able to remake ourselves. ~Mohandas Gandhi

And contrary to popular belief, a person need not be born privileged or with greatness to do great things in life. If we read the lives of many who have contributed the most amazing things to humanity and our world, we will realize that almost every one of them raised from humble beginnings, unthinkable hardships and betrayals. But they were determined, they believed in themselves and persevered to do what they believed in. And they accomplished their small dream or ambition to leave behind an act which we considered to be great. A recent poll conducted by CNN for the Hero of world award was a world-wide revelation of a number of people in our world today who continue to great things in life. People who are not any much different from us. Feeding the poor and needy, clearing mines in Vietnam, helping the war victims selflessly, helping the impoverished, being charitable, simple basic contributions and volunteer work. And there are also those who have made their millions and then spend it all back by being charitable.

 Every day, people settle for less than they deserve. They are only partially living or at best living a partial life. Every human being has the potential for greatness. ~Bo Bennett

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Keep me away from the wisdom which does not cry, the philosophy which does not laugh and the greatness which does not bow before children. ~Khalil Gibran

 Greatness lies in many simple things in life. It really does not take much to do these “Small Greatness” in our daily life. 

Here are 20 simple “Small Great things” we can do and make ourselves and the world we live in a better place:

  1. Forgive those who have done wrong. Let each pay for their deeds, learn their own lessons in life from their mistakes. But you forgive!
  2. Inspire someone by your good deeds, actions and character. Do not tell them, but show them and inspire.
  3. Volunteer your time if you can for a noble cause such as raising funds for cancer, packing food at a food bank etc.
  4. Try to lessen your hatred and bitterness by being tolerant and accepting of other people, culture, habits, and beliefs.
  5. Do not hold any prejudice.
  6. Spending time with your children and do not mind being silly for a while.
  7. Appreciate someone for doing a good thing. It only encourages them to do more of the same again.
  8. Take a cause that serves humanity. ie. cleaning the environment, recycle, use less chemicals.
  9. Write a letter or a note to someone, that will make them feel good about themselves and express the joy and pleasure they bring to you. 
  10. Appreciate the people who love you and do things for you. A simple thank you or a hug can often say a lot.
  11. Try not to deprive an elderly person of anything they desire for and you can afford to give. Love, time, care, concern and an occational scoop of ice cream. You will not believe the amount of happiness you will bring to them!
  12. Remember names of the people you interact with and address them by their name next time you meet them.
  13. Help guide someone through a process to help them establish themselves at work or a new city. 
  14. Do not be too proud or too shy to accept your mistakes and say sorry.
  15. Visit a ward for terminally ill and ask how you can help by volunteering just 1 hour from your weekend. You will be amazed to see the value you can bring to such wards and people.
  16. Develop and educate others with balanced and unbiased opinions about issues when they seek your advice.
  17. Help give some hope in their times of need by sharing your experiences and how you managed to overcome them.
  18. Donate the things you do not use such as used clothes, toys, furniture etc that are in good condition to the needy regardless of their color, race or religion.
  19. If you can sponsor a child or a family. The amount of damage caused by the recent wars, famine, natural disasters and political dismay have left many little orphans, families, and people desperate for basic needs and necessities for their simple survival while the world is swamped on paying the debts that fed these very wars, vanity, and corruption.
  20. Pick up the phone and call that brother, sister, parent or that friends that you have held grudges against and put the senseless anger and bitterness behind you. Start afresh and try to enjoy this short life of yours with less hurt and anger. You will certainly feel lot lighter in your heart and be much happier in your life.

 

 “The first test of a truly great man is his humility.” – John Ruskin

 

“There are countless ways of achieving greatness, but any road to achieving one’s maximum potential must be built on a bedrock of respect for the individual, a commitment to excellence, and a rejection of mediocrity.” – Buck Rodgers

 

“The nobler a man, the harder it is for him to suspect inferiority in others.” – Cicero


You cannot escape LIFE by doing good deeds


 

When I have faced my share of trials and tribulations in life, I have often reacted by asking myself what I have done to deserve this event in my life. The classic question: Why? Why me? This process often follows with the individual reflecting on their past deeds and behaviour and trying hard to see if anything they have done in their past could have warranted this tragic or troubling event in life. Invariability we seek to match our past deeds to the current event and take solace in some sort of justification or as some call it Karma. But, we almost never do the same when a positive or good event occurs in our lives. We seldom find the need to match our past deeds to our gifts in life or happiness. We never find the need to justify our happiness.

