Category Archives: solution

Stop being the problem and Start becoming the solution


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A “Solution Driven” life – to live a life of a problem solver


solution

 

Every sales person who is selling you something today often tries to position their product or service as a “Solution”. It is either a solution to make your life easier, save time, save money, increase you bottom line savings, manage your job better and help you solve that particular problem. And all their products or services is designed to solve what they like to call as a `Problem“. It is a simple yet very persuasive and most popular business selling concept.  The sales and marketing teams design their positioning statement or advertisements to highlight the problems you may face by not using their products and then showcase their solution to eliminate that problem for you. In order for you to buy into their offerings, they also try to build you problem bigger. They seek out your pinch points, develop the issue bigger by making you consider the consequences of not solving the problem, and then make solving that problem an imperative need that you must address.

If you apply this perspective to life, then everyone who can identify a particular problem and develop their own solution to that problem can be successful. We all face several “problems” in life all the time. We worry about the consequences of the problem and get stressed all the time. All we have to do is identify the problem dispassionately as though you are getting paid to find a solution, approach the idea objectively, develop the solution and then apply that solution to that particular problem all the time. This turns into a successful business model if you chose to sell this unique “solution” to everyone who has a similar problem.

Here is another perspective to the same matter. If you look at someone playing a video game objectively, you will soon realize that all they are doing is navigating their characters through a complex obstacle race to get to the next level. They develop strategies, lose their lives, start from the scratch again, learn from their past mistakes, and overcome their obstacles and get to the next level. And as they go higher in their game level the challenges gets more complex and difficult. However, the player relentlessly keeps the fight on until they finally finish that game at the final level. What’s even more interesting is that while they do this the players often dedicate their total attention, time and stay committed to finishing that game. They clock in several sleepless nights, skip food, and forget about all other commitments they may have. And finally all they get at the end of their game is just two simple things. 1) Bragging rights, and 2) The ultimate satisfaction of having accomplished a complex and challenging task. But these two things mean a lot to the player.

Now if you were to apply this perspective to real life again, then you can certainly develop intelligent strategies to navigate through the complex obstacle ridden life by solving each challenge and keep progressing until you accomplish your objective. All you need to do here is keep the same mind set you take to the video game, that is: it is your job to solve the problem by finding the solution to progress further. In doing this, once gain you may sacrifice several hours, skip a few meals, spend sleepless nights, and constantly keep thinking of all the ways you can overcome the challenges. But ultimately, you will develop your own solution to the problem, navigate through it successfully, regardless of the number of times you fail, and eventually progress from one stage in life to another and accomplish the task of solving several complex problems. Now all you do is hold on to the same idea, commitment and sprit for every problem in life and collect several bragging rights for several problems you have found solutions to. And above all, bask in the success of your progress through life.

The funny thing about problems in life is that it makes us often react in a less intelligent manner to it. By default we begin to fear and work about the consequences of the problems. And we end up spending more time worrying about the consequences and the inconveniences of the problem that we may face rather than spending that time working towards developing a solution.  Also we often carry a fear of failing to develop a solution or developing a solution that may fail. And due to such fears we end up doing nothing or procrastinating. Meanwhile the problem just sits there and doesn’t go away or snow balls into something much bigger. This is exactly where the sales person with the solution loves to be so that he or she can sell their developed solution to you.  Now your need is greater and you will do anything to solve the problem.

But what if you were to own the problem and take on the responsibility to find a solution yourself? Why wait for someone to come by and tap your shoulder and sell you a solution? Not that people are going around tapping people’s shoulders and solving their problems all the time. When it comes to your life problems, you are on your own. You own this business. This is your own video game.  It is your job to apply the right attitude and develop a solution to that particular problem. And if you have played video games, you sure know that you do have the skill set required to play develop the right strategies and solutions to overcome this problem too. All you got to do is take the same attitude to this task.  Weather it is a job related problem, education problems, relationship problem, health problem, weight problem, financial problem or a parenting problem, you sure can learn, read, ask around, and educate yourself to the number of possible solutions there are. Then taken on the responsibility and put in your time and effort to developing a solution to your problem and solving it. You have your browsers on your phones, at home; you have friends, advisers, and many other sources to learn from.  And there are other people who have developed solutions and selling them too. What truly matters is your attitude towards your problems. If you take the responsibility to find a solution, and view your life problems objectively you certainly can solve them.

