Category Archives: relationships

Stop being the problem and Start becoming the solution


kc


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.


Tomorrow comes when it’s too late: Quick criticism and delayed appreciation


 

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Today I swung by Starbucks to get my usual fix of caffeine. Although I am not a big fan of Starbucks coffee I must say that I truly enjoy the atmosphere of this particular store. With the usual separate entrance door from the outside it is within a popular books store. Conveniently and strategically placed in the corner of the book store, it sits spreading its aroma beside the Magazines and newspaper stand.

 

I grabbed my latte and walked up to Calorie stand to load it up with the brown sugar, and cream in my desperate effort to drown the strong Columbian flavour that is sold like fine wine. While I was going about building my perfect concoction, I couldn’t help notice the side display of the magazine stand. There sat the line up of the best and most popular weekly and monthly issues. Fortune, Time, Newsweek, New Yorker etc all sat there touting their story. What was amusing is the fact that all their covers had the same person: Steve Jobs! Commemorative issues and weekly issues all praising the genius and thanking him for his amazing and wondrous contributions made to our world. The New Yorker even had St. Peter standing at the Pearly gates holding an I Pad welcoming Steve Jobs. Needless to say that all praise and adulations still fall short of the contributions made by him.

I was never too keen on the British music press. They’ve called us a supermarket hype, and they used to suggest that we didn’t write our own songs. ~ Freddie Mercury
 
What truly amuses me is the fact that such greatness is only admired, revered and honoured only after such an individual passes away. If we recollect, we can list several such great contributors to our world who have often been ridiculed and criticized endlessly until their demise and from that moment on the media and press can only remember their greatness and contributions. They will thank them, honour them, list their achievements and contributions and solemnly realize the amazing gift they were when they lived. But all this only occurs after they are gone. Some of our greatest scientists, musicians, artists, actors, politicians were all victims to many harsh criticisms when they lived and soon turned into great individuals and contributors to their profession, art and the world only after their death. Galileo Galilee, Socrates, Vincent Van Gogh, Emily Dickson, Kurt Cobain, Michael Jackson are a very few who come to mind.

There is more hunger for love and appreciation in this world than for bread. ~ Mother Teresa

 

The same is true within our immediate life circles as opposed to famous people or celebrities. We truly come to appreciate our siblings, friends, parents, grandparents family members only after we lose them or they leave us. And all the time while they were alive never once it occurs to us to walk up to them and appreciate them or thank them for the value and joy they bring to us in our lives. Often when we happen to lose someone who we never liked or hated at times, we find it very hard to think of the very reasons why we held such feelings for them. The only thoughts that occupy our minds are the good memories and the nice things they did for us when they were alive. Often too little and too late to be realized and appreciated.  Weather we taken them for granted, we are blinded by our arrogance and pride, or carelessly leave such thoughts for later in life, we often come to a stage when we regret not having done what we should have much earlier. The guilt, sorrow and the regret once such time arrives is too burdensome for many.  I myself am guilty of such gross negligence and arrogance. I find it very difficult to bury my guilt when I think of the idiotic reasons I held on to against my mother when she was alive and never did give her the love and affection she very much was longing for. Then a few days after she passed away, I opened her cupboard and found the favourite toys from my childhood neatly arranged on the first main shelf. I was away during her last few years alive and seldom spoke to her over the phone. Yet she kept looking at these toys every single day she opened her cupboard and perhaps cherished the memories it brought to her.

At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us. ~ Albert Schweitzer

 

We live in an age and time of false sense of entitlement and the need for instant momentary gratification. We live a life of greater wants and ambition with dwindling values and appreciation for many things and people.  Seldom do we stop to realize our actions or the repercussion of our spontaneous bursts of criticism and opinions without any thought put into it. We are too quick to criticize, blame others, discard sound advices, and continue to live with our prejudice, inflated egos, momentary satisfactions, arrogance and deliberately living in denial. Yet we carry the audacity to feel insulted and aggravated when someone points our mistakes, criticizes our actions, volunteers their advices or offers to help us get better.  

 

Our souls may lose their peace and even disturb other people’s, if we are always criticizing trivial actions – which often are not real defects at all, but we construe them wrongly through our ignorance of their motives. ~ Saint Teresa

We truly need to practice more Thank you, generosity, selflessness, appreciation of others, understand their importance, and realize their value as we would like others to extend the same to us. We can truly become much happier people by being appreciative of others, things and people in our lives and become less bitter and angry individuals by giving up on criticising others, being cynical, holding hatred, and being intolerant.