We exaggerate misfortune and happiness alike. We are never as bad off or as happy as we say we are.
Honore de Balzac 

We go through our respective lives facing each of our share of events, positive and negative alike, in an assumption that our deeds define the outcome of our life. If we do good, we will be rewarded and if we do bad we shall be punished. This whole life is only a payback process of our deeds. Hence we are often baffled when a negative event occurs that opposes this belief. I always did good, loved everyone, was honest in my relationships, was accommodating, when out of my way to make others happy, helped others, and was charitable in life. Then why was I cheated in love? Or why do people hurt me or care less about my feelings? Similarly, I am honest, hard working and loyal to the firm I work for, yet I am not rewarded, promoted or recognized. These are common situations we face in our lives. We expect these moral and righteous behaviours of ours to be rewarded with an outcome that we believe to be appropriate, just and timely.  And when we do not receive what we expect within the time we expect it, we often retaliate by trying to do the very opposite of our good and moral deeds.

 

We are the only beings on the planet who lead such rich internal lives that it’s not the events that matter most to us, but rather, it’s how we interpret those events that will determine how we think about ourselves and how we will act in the future.
Tony Robbins 

The truth is that the events of our lives is not defined by our deeds but it is a natural series of occurrence that is nothing more than our share of what is called “life”. And this life is shaped by our actions and reactions to the events that occur. If anything, our good deeds are the things we do in good conscience that we believe is the right thing to do and invariably place a certain amount of hope that these good deeds shall be returned to us in some form of reward or blessing during our current life or for those who believe in afterlife. And for those who do such good deeds with an expectation of a fixed desired outcome at a chosen time are often left disappointed. Good deeds in our lives differentiate us from others. They make us greater people, makes us virtuous, build our personality, develop our values in life and earn us love and respectability. Our deeds are rewarded or punished at a time and in a manner of natures choosing by certain divine blessing. It is not said that our deeds will influence the events of our lives. If this was true, then no honest man will ever be cheated, no loving person will ever be hurt in love, no charitable person will ever face hardships, and every sharing and caring person will be blessed with abundance of luck and good fortune all the time.

 

Just as treasures are uncovered from the earth, so virtue appears from good deeds, and wisdom appears from a pure and peaceful mind. To walk safely through the maze of human life, one needs the light of wisdom and the guidance of virtue.
Buddha 

Bad things happen to very good people often. That doesn’t mean that it was an outcome of a bad deed of the past. It is merely their share of bad things in their life. People face many bad events due to their own stupidity. Because they are honest people overly trusting they expect everyone to be honest to them. If a person has never cheated anyone in love he or she may expect never to be cheated in love in return and place an unrealistic expectation of loyalty and trust in another person. Just because you are good it doesn’t make others good people too. Just because you are fair in your individual life it doesn’t make this world a fair and perfect place to live. Your good deeds and beliefs does not make others like you. This world is filled with different people who have different individual experiences and lessons they have learned in their lives. These experiences and events have influenced them to be who they are. You may be born with your siblings who have been raised with the same set of beliefs and experiences in their lives, yet each one of you may turn out to be different. The person beside you who helped feed a needy may do the act of charity for a totally different reason and face a totally different life and the events that are his or her share of life. Innocent children are faced with cancer or born in countries faced with famine. Several innocent people and people who do several good deeds in life fall victim to natural disasters, life threatening diseases, or the outcome of a war.