It is only a problem until you find a solution. Now regardless of the kinds of problems you may face, choose to become the video game player or the problem solving sales person, and begin to collect the bragging rights of being a problem solver and progress through all life levels with confidence.  After all, solving your life problems if your job. No one is going to come by, hold your hand and walk you towards a solution.

What’s your problem?


Cubixrule – The art of solving your problems


“Every problem contains within itself the seeds of its own solution.” ~Stanley Arnold

“Cubixrule” is a term I came up with for the process I use to solve many things that I consider a problem. It is rather an unconventional way to approach a problem as an opportunity to developed a solution as opposed to seeing a problem as something that we have to put up with rather than solve.

The term “Cubixrule” itself was inspired from Rubik’s Cube, which I was introduced to by my older brother when I was about 11 years old. It was the hottest things in the world then. Everyone was talking about the complexities of this puzzle and were racing to figure out a solution. After several weeks I had developed a solution on my own. Ever since I learned to solve it by myself by developing a few short series of algorithms, I began to apply the belief that if I could solve such a complex puzzle, I must be able to solve many other problems in life.

Many years later, my older brother once again (God bless him) got me another puzzle. This time it was another puzzle developed by the same inventor Rubik again. This one was called Rubik’s clock. Along with this puzzle, my brother gave me a copy of a Time magazine in which there was a small article about this new puzzle and how the inventor himself was seeking a physical solution still. The computer suggested a few million possible solutions to this puzzle, but an actual physical solution was not developed yet. Unlike the cube this puzzle was a disc with nice clock faces on either side. The objective was to turn the four dials on the side of this puzzle and get all the nine clock hands to the 12’0 clock position on both sides.  

Three and a half days later, I had solved the puzzle and had developed a 17 step solution to solve the puzzle in less than 30 seconds. Once again I applied the “Cubixrule”. By this time, I had formed a definition for this word in my mind. It was a few positive fact based statements to define the thought process to solve a given problem.

 Cubixrule – is a thought process where it is believed that:  “Every problem has a solution. It is only a problem until a solution is developed by someone. Therefore, every problem is nothing more than an undeveloped solution. And the challenge to be the first one to develop the solution is an opportunity to lead the world to a new higher level”

 I have since often reverted to “Cubixrule” when ever I have been pushed against the wall by a problem or stressful issue in life. My mind begins to think of various possible solutions that I can possibly come up with in a short period of time. And strangely after mulling over this phase for some time, I often stumble upon the “Eureka” moment often in the middle of the night or in my dream. This eureka moment is when I come up with a solution that was earlier considered to be unthinkable, unimaginable, impossible, or often simply plain stupid. And it arrives with a sense of confidence, and vigor that never dies until I have tried it and made it work.

“Focus 90% of your time on solutions and only 10% of your time on problems.” ~Anthony J. D’Angelo

But “Cubixrule” has its challenges too. Because it involves a level of unconventional thought process, sense of immense confidence in self and determination to come up with a solution that was undeveloped ever before, it may be considered to be stupid by the world around us. Historically, when someone spends their time on doing something that is popularly considered to be as impossible, it has always been considered to be a waste, an effort in vain, and often stupid. And the challenge is not to give in to this pressure. Never!  There may be several trials, errors and failures in Cubixrule. But being persistent, logical, analytical, and realistic is a must if you are determined to succeed. It is also important to always see every failure as a lesson to learn from and build on its teachings. Always remind yourself that the problem on hand is just an undeveloped solution.