 

“Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain but it takes character and self control to be understanding and forgiving. ~ Dale Carnegie

 

By appreciation, we make excellence in others our own property. ~ Voltaire

 


Personality Progressive Development


 

 

Yes, personality has external and other factors that determine it. Heredity, our respective external environment, personal experiences and specific circumstances have a bearing on our respective individual personalities. However, other than heredity, we as humans can exercise your power to choose and think to make the changes we need to our personalities as opposed to blaming other factors. As we grow older, gain maturity, develop our own beliefs, opinions, ability to think, ability to differentiate between good and bad, ability to choose and disregard, we can make the much-needed developments to make ourselves better human beings in the process. As we all know that personality always changes over time and based on individual experiences, we can surely choose to make these experiences and time to shape ourselves as better individuals. It is easy to blame our faults and lack of ability to progressively evolve into better human beings, but it is imperative for us to take ownership of our own good and change our personalities for the better.  

Here are some ideas to help build a positive personality. Following these can and will help you become more popular, likeable, loveable, and impact your life very positively:

Identify yourself first: Be reasonably self-analytical and critical. Compare yourself to an ideal personality you seek to become and ask yourself why that personality. Identify areas you need to develop or improve. Try to understand who you really are, where do you come from, and what are the good and bad morals and values of who you truly are.

Recognize the need for improvement and progress: Realize your pitfalls and mistakes. List areas of improvement and development needed. See where you what to be, how do you want to be, how do you want people to see you as. And in doing so, ensure you are being realistic and are aiming for honest, moral and positive attributes.

Learn willingly and openly: Learn from others, pick their goodness and good wisdom, and reject their bad habits and beliefs. Search for good sources to learn from all and every experience from your life. Don’t reject anyone or any things you can learn from. Wise wisdom can be found in any place from anyone, so can immoral aspects. Choose the good and keep learning.

Take charge and responsibility: Know that you have the capability and courage to become who you want. Be determined and take charge of your own development. Not doing anything will not get you anywhere. So, become responsible and a confident individual.

Be genuine and honest: Be honest in your efforts. Be honest to self and be honest with others. Your honesty is clearly visible. Do not take others for fools and assume they can’t see your dishonesty. If people do not react it doesn’t mean they believe you. Your honest is very clearly visible in your actions, deeds, and words.

Be considerate and polite: Develop basic skills to behave, talk, act and think in a considerate and polite manner. By respectful of others before you expect them to show these attributes to you.

Follow through your commitments: When you give your word or commit to something, be bold, courageous and honorable enough to follow through with your actions. Weather it is in a relationship or work, one has to learn the value of integrity and consequences of misleading someone and having them pin their hopes, desires, wishes and emotions to their commitment. A person, who doesn’t stand by their word and follow through in actions, will never be able to find true happiness or respect within or from others. 

Be selective and aware of your choice of words: Use positive words always. Speak softly, yet clearly and firmly. Think of sentences and words before you speak to avoid misunderstandings. Use kind and eloquent words when and where possible. Control your voice when you speak. Be aware and respectful of your surroundings. Think how you are coming across to your audience.

Be sensible with criticism: Do not criticize. You may casually be critical amongst your close friends and family, but be aware there is a limit there too. If people laugh along with you it doesn’t mean they approve of your criticism. And remember that there is only a fine line between criticism, condemnation and character assassination.

Be a good listener: One of the key factors is to be a good listener. Learn to be patient, show genuine interest, look them in the eye, and truly listen to what they are saying to you. Ask questions, don’t interrupt, and be considerate.

Motivate and Inspire: Speak words and act in a manner that inspires others and motivates others to become positive and be happier. I call this putting butterflies in their stomachs. Say things to help others that make sense and makes then smile and ticklish in their stomach. Positive words with a smile, smell good, dress good, walk tall, etc.

Recognize Good and appreciate it: If you recognize and appreciate a good behavior in a person, it makes the other person repeat this particular behavior more. When you see good, walk up to this person and express your appreciation. You there by build their confidence and boost their positive behavior.

Be generous and helpful and expect nothing in return: Help others generously. Help by sharing knowledge, teach, share wealth with the poor, share your wisdom, your experiences, share your goodness. And do it with humility by understanding you too take and need others help in life. And do it freely as a good human being and expect nothing in return.

Be humble and grateful: Thank people, give away your ego in exchange for gratefulness. Be nice, and do not show off. Let yourself be known by your character and class. Not as a shameless and cheap loud mouth.

Be honorable and loyal: Keep your, morals, values, principles and honor intact. People will learn to depend on you based on these virtues.

Carry a great sense of humor: This one attribute will help you sail through any problems, complexities, stress and relationships. Take a lighter look at situations and learn to see the funnier side of things. Laugh at them and share the laughter. Learn to laugh at yourself.

Don’t procrastinate: Daily make it a habit to list things, then prioritize them and aim to complete the top three at least in a given day always. This will eventually give you a tremendous sense of accomplishment and impact your attitude positively.

Take care of your appearance: Don’t become careless and disregard your appearance. Always aim to look good, maintain good hygiene, appear to be clean, smell good, dress well, etc. Take care of your health, weight, and appearance.

Earn Respect: Don’t expect people to respect your title, age or gender. Earn their respect by behaving in a manner that contributes to your title, age gender etc. Earn the right to give advice, comment, or speak. Give respect before you expect it from others. And command respect by your behavior, do not shamelessly demand it when you do not get any.