 

“We become just by performing just actions, temperate by performing temperate actions, brave by performing brave actions.” Aristotle

 

We place an unrealistic value and expectation on the things we do in good faith and conscience. We will certainly be rewarded for our good deeds. But it may not be in a form or a time as we expect it to be.  Likewise, every bad thing we do, we will face the consequences of it. Again, it may not be at a time and manner we think it may happen. Nature has its own very way to balance things in life. Regardless of our good or bad deeds in life, we each will have to face our share of good and bad events of our respective lives. There is no escape from life. Life happens to everyone. Our deeds will in no way change the events in our lives, but if anything it may give us the wisdom, comfort, courage and confidence in our own goodness and help us react to the event in the best possible manner. For example, if we have spent our lives helping others in need, we shall face our times of need with a certain level of courage and wisdom that other people similar to us exist and will help us should we cross paths. But just because we have helped others in need it is no guarantee that we will never face our share of helplessness or time of need. We each have our share of good and bad to face. Our deeds help us through these times and our reactions to these good and bad events in life define the outcome of our lives. We need to continue to do good and be good human beings for the sake of our own sanity and to maintain a good and clear conscience. This will help us build our individual characters based on high moral beliefs, righteousness, pride, and self esteem. These qualities will in turn help us react to our lives and the events within with confidence, courage, faith, and positivity. Our good deeds build our self confidence, pride, self esteem and confidence. Do good for these reasons. Do not do good expecting a reward or immediate gratification by others. Do it for your inner self, peace, and for humanity regardless of caste, creed or religion by listening to your good conscience.

 

Life is a series of experiences, each one of which makes us bigger, even though sometimes it is hard to realize this. For the world was built to develop character, and we must learn that the setbacks and grieves which we endure help us in our marching onward.
Henry Ford

 

 

 


The wisdom to win every loosing fight


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A champion is afraid of losing. Everyone else is afraid of winning. ~
Billie Jean King 

Every one of us likes to be recognized for our efforts and deeds. Perhaps not necessarily by elaborate recognitions, awards and titles being endowed upon us, but certainly by means of appreciation, respect, acknowledgement, gratitude and love for the things we do.  Some of us may do things expecting nothing in return, and do things for our own personal or spiritual satisfaction, while others may set out to accomplish great things because they believe in its value and purpose. But then there are those who do things to be the best in whatever they choose to do.

The great winners who become inspirational heroes, guiding light for others to follow and accomplish the unthinkable are those who combine all of these three qualities and values towards one determined purpose. To win and be the best of the best!

It’s easy to have faith in yourself and have discipline when you’re a winner, when you’re number one. What you got to have is faith and discipline when you’re not a winner. ~ Vince Lombardi

Every fighter, sportsman, politician, writer, activist, actor, or anyone from any walk of life who has done something great and is being regards as an inspirational figure demonstrated the same qualities of these three kids of people combined in accomplishing what every they set out to do. They believed in their purpose, yearned for the respect and appreciation of their peers, aligned their personal and spiritual goals, and strived to be the best they can every be in what the intend to do.

Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength. ~ Arnold Schwarzenegger

The most wonderful thing that comes out of a combination of such qualities is Courage and Determination.  Both of  which are supremely essential for one to persistently face, and overcome each and every hardships, obstacles, deviating forces, confusion, delays, frustrations, failures, exhaustion, fatigue and losses.  For the road to success entails all of these aspects regardless of your objective and final goal. It is inevitable for one to question these numerous challenges along the way, but to get to the top a true winner doesn’t stop to ask “why?” but rather chooses to ask “why not?” Because, once you win and get to the top, it is only the hard knocks and the harsh lessons you experienced along the way that gives you the wisdom, humility, balance, and character that others find inspiring.

I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed. ~ Michael Jordan

The fighter in the ring consistently and strategically beats and breaks down the opponents’ body every round after round. While he is doing so, the opponent is simultaneously doing the same to him. Both keep going at each other till each other’s body breaks down in the most excruciating of pain. They both finally reach at the verge of collapsing. It is at that very point in the fight, the true winner emerges. After the total breakdown of physical power, the true fighter while lying down, gathers his will, courage and determination, (mind over body) and gets back on his feet.  It is in that moment where he goes above and beyond the will, determination and courage of his opponent that he wins the fight. But in that very moment where he experiences the pain, and agony of his body, he realizes the strength, might and power of his adversary. Thus he becomes humble, forgets the prefight hatred, expresses his respect and gratitude to his opponent and gains the respect and adulations of his peers and fans alike.