“We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” ~Albert Einstein

It is true when they say that: “Only the ordinary people do the most extraordinary of things”. Every scientist, politician, visionary, inventor, discoverer, musician who gave our world many wonderful things and knowledge were once considered to be ordinary. Each and every one of them faced their hardships, critics, ridicule, depression, stress and obstacles and overcame them by their own respective versions of “Cubixrule”. They each did the extraordinary. The saw the undeveloped solution and set to develop one themselves and eventually proved their world wrong.  If one digs a little deeper into any of the major inventions, processes, solutions that we enjoy today and how they were developed, we will soon learn that each one of them faced and over came their problems by seeking out the respective solutions.

Likewise, we are all such ordinary people who can certainly do extraordinary things. Many of us many not realize that we have been doing many such things since our childhood. If we were people who fear failure or what people will say or think we would have never learned to walk as a child, we would have never learned to speak, learn, express our feelings, study, face the world, have relationships, grow up and succeed. But we did and continue to do such things all the time. We each faced our share of respective challenges and over came them after a few falls, failures, trials and errors. Some hurdles in life may be small and some very tough, but nevertheless, we  use our internal positive will and energy to over come them. We can move further to solve many such problems in our lives and accomplish many extraordinary things. All we got to do is to see each problem we face with our version of “CUBIXRULE” based on our objectives, will, and the desire to solve it. Be it a financial problem, a relationship, a work related, mechanical, or any problem that life throws our way, the attitude, will, and the determined approach we apply will eventually help solve it. The art is to look at the “problem” as an “opportunity” or a challenge to use all our skills, experience and intelligence to find a solution and solve it!

So, what is your problem?


The power of YOU! Your true worth and purpose in life.


Many people have a wrong idea of what constitutes true happiness. It is not attained through self-gratification but through fidelity to a worthy purpose. ~ Helen Keller

We are people who constantly endeavor in a firm mission to make our life worth while and with purpose. Every living hour of interaction with other people, nature and life is merely a process of brining purpose to our action in which we seek some satisfaction of self. Thus it is very important for each of us to realize and question our purpose in almost every aspect of our life. What is the true purpose for our respective lives? What is the fundamental purpose to work? What is the purpose of marriage? Or most importantly, what purpose do we fulfill in another persons life?

Every one of us have been created uniquely with unique skills, capabilities, thought processes, and characters. But finding the unique purpose that we will full fill is something that we have to seek, develop and accomplish ourselves. No one is going to do it for us. In order for us to understand this we first need to realize the power of our individual influence.

The world of tomorrow, and the people who will live then, will live a life that has been shaped by the actions we take today. We know this too well because we ourselves life a life of the actions and steps taken by our ancestors. Similarly, we live our life today which is highly influenced by a hand full of individuals who made great contributions, inventions and discoveries. The moment we realize this simple fact and make a choice to exercise our existence to make a good influence to humanity we find purpose.

Only a life lived for others is the life worthwhile. ~ Albert Einstein

We unknowingly often fulfill many purposed in other people’s lives. For example: we fulfill the purpose of being an adviser when one seeks this from us, we fulfill the purpose of being a friend when people need us, we fulfill the purpose of being an mentor to those who look up to us for guidance. We also influence the world around us by our choices, purpose and reactions. Hence we must make good of our purpose and ensure that it aimed towards a noble cause.

How we think, process any given information, make our choices and react is unique to us. And this shapes our world around us. We influence people and many other greater things in life by these unique and individual reactions and choices. This individual identity of ours fulfills a unique purpose in life. We matter. Our actions matter. And hence it is important to improve our actions and reactions constantly to make a better and good impact on our life and world.

There comes a special moment in everyone’s life, a moment for which that person was born. That special opportunity, when he seizes it, will fulfill his mission – a mission for which he is uniquely qualified. In that moment, he finds greatness. It is his finest hour. ~ Sir Winston Churchill

You can make a unique difference.