Become a better Human being as well. Or more importantly be a human being that makes others what to be like you. Be able to respect yourself and see how you come across as a person and an individual to the world around you. Here are a few perspective I like to share to become a good human being first:

  • Love everyone regardless of caste, religion, creed, color, country or culture but for the good in them. The will love you back for the same reasons.
  • Strive to become a moral and responsible individual.
  • Respect all as well and above all do not be critical of the differences. They will reciprocate in the same manner towards you.
  • Be honest to self first. You will be rewarded and others will respect you for that.
  • Build character by actions and deeds, and not by words. You will inspire others and your loved ones by this.
  • You will find common ground with every person you meet if you want to. But you should be willing to communicate and be approachable.
  • Establish your identity by character. Not by your skin color, culture or religion. You will win the love, respect and appreciation of all people you meet all through your life.
  • Take pride in who you are and what you are made of. If you don’t respect yourself, your culture or religion, others will not respect these either.
  • Don’t build a pseudo personality in order to pretend to be affiliated to a popular group or a person to win their love and respect. Real people can see through it. And you eventually will find yourself to be lonely as your pretentious guard will one day fall.
  • Learn and be self-critical! Do not be so pig-headed that you never improve yourself and deteriorate over time in knowledge and wisdom.
  • Lastly, please take time to appreciate what you like in others. It’s a simple phenomenon. The more you appreciate what you liked in one person, the more that person feels like giving it to you and others.

 


To love and to be loved in return


 

Pondered and discussed many a times, but seldom experienced the true feelings and emotions, and the very few blessed ones who have are either in bliss or some who are eternally in pain yet in love with the feeling. Love!

Many aspire to experience love, some assume from what they see and are told and some imagine it to be something that’s a wonderful feeling that completes their experiences. Many feel being in love makes them more tolerant and some feel it makes them feel peaceful yet there are those who fight, in love, which is mauled by their very own ego, envy and possessiveness. Often mistaken as something that one rightfully deserves for just merely existing, many forget that love is actually about giving unconditionally. And experiencing love is the wonderful act when someone returns that love you have given them.

Love is a feeling, an emotion, and an experience that’s not tangible. It cannot be held, possessed, locked up, or limited. It has to be realized as free as it should be. Once a person begins to feel possessive, and selfish about love, it disappears like a smoke. Love is also the pain in which one missed someone. Love is also in the happiness when it’s shared. Loves can also be a one way street. One can be in love secretly and still feel loved.

Love, is not just about an exchange of emotions or the complexities that part takes within a relationship between two individuals. I feel it’s about the emotions involved within ones heart when they give away something that is very dear to their heart to someone else and find greater satisfaction and peace in doing so. It’s about the thought process one undergoes along with their own very personal emotions when selflessness becomes more valuable then what you get out from a relationship. It is about the synergies and the willingness to give up something for the other person’s happiness or to accommodate a situation for other person’s happiness. It’s about one finding peace within owns pain. It’s about the little moments and gestures one takes for granted when in love but die for every single one of them when they are apart. It’s about each and every sense of theirs that is associated to moments shared that they can think about and dwell in it for a life time. It is a personal self induced level of pain and sorrow that they themselves allow it to push it to the maximum threshold.

 

The hunger for love is much more difficult to remove than the hunger for bread.  ~Mother Teresa

 

Sadly all of us live in a very practical world with several outside influences that are ready to bombard us with their ever willing wisdom and positive reinforcement that helps us stride over any difficult circumstances in our world. And we has a part of the culture we live in or believe in are too vulnerable to quickly enshroud ourselves in these numerous shades of cloaks that are thrown upon us to cover our wounds, which I believe are usually inflicted by ourselves as a result of our own choices in reacting to situations.

The problem with us as human beings is that we are fundamentally flawed. We grow in a culture or society that influences our behaviour in various ways hence building our basic knowledge of life and what love and separation is. Then we are further influenced by situations and individuals that show us how to react to a situation. As time goes by, we build our own ideas on what is wrong and what is right. Thankfully many of us usually are on the ball with basic morals and principles in life, but sadly we all falter in our choices in reactions.

Over 90 percent of what we believe life is a result of our own choices in reaction to any situation in our lives. For example, we choose who to love, we choose who we think are good for us based on what we choose to be a lifestyle we want to live, we choose how much we want to give then in a relationship, we choose to limit our sacrifices or go ahead hook line and sinker, we choose to expect things in return, and we choose to react to situations as we feel is right when things don’t go the way we want and we choose who to blame for it and we choose what to do with the situation, and we choose to part ways or to mend it etc. of course, all this or many of this is only true when we are given the choice. But then again, we choose to succumb to the situation due to our own willingness to accept or we can choose to fight.