Winning is about heart, not just legs. It’s got to be in the right place. ~ Lance Armstrong

Several people face their share of battles in life. Some of us choose greater ones to fight. Hopefully these battles are of worthy and noble purposes. But where many of us fail is often at the last round. Where you need your will, determination, and courage to take over your body and stand up. We face several challenges and fight them all until the last round. It is in that very moment our choice in action determines if we will be a winner or not.  And it is right there where the experience gained through all the hardships faced along the way, calls upon your wisdom.  The only thing that stands between you and the winner in you is YOU! Your choice, will, courage and determination!

Winning is not a sometime thing; it’s an all time thing. You don’t win once in a while, you don’t do things right once in a while, you do them right all the time. Winning is habit. Unfortunately, so is losing. ~ Vince Lombardi


20 things life is not


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The purpose of life is a life of purpose. ~Robert Byrne

1. It is not how you will die, but it is all about how you live

2. It is not about what you have got, but it is about what you give

3. It is not about how much have you gained, but it is more about how much you have shared

4. It is not your accomplishments, but it is what you have done with them

5. It is not the respect you get but the respect you give others

Life is the sum of all your choices. ~Albert Camus

6. It is not about the things people do for you, but how selflessly they do it for you

7. It is not how much you have earned, but it is what you do with it

8. It is not about the victory, but it is how you fought the battle

9. It is not about having principles in life, but it is how you uphold them

10. It is not about loving someone, but it is how you treat their love

It is not living that matters, but living rightly. ~ Socrates

11. It is not what you give to others, but the intention and the fact you care to give

12. It is not what you claim, but it is all about what you do

13. It is not about motivating others, but it is rather about inspiring others

14. It is not about what others do or say to you, but it is all about how you react to it

15. It is not about becoming famous, but it is about what you become famous for

The unexamined life is not worth living. ~ Socrates 

16. It is not about the circumstances it has put you in, but the choices you make under these circumstances

17. It is not about you are right or wrong, but it is about being right and still being humble about it

18. It is not about who is wrong, but what matters is if you are right

19. It is not about tolerance, but it is about acceptance

20. It is not about people, but it is about humanity

It is not length of life, but depth of life. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson


Only you can build your character and carve your destiny


 

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Recently I had a near death experience where my heart failed to produce its electrical pulses and a Pacemaker had to be put in to keep it going. Soon after the few fatal episodes of fainting due to the oxygen not being sent to my brains as my heart failed to beat, I found myself at the ER with a temporary pacemaker placed through one of the arteries through my neck.

 

In the next few days that followed I was going through a series of test before a permanent pacemaker was eventually going to be implanted. While I lie at the Cardiac ward awaiting the day to come and go soon, I was overwhelmed with thoughts and memories about my life, and the realization of how short life can be. Invariably I did question the creator and why I was chosen to be the 1 in a million to have this problem. I am rebuilding my life again and doing all the right things in life to build upon a new found courage and wisdom where I began to make serious efforts to become a better and positive person. I couldn’t get the “why me?” out of my mind regardless the fact that I fully well was aware that it could have been worse and this was nothing compared to the millions of kids and innocent people who are suffering with much more severe and fatal conditions for no fault of theirs.

 

The night before the surgery, I took a walk around my ward to relax a bit and ease the anxiety a little. While I was observing the people, the tirelessly serving and caring nurses and watching the pictures that were put up on the walls in the corridor, I was stopped by a couple of the posters that caught my attention that were hanging on the wall by an exit door.

 

One read this:

Watch you thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habits. Watch your habits; they become your character. Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.

 

Needless to say this did have a profound effect on me and my way of thinking about life. Especially after experiencing firsthand how short life can be and things can happen so suddenly and turn your whole life around or end it.