You matter!

Remember that your actions and purpose has greater significance in many other people’s lives!

Your contributions to mankind, world, family, and evryone you touched in your life are the only things that show your true worth and character. These are the only things that make your life worthwhile and it begins with you!

 Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary. ~ Steve Jobs


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.

*** 

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


Your world is a result of your “reactions”.


 

Stress and difficulties have been my best buddies all through my life. In fact they are buddies with every one of you.  But regardless of mental stress and the troublesome  circumstances life has taken me through, I have been fortunate to realize my own behavior and often laugh at the things I do. Especially when I find myself or others under pressure, I find we do many silly and often stupid things. Our rational and cognitive self disappears and instant emotional responses take precedence which invariably stands tall opposing our basic logic.

Allow me to explain myself by sharing one of my such irrational responses to a situation: I once got on a popular diet recommended by someone close which promised a drastic weight loss in a week – 10 days time which would be a good kick-start to get on an eventual balanced diet program. Having stuck to my diet from day one which involved consuming copious amount of bland vegetable soup and low-calorie raw fruits and vegetables, I arrive on my 4th day successfully. I had dreaded this day because it involved me surviving on partly skimmed milk and bananas. Of course, I hate milk!  But as my luck would have it, my morning began with my daily dose of senseless comedy and needless stupidity.

Here is a short version of what I mean: A customer with an annoying disposition calls me when I was in the washroom and left a message for me on my voice mail. I see the message on my mobile phone and decide to listen to it once I am out of the door, on my way to work. Meanwhile, he calls my boss asking him where I was and that I didn’t pick up his call. By the time I was heading out my boss calls me asking me why my customer was calling him and why didn’t I pick his call. Having explained to him my obvious reason, I call up my customer to help his query. During which my boss calls me to check if I had called him. He gets my voice mail as I was still on the phone and thus leaves a message to call him back. He assumed that, perhaps my phone wasn’t working and all calls were going to the voice mail directly. After I was done with my customer, I picked up my voice mail again and then called my boss to let him know that I resolved the customers concern, and my phone was just fine and I am furious with his impatience and micro management and my this annoying customers behavior.  Phew! No, this isn’t an exaggeration. It is exactly a day in the life of a Senior Manager in the corporate world of today.

Anyhow, in this madness and my rage, I stop by at the gas station to pick a couple of bottles of my hated milk for the day. I rushed in and walked past the puffed up shiny bags of potatoes chips wearing their contents proudly on their chest, and those gleaming bars of chocolates screaming for my attention. I got to the refrigerator and quickly scanned through the neatly stacked stout cans of soft drinks in all colors and shapes and calorie counts looking for my milk. And there again there stood several of them in different colors, flavors and shapes and sizes. I quickly scanned and saw one in blue which read “French vanilla”. Yes, perhaps this flavor will help me guzzle it down with some relative ease and thus grabbed it, paid for it and got back into my car. As I began drinking it on my way to work, I found the flavor to be rather strong and thick. But as I couldn’t take my eyes off the road to read the fine prints I continued consuming its contents until I finished it. And once I reached my work, I looked at the bottle and the writings in small letters. It said “Coffee creamer” and when turned it around to see its calories I realized that I just had consumed the whole 1000 calories of its contents.  There crashes my diet plan and three days of sacrifices.

 It is amusing how we react to such simple daily pressures. And what is even more amusing is how easy it is to avoid such reactions. If I had only cooled down and controlled my anger I would have been a bit more focused. If only I realized there was absolutely no need for me to rush to work, I could have been a bit more diligent in picking up the right bottle of milk. I could have very well done that. But I didn’t and hence ended up doing something totally stupid.

 It is so odd to see us; intelligent beings do such stupid things in life. Many of our problems and unpleasant situations are created by us and our instant reactions. And we would be the first to see such stupidity in others and either correct them or laugh at them. But we seldom think about our own such behavior. No matter the external situation or circumstances. The choice of how we react to it is absolutely in our control.