 

A lover is a man who tries to be more amiable than it is possible for him to be.  ~Nicholas de Chamfort

 

I believe that if we have our choice in how we build and react to situations in a relationship, why do we often choose the wrong path that usually hurts us the most? Many of us are usually very smart enough to choose between right and wrong but why do we choose to later anyway? When a close friend of ours says something bad or offensive to us, many of us choose to keep quiet and not react to it because of the friendship. We knowingly or unknowing take a lot of unflattering and at times humiliating criticism from our close friends, but we choose not to accept any criticism from our loved ones or our life partners, why? Why are we quick to apologize to our friends or forgive them for their mistakes when we don’t do the same with our loved ones?

I have found many people who never indulge in self criticism. And they do it by a very conscience choice. We are surely victims of circumstances many a times. But what we do with it is our choice. We are more inclined towards animal instincts and trick ourselves into believing in it rather than resort to our self reasoning or choose to react to a situation with the most positive impact.

In love or in separation, if we choose to react to any argument, situation, circumstance which will result with the most positive impact in the other person, we could make our lives almost perfect. But we have traditionally chosen not to. The choice of positive impact is ours but the circumstances that befall upon us is often beyond our control. In love we choose to woo the other person as much as we can because we desire to have them in our life at any cost. Some or many of us often choose to go to the extent of pretending to being someone who we aren’t to win the other persons heart. But once we have accomplished what we wanted, we choose to fall back to who we are which results in the classic “you were so different before marriage, it looks like I am married to a stranger”. Why? We chose not to be honest. It is our choosing.

 

All men and women have an equal need for love. When these needs are not fulfilled it is easy to have our feelings hurt, for which we blame our partner. ~ John Gray

People tend to blame love casually. Love doesn’t fail anyone. One can’t be failed by love. Love is an expression, a feeling, a sentiment, an emotion. People, fail in love not by love, and people misuse or abuse love. Human beings use love to fulfill their momentary motives and selfish desires sadly. Don’t blame love but blame the lover. People fail you not love.

Love exists. It exists in many forms. Love for God, life, the look into a baby’s eyes, when a baby cuddles you back, a pet, a friend, a sibling, your parents love for you etc. Perhaps the type of love or the type of lover one seeks may be different or hard to find in the immediate vicinity, social circle, or current time and place. It is like you are thirsty for liquid and are choosing from the types of liquid filled in different jars. You are thirsty and wish to drink it, but you need to choose the right liquid you want and the jar of your choosing. But patience, openness, willingness to keep looking, faith that good does exist, and looking in the right places where a typical kind of lover may live will help one find that lover. It might take some time or a life time if you are specific, but it sure is worth the time, wait, and search. Because when you find after these troubles both will realize the value of each other. Also what is important is for one to see if they have the qualities to attract that special kind of a lover. If not develop those qualities and that lover will find his or her way to them.

Yes it is a sad fact that just to find an honest, simple, unselfish, loyal, and mature lover with decent values and morals is difficult to find. But if you have these qualities, be rest assure that there are many like you out there as well looking for the same. So the eventual crossing of paths and meeting shall happen.

 

We waste time looking for the perfect lover, instead of creating the perfect love.  ~Tom Robbins

 

People need to be realistic in what you wish for. Many out there expect a typical kind of lover but carry personal attributes, character and attitude that repel these kinds of lovers. For example Selfish, greedy, egoistic, negative, highly critical and judgmental and bitter people living in denial and arrogance shrouded in their pseudo social life, seek for genuine, selfless and generous kind of lover. It doesn’t happen. They may end up believing that love doesn’t exist. And for them, yes, sorry, the truth shall be quiet difficult, unless they make some positive changes to match and attract what they seek. As they say, you need to first become the change you like to see or seek.

So before you throw your heart away callously in the name of love, it helps to take a moment and think of the realistic choice you are making and who you are making it for. One can choose to wait because love always comes around in many shapes, and colors. Because if you don’t exercise your right and freedom to “Choose” who you love wisely, you will have no one to blame but yourself should it not work out.

 

You can give without loving, but you can never love without giving.  ~Author Unknown

 

Love – an art of giving someone all that’s dear to you without expecting anything in return but secretly hoping it will be reciprocated one day! There are of course a zillion quotes, poems and stories about love, but very seldom experienced, shared, and learned from. How many times and who have we loved unconditionally, without expecting anything in return, yet giving its freedom and being tolerant of the person? But what I see more often is people in search of love in terms of what they can get, and how much in looks, time, loyalty and comfort to satisfy their needs with very little to offer in return.

 

Love is an act of endless forgiveness, a tender look which becomes a habit.  ~ Peter Ustinov

 

Love is the art of understanding as a mature person that imperfections is a natural fact of a person and yet overlooking it for the purpose of still wanting to do good for a particular person. It is very emotional and yet spiritual. It gives you strength as you give more away and makes you stronger by making sacrifices. You enter a state of being were you have conversations, exchange ideas, laugh at their jokes and habits and are generally warmed by their presence, even when they are far away from you. You catch yourself thinking of them and smiling or laughing or even at times, perhaps talking to yourself. You at times smell them around, hear their voices and drift away from reality for brief wonderful moments of togetherness. One must also realize that love grows on you over time. It is not something that you can demand instantaneously and find it.