 

We are often very careless of our own behaviour and the effect it has on the people we interact with. We about life as though we have all the time we can to say and do things without thinking of the effects and consequences that they make have on ourselves and others. As we proceed towards our final destiny we seldom stop to think about ourselves or analyze our actions, deeds and behaviours. We hurt others, become greedy, do and say things without paying any attention to its meanings and how it is perceived by others, do not care about others, and choose to live life as though we have nothing to do with others and this world and we can only care less about them. Yet we rely on others for their compassion, help, assistance, friendships, love, guidance, support, kindness, wisdom, courtesy etc. We expect the world to be fair to us, nature to be kind, resources to be endlessly flowing, weather to be mild, systems to be fair, politics to inconsequential on our individual lives, etc. One day comes along when we will have our kids and younger generations look up to us for our wisdom, guidance, support, assistance, kindness, compassion, empathy and help just as the world we share today does from us as well.  And yet we seldom pay attention to our character. We continue to expect everything and at times demand all that we desire regardless of the fact we are worthy of them or have earned the right to have them.

 

But if we truly watch out thoughts, pay attention to our words, be mindful of our actions and carefully control our habits, we can certainly build ourselves a fine rewarding character that will pave our success and destiny. For when we are nothing more than just a tomb stone, the world we leave behind shall only remember and love us for our character, and the deeds we have left behind.

The next poster hanging on the opposite wall was a famous quote by William Penn:

I expect to pass through life but once.  If therefore, there be any kindness I can show, or any good thing I can do to any fellow being, let me do it now, and not defer or neglect it, as I shall not pass this way again.  ~William Penn

Need I say anymore?

 


How to change your life around this year


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Watch Video below:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VYjmHlNnbjQ

 

“The potential of the average person is like a huge ocean unsailed, a new continent unexplored, a world of possibilities waiting to be released and channeled toward some great good.” – Brian Tracy

CHANGE YOUR LIFE AROUND THIS YEAR! 

12 simple ways to Get up, Get Inspired, Carve your own success and do great things in life!

  1. Become a Super Hero – Realize your potential and do great things like a super hero does.
  2. Take responsibility of your life and your choices – Stop blaming others and circumstances. Take charge and action to change your life around.
  3. Be courageous and fight against all odds to success – You are not the only one who needs to fight against the odds to succeed. Join the other great achievers and learn to stand tall and become courageous enough to win your battles.
  4. Do not be cynical and negative – Turn your negativity and bitterness to positive energy and a fresh look towards the possibilities.
  5. Get up and solve your problems, do not dwell in it – Learn to see every problem you face as an  opportunity to develop a solution.
  6. Awaken your conscience and realize true happiness – Be   with your inner-self. Listen to your heart and draw the strength and wisdom from within.
  7. Become a greater person – Do things that makes you stand out and become a greater human being. Do things that makes you special and enables you to make positive changes to your world.
  8. Count your blessings and be grateful – Learn to realize the amazing gifts you have got in life as opposed to dwelling in your hurdles. You will only be amazed to see the countless gifts and support systems you are blessed with in life.
  9. Earn your respect – Live a respectable life. Earn your respect from your peers and people by learning to act in a manner worthy of it.
  10. Get healthy and look good – Take a good look at your health and get healthy. Use your sensibilities and common facts to lead a healthier life that enables you to enjoy your accomplishments.
  11. Earn more, enjoy it and be wise with your money – Take charge of protecting and investing your finances as opposed to falling victim to economic patterns and bad advices.
  12. Listen to life and learn the lessons it teaches us – Learn from your surroundings and the countless lessons that life offers you in abundant examples.

 “To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream, not only plan, but also believe.
– Anatole France

Set your Tail on Fire is a book for those you are tired of blaming the world and falling victim to circumstances. Filled with the wisdom, experiences, quotes, and inspirational ideas, this book written in 12 short chapters, is about how you can take charge of your life, realize your potential and set out to do fantastic things in life!

DOWNLOAD ebook HERE:

http://www.amazon.com/Set-Your-Tail-Fire-ebook/dp/B006EXL9S4/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1322534925&sr=8-2


Losing my religion but keeping my faith


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When I was 16 I turned to God to save me from a pending consequence of my failure to prepare myself for a rather major exam at school. Not being ever inclined towards the religion I was born into or God or faith, like all scoundrels do, I resorted to invoke the power of the creator for a miracle to save me.  I was failed by my new found and short lived faith.