 The power to choose our reaction:

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 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.

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 you.

Here are some ideas on changing the outcome by changing your reaction:

1. When someone can not understand your point of view, try rephrasing it differently with calm. Do not express frustration or anger but instead express patience and stage what you are trying to say differently. Do not brand them as stupid or crazy if they cannot understand you. It could be your choice of words and demeanor is confusing to them. It may be easy for others to understand you but it doesnt mean that this person would also be able to do the same. Remember that each person, their experiences, comprehension, and demeanor is different. You have to match their understanding to make your point. It is not necessary for them to meet your style of communication.

2. When faced with an aggressive or pushy person, do not push back or try to retaliate with more aggression or rage. Instead, try walking away and avoid a futile attempt to communicate with someone who is obviously has lost their mind in anger. Allow them to cool down. Life doesnt end at that moment. You can always return to discuss the concern or issue later again if it is worth your time.

3. In an argument, state your point calmly and patiently try to explain. There is absolutely no point in raising your voice or expressing anger which makes one deviate from the point of concern to a battle of rage and ego. Remember that a disagreement is often with a certain issue and work or discuss to agree or agree to disagree. Do not turn it into a battle of egos or who can shout louder than the other. The volume of your voice or the choice of harsh words has never helped driving a point through. It has only helped aggravate the emotion. (I thank my sister for this lesson). 

4. When someone is stubborn in doing something that you believe is wrong and they do not listen to your advice, learn to let them learn by their mistakes. As you learn from your mistakes and people need to learn from their failures, let them go through the process. Some people choose to learn this ay and it is better for them. And also remember that some people may choose to do something which they fully well know could result in getting hurt. But they have their own reasons. For example: I know those who go out of their way to be nice to people who could hurt them because they belive that their nice and loving behaviour may help inspire the other person to become a better person.  So learn to be supportive of such people. Allow them to do as they seem fit after having explained your concern. But be there to support them with your love and understanding if they get hurt.  

5.  Do not stop yourself from reacting to any situation. By staying silent to avoid possible discourse, you invariably position yourself as a victim in your mind. Instead try to react in a manner that you express your point respectfully without hurting anyones ego.  Remember that as your react to a given action. Your reaction provokes others to respond too. So try to react in a manner that will invoke a positive response from others. In other words, your reaction can calm things. Your reaction can aggravate a situation. And your reaction can inspire others to be like you.

  • React to a problem with a solution not stress.
  • React to anger with calm and composure not anger.
  • React to stupidity with humor nor ridicule.
  • React to adversity with empathy not rage.
  • React to authority with compliance not aggravation.
  • React to injustice with polite defiance not violence.
  • React to ego with class and humility not disrespect.
  • React to confusion with patience and rationality not impulse.
  • React to arrogance with avoidance not submission.

Remember that your reaction can inspire change. Be inspirational! The world is often nothing more than a result of your reaction to any given situation!

I leave you with some chosen inspirational quotes from some well-known people about choice and reactions:

A positive attitude causes a chain reaction of positive thoughts, events and outcomes. It is a catalyst and it sparks extraordinary results. ~Wade Boggs
~

“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)

~

 For some reason I did something where I realized I could get a reaction. That was when I broke out of my shell at school, because I really didn’t have any friends or anything like that and I just kind of was going along, and then finally I did this zany thing, and all of a sudden I had tons of friends. ~Jim Carrey 

“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)

~

Reaction – a boat which is going against the current but which does not prevent the river from flowing on. ~Victor Hugo~
“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)

~

That’s what takes people out of the fight half the time. They get hit and half the reaction is your ego is saying, ‘I cannot believe that person just lit me up – how humiliating.’  ~David O. Russell~

“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)

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The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances: if there is any reaction, both are transformed. ~Carl Jung
 