Another common aspect about love is having the wisdom and enough knowledge to identify and realize it. People often misunderstand love from infatuation. Especially the younger generations often fall into this trap and find them too deep into a marriage with a kid before they realize what it was in the first place a love or just an infatuation. Perhaps, another common contributing factor to a possible, divorce, separation, single parent situation etc.

 

A man reserves his true and deepest love not for the species of woman in whose company he finds himself electrified and enkindled, but for that one in whose company he may feel tenderly drowsy.  ~George Jean Nathan

 

I like to separate infatuation from love by a simple difference. Infatuation is what you want to get from this person in your life, where as in love you want to give yourself to this person for them. Also, love at first site, instant love and hitting it off etc, are part of the infatuation process where almost everything is instant and too quick, where in love, it takes it time, it grown on you, it happens to you as realization, understanding and emotion all work together to help you feel comfortable.  Here it is more substance, character, personality, and emotional balance where in infatuation, its immediate, physical attraction, social pride, biological, and momentary circumstances.

In true love, people are unselfish, giving in nature, patient for love to flourish and grow upon one and other, often behave conducive to the other person’s feelings, emotional, aware of the other person likes and dislikes and want to do things for them expecting nothing in return.

When infatuated, you often find yourself thinking of how you both can compliment each other in a particular social situation, party etc, the social appearance and acknowledge together, selfish, where your needs and wants are more then the other persons, you want to push the relationship to next level as opposed to let it grow naturally, and your happiness is more important then the others.

There is a sense of impatience when it is an infatuation as opposed to love. There is a sense of urgency to accomplish what you think you have lost or have been longing for. You want instant gratification. You want to have this person in your life immediately. You begin to imagine having sex, or rush to get into bed as soon as possible. You seek intimacy immediately. There is a strong sense of losing the person if you wait. Every other person around you seems to be looking at your partner and you feel threatened. You begin to seek advice from every other person, regardless of them being a good source or bad. You begin to react to every piece of advice you get and then add more fear to your thoughts by constant criticism and analyzing of the other persons character. And with all these fears and collective paranoia you rush into marriage only to regret later.

 

 When you’re in love you never really know whether your elation comes from the qualities of the one you love, or if it attributes them to her; whether the light which surrounds her like a halo comes from you, from her, or from the meeting of your sparks.  ~Natalie Clifford Barney

On the contrary love is calm, cool and collected. You feel patient, and not threatened. You will want to wait, and begin a beautiful process of introspecting and becoming a better person within to compliment the other. You feel calm and collected and always have time to plan everything you want to do. You are in no rush, and secure about each other. Love makes you feel good, motivates, and you will immediately see doing things differently in a positive manner. Your will notice an immediate change in your behaviour towards others and especially towards the ones you were upset earlier. You will find yourself to be more accepting, loving, forgiving, and whole as person. You deeply know that you are making the right choices and taking the right decisions. You are willing to wait as long as it is needed to fulfill your dreams. And most importantly you begin to look different and beautiful.

If you are one of those who feel, that its my life, my independence, my likes and dislikes, my money, my family, I am giving away this, I am compromising, my wants that are more important, then don’t shoot yourself when you have trouble in your relationships and find yourself being hurt, lonely, misunderstood etc. This is because such a selfish nature doesn’t contribute positively for a union of two separate individuals and personalities in a relationship to last and grow. It is often bound to fall apart unless the other is either very compromising or has totally given up and lives a dual life. Either way the meaning of love and togetherness becomes a pseudo relationship. You can of course blame the whole world and the two dogs across the street, but the fault lies in you.

People in love truly and honestly, often find themselves complimenting each other, inspire and motivate each other, treat each other with respect and yet are funny together, behave in a manner it shows that they are proud of their partner as opposed to being proud of themselves etc. Simultaneously, they are often patient and forgiving of each other, listen to each other, depend on each other blindly,  are patient with each other and above all, one strives to behave in a graceful manner often bringing calm and peace to the other.

 

The beginning of love is to let those we love be perfectly themselves, and not to twist them to fit our own image.  Otherwise we love only the reflection of ourselves we find in them.  ~Thomas Merton

 

Similarly, when once takes love to the next stage in terms of a marital relationship and look at it from a “compatibility” point of view, once have to first truly understand what “compatibility” is. It is often misunderstood to be a matching of likes, faith, culture, style etc. A proper and definition of compatibility is actually existing or performing in harmonious, agreeable, or congenial combination with another person. People do not have to marry a clone or their identical self to be truly compatible. In fact identical individuals often end up having greater difference eventually. Instead one should look for similar values, morals, comprehension, willingness to accept and respect the other for who they are and not what they can become, willingness to accommodate other persons like, point of view, and do it with and for love, not as a favor etc. These are what makes true compatibility and helps build a relationship on secure grounds of mutual respect and understanding. But one should also remember that it is not wise to hold on to certain beliefs or habits too adamantly without proper reason or basic understanding of its purpose which could weigh heavily on a relationship. One should be willing and open minded to exchange their old fears, rituals or closed belief systems they may have been raised with for a new life with more mature, modern, and mutually agreeable and beneficial values and habits that will nurture and help develop their new relationship.  Closed mindedness and holding on to old fears and belief systems yet expecting life partners who are modern and intellectual will only eventually put a lot of stress on the relationship.