Faith, indeed, has up to the present not been able to move real mountains…. But it can put mountains where there are none.  ~Friedrich Nietzche, Human, All Too Human, 1879

Later again, during the same winter, I woke up to the sound of someone banging at my door amidst a roaring winter storm in my dormitory at school. A building and the surroundings that was claimed to be notoriously haunted sitting alone below a hill surrounded by sprawling fields and mature trees. The abandoned church and an old cemetery beside added the buildings added to my naive fear and fright when I realized that I was staying alone in that section of the building being the holidays that December. My immediate reaction was to immediately reach out to the Holy Book that sat beside my bed holding the power of assurance and protection from all that is considered to be evil and harming. But this time, the moment I grabbed the book and clenched it against my chest, I noticed the banging on the door had stopped and in a few minutes the storm had shockingly settled. It was perhaps that that moment my faith in my religion was reluctantly born.

As your faith is strengthened you will find that there is no longer the need to have a sense of control, that things will flow as they will, and that you will flow with them, to your great delight and benefit.  ~Emmanuel

The preceding years lead me to learning more about my religion, and exploring the power of prayers and faith in, what was then, “my” God. As I explored further and tested my new found faith by prayers whenever I found the need, I was often rewarded with all that I had asked for at that moment. Thus my faith in the creator and the power of prayers solidified. But I thankfully had the wisdom and never did seek for anything that was materialistic or based on greed.

Doubt is a pain too lonely to know that faith is his twin brother.  ~Kahlil Gibran

But as life took over and time passed where the time to fight the daily hurdles and challenges of took precedence, my incline towards my religion declined. But often it found its way into my heart as I began to learn more and observe the disparity between the Godly people and their true virtues. I began to see the hatred and anger being spread by those who claim their religion to be that of peace and love. I increasingly began to question the numerous faith and basic sensibilities defying rituals that were followed by all the religious around the world including that of mine. And the arrogant claim by those who consider themselves to be holier than others about not being allowed to question the rituals and religion began to develop a sense of implied force on my beliefs. The need to follow like sheep, obey the rituals and cultural systems developed and instilled hundreds of years ago didn’t sit well with me.

The faith that stands on authority is not faith.  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Later as time and life permitted I ventured to learn and educate myself about the history of my own religion. The origin, how it was initiated, the Prophet, the teachings, the events soon after the prophets death, the political factions, the compilation of the holy book, the development of cultural norms, laws and rituals, the people who were instrumental in spreading the religion, the early oppositions etc  were very interesting and highly educational to say the least. I paid careful attention to read and learn from various materials to form an unbiased opinion about my religion. Then I took this approach further to learn about other religions and faith systems around the world.  My intention wasn’t to become an expert in any particular faith or a theologian. But my efforts were only fuelled by my interest to explore and learn the history of other faiths, what they preach and how they were born and spread. Although I occasionally did seek to understand which of these religions were better in comparison, but my findings often proved to confuse me more. Similarly, my respect for other faith systems grew and my acceptance of their moral beliefs and values increased. But I could never find any respect in the many mindless rituals and basterdized and corrupted versions of all these faiths.

 

All religions must be tolerated… for… every man must get to heaven his own way.  ~Frederick the Great

Sadly, all faiths and religions have its share of legitimate and made up stories and tales, politically motivated laws and wars, crusaders, manipulations of the rituals and norms by the then leaders, several territorial and economy based wars, mysteries, wise kings and humane commanders, and a hand full of ruthless and senseless leaders. There are many within each of these religions who may agree and disagree with these facts as well. Some blinded by their fear of learning the truth that may alter their age old beliefs, some who chose to mindlessly follow the opinions of those they place their faith in, some insensibly defiant, and who fear losing their spirituality and faith in their God should the rituals and history known to them are proved wrong.