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 Start with what is right rather than what is acceptable. – Peter F. Drucker

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


Life realized


 

Please enjoy the audio feed above

 

Better the looks lesser the morals,

Higher the earning, lower than humility

Bigger the ego, larger the arrogance,

Sweeter the smile, ruthless the intent,

Louder the rituals, lesser the pious,

Higher the climb, steeper the fall,

Faster the want, shallower the need,

Able the person, lazier the deeds,

Easier getting love, lesser its value,

More caring the people, greater their loss,

Hungrier the knowledge, insatiable the need,

Materialistic the character, shameless the person,

Harsher the critics better the individual,

Softer the fall, lesser the learning,

Prouder the person, lesser the development,

Weaker the courage, lesser the growth,

Poorer the choices, bitter the life,

Bitter the being, worse the life,

Better the choices, larger the life,

Arrogant the person, stubborn their faults,

Larger the ego, pettier the person,

Bigger the lie, greater the shame,

Humble the being, lesser their guilt,

Courageous the individual, greater the inspiration,

Open the mind, sweeter the learning,

 

Whatever the hardships, have the will to fight!

You let the will die; you kill your spirit,

You let the spirit die; you kill your soul,

And you take down the whole world, your loved ones and all their spirits down with you. Just as when you loose someone dear to you and the hurt it gives you, you do the same to others when you hurt yourself.

 

Never! Never! Never say die! There is always a solution; there are always ways to find help, Approach each problem in life as an unsolved solution that you have been given the opportunity to solve. Find your way and set it ablaze for others to follow.

 

The greatest things one can do in life is to practice self realization. The only other thing that beats that is putting in all your effort into making the change once you have realized!

 


Progressive people, regressive religions


 

 Please enjoy the audio feed above

 

I would rather live my life as if there is a God and die to find out there isn’t, than live my life as if there isn’t and die to find out there is. ~ Albert Camus 

 

An interesting fact prevails in all of these various religions that were established at different times based on different messages from different Prophet’s in different cultures. The surprising fact lies in the “similarities” in these “religious” systems. The message and the moral basic core principles are identical. When one investigates further, we can see that there are many similar rituals practiced by the followers of all these various faith systems including monotheistic and polytheistic ones. For example, the similarity of two faiths and belief systems which is widely considered to be opposing in fundamental concept, Islam and Hinduism have quite a few similar rituals: one being monotheistic and against idol worshiping, while the other a polytheistic, with an idol for each of their gods and their respective attributes. They both have holy water, both have the practice of circling around their place of worship (Muslims around Kaaba, and Hindus around their temple), both cut their hair after pilgrimage, both fast, both offer sacrifices, both bow to their Gods. Further, they have the same beliefs in good and bad, love, peace, and respect. Yet it is believed by their respective followers as an opposing religion surprisingly.

 

No man ever believes that the Bible means what it says: He is always convinced that it says what he means.  ~George Bernard Shaw

As people evolved and developed into more intelligent beings, so did their ability to comprehend, learn, communicate and better understand life. In our current advanced age and time we still have trouble communicating and understanding our own language, nuances, behavior and most importantly controlling the integrity of a message, which only proves that this communication skill is still in a state of evolution and will continue to be for a few hundred years. Thus, many people who try to learn the doctrines and writings of this man-made religion happen to question aspects of it which doesn’t appear to be logical or make sense. Many such doctrines are questioned on a few selective messages therein which clearly doesn’t appear to be part of those with divinity. Particularly, messages that defy or contradict equal respect for both genders, tolerance and respect for all religions, serving humanity regardless of race, color or creed, be forgiving, how to be modest, and rights of all human beings to be equal. Such differences between what the Prophet’s preached which is considered to be divine and what the religion proclaims has caused many to explore these religious beliefs further. The result of such questions which are often considered as blasphemy in nature by the stubborn and illogical religious heads of these religions has provided very few logical answers that are convincing. Clearly, man has evolved much further than expected by those who formed these religions a few thousand years ago. It is quite disappointing to still watch a small portion of the more educated and advanced people of today often blindly follow a specific fundamental set of religious beliefs and practices that often defies any logic, divinity or are in line with the original messages by their own Prophets. Although we witness each generation evolving into more intelligent begins than the last, many of us still trust and follow the wisdom of people who lived several generations past. This is where people began to shift their faith from God of mankind to religion. Perhaps in a way a shift from humanity to community.