Love is elevating. It lifts you up. It makes you look up. It makes you think up. It makes you a better person than you were before. If you have love in your life, it can make up for a great many things you don’t have. If there is no love in your life, whatever else there is has a lot less meaning. The secret of our being is not only to live but to have something to live for.

Lastly, as we all are aware, love grows with time where infatuation is weakened. So, take the time to realize what you are feeling and getting yourself into. Ultimately you will face the consequences of your choice. There is NO escape. If not anything else, karma will come back to bite you in the rear. I always say love finds its greatest satisfaction in making others happy over trying to use love to make yourself happy. And people who are capable of being honest and love truly from their heart can be easily identified. They seem happier, cheerful, speak their mind out, and generally there is a glow on their faces and carry a radiant personality. But those who aren’t often appear to be angry, carry a look of guilt, have trouble making eye contact, or blind themselves with their pride and ego, arrogance, lust and desperation. If you don’t agree and yet feel guilty of being one such person, take a look at yourself in the mirror. A little honest introspection won’t hurt!

 

Love never reasons but profusely gives; gives, like a thoughtless prodigal, its all, and trembles lest it has done too little.  ~Hannah More


Million Dollar Business Idea?


 

No, this is not another pyramid scheme. Neither is this a get rich quick idea.

Everyone seems to have an idea or two to make money other than working as an employee for someone else. And there are many who have the grit and will to put it in action. But not everyone succeeds. And there are many who aspire but never wish to perspire to achieve their dreams. Often there are many obstacles, circumstances, and situations in life that does not allow the time or the energy to pursue such dreams. But, these dreams live on.

There are many valid business ideas that could make a million dollars that get buried in these clutter of unfulfilled dreams and ambitions. With various reasons that hinders or stops one from achieving these dreams there is one big factor that prevails. Failure! The fear of investing their money, time and life in an idea that could fail stops many from going ahead. But, having said that, it is also perhaps one of the easiest of factors to overcome. Here I wish to discuss a few simple concepts in the process of developing the fairly secure million dollar idea that would earn you a million dollars.

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The million dollar dream building:

For ease of understanding, I am breaking this down to the simplest form based on the basic principles of marketing that would help conceive the concept:

The Million Dollar Math:

To make $10,00,000 one needs to understand this in exact numbers. You need to first have a very clear understanding how this million dollar is actually broken down in terms of units/service  (referred to as a “product” here on), and consumers.

A million dollars in other words is ten hundred thousands. That is: $10, 00, 000.

If you wish to make a million dollars for yourself, you will have to sell a product a million times with a $1 profit per unit sold. Simple?

So, if you have a $100 profit margin, then you will have to sell your product only a 10,000 times (ten thousand).

A higher the profit margin, lowers the units to be sold. Remember that this unit could be a tangible product, or a service.

Once you understand this, all you have to do is develop the right product/service and back it with a sound marketing plan. A very good and valuable product with its unique feature at a fair market price based on the target buyers’ affordability will sell. In other words, if you were that target customer, will you buy it and why? As simple as that! In order to make this happen, you will need to know a few simple concepts of marketing. Below are a few simplified yet essential features of a marketing plan.

The Product:

This is where it is all about you, your skills, creativity and interest. However it is extremely important to keep the user of the product you develop in clear focus and the true “need” or “use” of the product to the end user. While developing the idea of this product one needs to consider these five common things:

  • What will the potential buyer want or need this product for?
  • Why will this potential buyer buy this product?
  • What are the key characteristics of these potential buyers demographics? That is, what is the typical age group, sex, income, affordability, lifestyle, culture, where they live, etc.
  • Does your product fulfill a need or a want?
  • And are there similar products already there in the market place. If you do not see it, it doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. A little honest research is very essential.

Next you need to understand the product in detail. The workings of it, the design, the use, the looks, appearance, etc. You need to know your product or service in-depth. You should aim to become a subject matter expert in that product to be safe.

You also need to understand the market and industry of the product or service. You need to study the actual worth of the product. Look for examples of similar products. Understand and learn how they work, why they are priced as such, how they are sold, who buys them etc. You also need to constantly ask yourself why will anyone buy your product or service. What is unique about your product that will compel a buyer to buy your offering from the other seller?

For example: If you think it is a brilliant idea to start-up another On-line Home Rental service offering, where home owners can advertise their rental property and prospective renters can search and rent homes, how does it compare?