 

This is my simple religion.  There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy.  Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness.  ~Dalai Lama

But amuses me most is the fact that all Gods messages are almost identical. The moral conducts and the values asked are exactly the same. Do not kill the innocent, spread love, be charitable, do not lie, be generous, pray, be righteous, be generous, hold moral principles, respect one and  other, all creation regardless of caste, creed or color are made by God, respect, protect and serve all of Gods creation are some of the common messages from all of these Gods. And all these messages were often conveyed to man by those who were considered to be prophets. The messages were pure, clear, made sense and were highly inspirational.

Our respective religions were born soon after the demise of these prophets. The people who were soon, elected, appointed or took over the responsibility of upholding the preaching of these prophets eventually developed and established the respective religions. And as time passed each of these religions developed their respective cultures, laws, and territorial expanse by either war or offering protection.

 

Man is a Religious Animal.  He is the only Religious Animal.  He is the only animal that has the True Religion – several of them.  He is the only animal that loves his neighbor as himself and cuts his throat if his theology isn’t straight.  He has made a graveyard of the globe in trying his honest best to smooth his brother’s path to happiness and heaven.  ~Mark Twain

Today after many hundreds of years after all the major religions had been established many of us sit pondering and questioning several misconceptions and rituals that many of these religions have been carrying. We, the more civilized, developed and educated people of today and the most intelligent of all of Gods creation still indulge in senseless behaviours that all of our respective individual faith systems condemn. Hate, prejudice, intolerance, disrespect and discrimination still continue. We have developed, advanced, challenged and changed age old paradigms and constitutions and progressively evolved. But we never have managed to let our religions to progressively evolve along with the ages and time. Many of us continue to conform to age old rituals and tales of our respective faiths, seek to follow blindly but never strive to get explore and learn, refuse to face the truth and continue to disrespect the very core moral behaviours that each of our Gods have asked of us.

 

There is only one religion, though there are a hundred versions of it.  ~George Bernard Shaw

But I for one am now perhaps more at peace with my faith and spirituality. I have grown to respect and accept every faith as I hardly see any difference between them. Although I still continue to question several rituals and tales within many of these religions, I have witnessed and seen that each of these faith systems get their prayers answered, believe on the same moral conducts, and the followers are allowed to progress, question, learn and be happy by their respective God or creator of mankind. Faith heals, faith empowers people, and for many the belief they have in God and the powers of their faith helps them sail through many of their troubles in life. I have grown beyond stereo typing a terrorist or a Zionist by their faith or religion and learned that the political and economic objectives influence all of the wars and hatred and not faith. Good people and bad people exist in every faith or religion and it is not a representation of their religion, but just the way human beings are. I do not belive any religion or faith is greater than the other but merely the same concept on moral values with different methods of worship and rituals based on the cultures and time when it was realized.

I have taken a strong stance against religion base charities as opposed to charity for humanity regardless of their religion or color. I have little regard for those who claim to be holier than thou. And I believe that bringing respect and identity to ones faiths must be done by an individual’s character and deeds rather than their attire and proclamation. Being a greater, tolerant and humble human being is much greater than being a good religious person. I still fail to understand the blind ritualistic behaviours of certain religions where a living man is treated as God and continue to be baffled by the often highly educated people who blindly follow many senseless rituals and conform to certain highly primitive thinking. But I have also learned that there are several things that we may not understand today, but time and wisdom shall open us to better understanding and acceptance towards out own self, faiths and other people.  

My religiosity consists in a humble admiration of the infinitely superior spirit that reveals itself in the little that we, with our weak and transitory understanding, can comprehend of reality.  Morality is of the highest importance – but for us, not for God.  ~Albert Einstein

I many have lost and found my religion many times, but I have never managed to lose my faith in the creator, good, and serving humanity. Serving humanity regardless of their religion, color or race is certainly more gratifying than otherwise. And accepting and respecting everyone beyond their individual faiths has become supremely important in our world today than ever before.  For, if you are a believer; when you die and if you do happen to face the creator, it is your individual actions and decisions that shall be questioned on your conduct in this life. Your excuses, influences and circumstances will hold no value against your own beliefs, behaviour and faith.


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