 

I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ. ~ Mohandas Gandhi
 
 
However, no matter the religion or the respective deity or symbol, all of them preach very similar aspects of life, morals and values and often indulge in similar practices and rituals. What makes them different are the rules, laws of conduct, social norms, symbols of identity, attire, social behavior and systems of control that were developed by people who soon took control of the followers of the prophets under the banner of religion. This need and desire to control and exercise power over the respective communities or followers, gave birth to the evils that human beings fester till date. Ego, pride, arrogance, and vainglory are some of the key characteristics of these appointed spiritual or religious leaders of these faith systems today. Surprisingly, these are the same characteristics of Satan under which he refused to obey God and bow to his creation – man. Under these very influences these leaders often abuse their power and try to manipulate their people to achieve their personal goals and egoistic aspirations. They often are very wise and recruit people who are accustomed to obeying commands blindly due to fear of persecution from the powerful. But the true shock is when educated people armed with some basic rational thinking also choose to blindly follow such leaders and actively participate or support in their egocentric and political aspirations under the pretext of religion. 

 

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
 
 
History has proved time and over again, that each of these religions or faith systems had begun with peaceful intentions. Each of these religions were spread with humble intentions but each had a handful of leaders who used violent force unfortunately due to their individual choice, limited wisdom, ego, and the lack of any other system available to them but religion as a viable political system to manage people and install familiar culture that is easier to manage. Each of these “religions” went through a phase of power struggle soon after their inception and the demise of their  Prophet. In the immediate years to follow, each had their share of religious leaders trying to use and manipulate the then political leaders and kings to their advantage, each have good followers and bad ones, all of these religions had leaders who were good and bad as well, every religion has their share of positive social and scientific contribution by people from their faiths. Some had great builders and ambitious plans to expand their cultural richness, some were conquerors of different strategic lands and some tried to spread their culture, beliefs and religious practices by force. But regardless of the religions or practices, all have the same fundamentals of good values and morals and each have their own set of social rules and norms that drive and influence behaviours based on moral living, love, tolerance, peace, justice and faith in the creator.

 

A just laicism allows religious freedom. The state does not impose religion but rather gives space to religions with a responsibility toward civil society, and therefore it allows these religions to be factors in building up society. ~ Joseph Ratzinger
 
I oppose religion based charities. I believe if a religion preaches to serve humanity, then the charity work should be without the need to convert their faiths. Not in this age and time. The people of faith, especially who are seen or hold the position as leaders or experts should not speak words of hate, anger, rage and incite such concepts in people. If anything, these are the people who should be preaching tolerance, love, peace and instill hope, faith, and inspire morality. But all that we see is many such people doing exactly the opposite and tragically people following them like cattle. People of good faith should rather strive to inspire others by their character, demeanor, deeds, love, respect for others as opposed to their attire, communal strength, and rituals.  And above all, should evolve with time. The need for progressive evolution has become more essential now more than ever. Past mistakes of others and poor past leaderships should be left in the past and we need to see ourselves as the new builders of society.