  • What will you offer differently compared to the other players?
  • What will be unique about your service?
  • Is that unique offering enticing enough for the consumer to shift their loyalty?
  • How many potential renters are there in your city?
  • How many rental homes are there in your city?
  • What percentage of people go on-line to search rental property from the potential renters?
  • How many such on-line sites are there and how many listings are there per site?
  • Is there room for another player?

These are some question one needs to ask and study when developing a product or service.

The Price:

Disposable shaving sticks with blades are cheaper in price and sold in packs with multiple units. But, the individual shaving sticks, from the same manufacturer, comes with few blades. And the user will have to buy the blades separately which are often more expensive than the shaving sticks. Yet there are consumers who choose to buy the individual shaving sticks and blades separately and willingly pay more for the negligible shaving comfort. So the question is, who is your target customer? The one who wants to save money, or the one who is will to pay more? Remember the million dollar math. Higher the profit margin, lower the units to be sold.

You will also need the actual and real cost to market or serve. This means what will it cost you to manufacture this product and bring it to the stage where the potential user/buyer will make the purchase. These typically involves these common costs to consider:

  • Cost to develop and make the product
  • Cost to package and make the product look desirable
  • Cost to sell it (marketing, selling staff, advertising, etc.)
  • Cost to deliver (transporting to the place of sale or the customer)
  • Over head costs (staff salaries, real estate-rent, utilities etc)

Now once these costs are detailed add-on a realistic profit margin to it. Do not be greedy and over price it, or do not make it too cheap and decrease its value. The price is based on what the target consumer is willing to pay for the product or service based on the value it has for them. It is called “fair market value” or FMV. It simply means that, it is a price a knowledgeable and fair potential buyer will be willing pay for the product or service you offer.   

 

The place you sell or do business in:

I love food. I enjoy all kinds of food, such as Japanese, Arabic, Italian, Indian, Chinese, etc. Hence I love to cook. I can get any recipes from books, Television, internet and my wonderful sister in-laws ultra fantastic recipes and create some amazing and delicious food. But I hate cleaning up. Perhaps that is why many of us choose to get food delivered home. And every once in a while, we choose to go and dine out. Although, we can make many good and great dishes ourselves at home, we choose to go out and pay for it. We opt to dine out, have someone cook some great creations, and serve it to us. And we will pay a price that we fully well are aware is at least 200% more than the cost of it and still leave behind a handsome tip to the waiter. And we do all this for the “experience”!

I walk into several restaurants and wonder why did they even bother? The décor is at best drab, the tables/furniture pretty bare, service is just short of being shot at, and often the food is worse than what I can make if I were drunk out of my senses. And to add to this condition, if one dares to jump over the fence of baffling curiosity and converse with the owner of this business, they will unwaveringly express their disappointment at their customers. They will blame the market, economy, the government, culture, weather, and the dog at their home but never themselves or the state of their place of business.

One of the essential parts to a successful business is its location. Where do you sell your products or service? Is it on-line, is it in a business district, does it have customer parking, does it have a steady or good flow of your target customers, or is your product sold at a retail location, does it have a prominent shelf space etc. These are some of the things you seriously need to consider.

Always remember that the environment or atmosphere usually has a huge impact on the business. There is a very good reason for the kids of music that is played in a supermarket, a fashion retail outlet or in a hotel elevator. Which begs the question, why do some Indian restaurants play sad and depressing music? It usually kills my appetite.

How will you promote your business?

How will you make the customer come to you, see your product or service and make the purchase now? How fast do you want to make your million dollars? Will a one dollar a day pace suffice or do you have a fixed time frame to make your first million dollars? If so, how will you sell those units within that time frame?

There are several creative ways to do this. But no matter how you plan to do this, and come up with new ingenious ideas or traditionally proven methods, you will always have to keep asking yourself this; why will the customer buy from me? Or, put yourself in the customer’s shoes and see if your promotional idea invokes you to make the purchase. Until the numbers shows in sales, keep developing these ideas. Whether it is a free promotional offer, a special discount, a limited time offer, a free gift, it has to make sense to the buyer.  

I remember a Photography Film Processing Lab not so long ago before the digital photography industry killed their business. The owner of this lab came up with a new and different idea to promote his business. He bought a consignment of promotional products from a liquidation dealer. And he charged $0.50 cents more per print to process a film roll and would give each customer a random number to pick. Based on the number the customer could win anything from a key chain, to a television. His store will packed with these floor to ceiling promotional goods and a beeline of customer all through the mall. 3 months later the promotion died, but the beeline lasted a few good years.

Similarly, you would buy your child a Kids meal at McDonald’s knowing that they won’t eat the food, but the free toy will shut them up for a while.

That’s promotion in a nutshell.

 

 So, what is your Million Dollar Idea?

It doesn’t have to be what everyone does, or something that has never been done before. It has to be good, realistic, and positioned appropriately. More than anything else, you will have to believe in it based on realistic numbers and research.  There are several brilliant products and services that were once laughed at or criticized but is one of the most successful ideas or products in today’s world. A personal computer in every house was once such a dream of a famous individual. Build your million dollar dream and make it happen!

 

Some select Quotes to remember!

 

And while the law of competition may be sometimes hard for the individual, it is best for the race, because it ensures the survival of the fittest in every department.
Andrew Carnegie

As a small businessperson, you have no greater leverage than the truth.
John Greenleaf Whittier

Do more than is required. What is the distance between someone who achieves their goals consistently and those who spend their lives and careers merely following? The extra mile.
Gary Ryan Blair

Do not trust people. They are capable of greatness.
Stanislaw Lem

Don’t worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you’ll have to ram them down people’s throats.
Howard Aiken

Every young man would do well to remember that all successful business stands on the foundation of morality.
Henry Ward Beecher

Failure doesn’t mean you are a failure it just means you haven’t succeeded yet.
Robert H. Schuller

 If you listen to your fears, you will die never knowing what a great person you might have been.
Robert H. Schuller

If you owe the bank $100 that’s your problem. If you owe the bank $100 million, that’s the bank’s problem.
J. Paul Getty

In modern business it is not the crook who is to be feared most, it is the honest man who doesn’t know what he is doing.
William Wordsworth

Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all.
Dale Carnegie

No enterprise is more likely to succeed than one concealed from the enemy until it is ripe for execution.
Niccolo Machiavelli

Not for nothing is their motto TGIF – ‘Thank God It’s Friday.’ They live for the weekends, when they can go do what they really want to do.
Richard Nelson Bolles

Nothing so conclusively proves a man’s ability to lead others as what he does from day to day to lead himself.
Thomas J. Watson 


Power of Choice


 

 

 

Amongst all the wonders we are blessed with, one of the most powerful abilities we have got distinctively from other living beings, is the unique power to choose. Here I am talking about choices we make in life on a day to day basis between good and bad and as human  beings as opposed to be possessed by emotions, ego and pride which often is not necessarily the right choices. I must also say that I am aware that choices are at times limited to people based on the circumstances they live in, thus I am talking about those who can still make better choices in lives in an effort to have a better living and happier and meaningful lives regardless of their circumstances.

What is this ability to choose? What is choice?

It is the 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 or human beings are subject to making several choices that affect their 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 their lifestyle, religious affiliation, political position, finances, attitude towards others, reaction to situations, and health.

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 each have the power and freedom to choose right from wrong. Often as humans 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.

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 and in an effort to make our world a much better place. 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 in the resulting consequences that shape your living. It may seem hard to imagine right at this moment, but you can change your 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, better diet, choose better food, better friends, better reactions to situations and problems, and give yourself permission to achieve great things in your life by making good, educated and right choices in life.

Here are some chosen inspirational quotes from some well known people that will help you understand the power of choice:

“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)

“You and I are essentially infinite choice-makers. In every moment of our existence, we are in the that field of possibilities where we have access to an infinity of choices.” – Deepak Chopra (1946-…, physician and author of The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success)

“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)

“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)

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

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

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

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 and ambitions. Young graduates have trouble picking jobs, or company’s 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 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 weather 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.

One key factor that disturbs me most is the choice and decision of young kids today. They are very quick to choose, decide and almost demand the best and often most expensive when it comes to their clothes, video game units, laptops, mobile phones, and girl friends. But in their key and one of the most vital times of life they deliberately choose the most vain, aimless, lazy, and easy way out of them all of education, profession and future. They either, opt out of school, defer university entrance, choose other vain interests over scoring good grades at school, learn, aim for a easy degree to graduate in, or a comparatively lower ambition in life. This way they dwell in a world where mediocrity is considered the norm. They do not choose to get the best of grades, make it to the best of universities, get the best of professional qualifications, excel and specialize in their professional qualifications, get the best of jobs and live the best of lives.

I do not mean that everyone has to be successful or be the top achiever in life although each truly carry the ability and can if they want. Being ordinary, mediocre is fine as well, but only if you can be happy and do not eventually become bitter and a burden on the rest of the society, and your loved ones and a total waste of life. Often such vain individuals who often seek the easy way out continue to take poor decisions that end them up assimilating a string of bad actions, and resulting consequences due to their poor state of living. They will rather choose to get a fat loan or more than affordable car where they have the means to fill the gas to run it or not, but will use educational loans as an excuse not to study further, they will choose to spend their parents and their meager earnings on their cell phone bills and testing fees but never on a clean pair of jeans or clothes. They will choose to take advice and rest on the opinion of some half ass, semi educated, pea brain school councilor or the worst amongst the lot, overly friendly irresponsible teachers advice 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, before they get back into the groveling and hard and difficult life of books and professional qualification. 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, best quality of education, universities, and help along the way by helping or 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 today’s youths must be given a course in high school on the realities of life and the consequences of human choices and their options to choose their future, designed especially to systematically break their stupid and life wasting unrealistic dreams of getting rich quick with very little efforts by highlighting the notoriously proven schemes such as, pyramid schemes, peddling drugs, doing business without qualifications, etc. Instead they need to be educated of the resulting proven consequences of such 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


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