 

That deep emotional conviction of the presence of a superior reasoning power, which is revealed in the incomprehensible universe, forms my idea of God.  ~ Albert Einstein
 
If we can primarily be human beings and begin to behave like one that could alone ignite a flame of enlightenment. Do not choose to be blinded by your faith systems, and live in the assumption that your faith is the only path to heaven. If this is true, the creator would not have sent several prophets. Followers of the wrong faiths could be wiped off this planet if the creator chooses, followers of other faiths will not be prosperous and happy, followers of other faiths will not have their prayers answered and people who follow wrong faith systems will not be able to procreate and give birth to pure innocent souls. Thank the creator for life, for making us human, giving us the ability to think, creating us and this world with all its endless resources, our ability to learn and appreciate, love, be loved, procreate, help others, and appreciate his or her divine powers being exercised on us and creation every day. Do not be blinded and instead choose to thank for a man-made religion, rituals, age-old beliefs and fables, or mundane stories of proof less miracles. Learn, read, explore and understand. Do not blindly follow like a cattle, and have the sensibility to differentiate between the man who speaks the true words of the creator or God in good faith about love, peace, serving his creation – humanity, tolerance, forgiveness, enlightenment and spirituality from the man who speaks of hate, violence, intolerance, rage, ego, pride and anger in the name of religion. If we can learn to love and live peacefully for ourselves and the others it could start a new beginning. If we refuse injustice towards one and all regardless of their cast, creed or color we can bring change. If we can lead by example of character rather than a display of costumes and rituals we can influence another. If we can be charitable to all humans regardless of their religion, color or culture we will bring peace. With such a balanced approach and the will to coexists by mutual respect and understanding and by removing ego and pride from the equation, mankind can and will eventually develop a much more peaceful and resourceful living. They can leave behind a life of love, and peace for their loved ones to enjoy, thrive in and sustain for the other following generations to come. But we must remember to eliminate the dreaded characteristic of the evil: “ego and pride” especially associated to our faiths and our belief systems as it has no place in there. We need to realize that if we feel the need to keep our faiths, then we need to keep the faith in God of mankind as opposed to the man-made religion, religious leaders, religious systems, rituals and beliefs. Learn and seek yourself for the truth and answers using your logic and intelligence and you shall find it. It is in your heart where God resides and in your conscience where truth resides.
 
 
I love you when you bow in your mosque, kneel in your temple, pray in your church. For you and I are sons of one religion, and it is the spirit. ~ Khalil Gibran


Wisdom beyond your Thumb


 

Please enjoy the audio feed above which compliments the post below

 

Alright! I admit! I love to stay up late and finish that God damn game. I can’t be a nube and have my nephews beat me at it. Yes, it makes me dizzy, tired, and my finger s and thumb hurt. I am no longer the coolest person with the hottest game that I have killed and moved on. Now I got to keep up with these nephews and it bugs me to see these uber nubes call me a nube and beat me at this game. They forget that I got them hooked into these in the first place when they barely got out of their diapers. Now they teach me! There used to be a time when I would be thrilled to kick Ken’s butt with my limited animated self on the Street with a combo of punches and kicks. But these imps now have the option to select from FPS games to RPG’s to RTS. What? Did I loose you? Sorry Nube! I meant First Person Shooter games to Role Playing Games to Real Time Strategy games. Now try to figure out what “munchkin” is. And in the process you may also learn what a “twink” is too. Before you realize, you will end up being a “halfing” in a MMORPG. Go figure!

Ha! The age of what I call “Thumb wisdom” these kids got the whole world of wisdom under their very thumbs in the form of their mobile browser enabled phones. I can no longer tell them anything and let it pass without being cross checked and verified by them instantaneously.  You have no choice but to pay for a $100 monthly plan to keep in touch with your own kids in today’s world. But in reality you are paying for their texting and instant wisdom verification. Wait a minute! Have you texted them to get out of the basement and come up for supper yet?

But I love these kids. They say these gamers are the future super surgeons of our world. The hand and eye coordination and the super fast thinking will enable these highly evolved creatures to perform complex surgeries of the future. The level of complex strategies they have to work with to play a simple game is baffling to say the least. Thus do not be upset with these earthlings if you see them highly irritated first thing in the morning before they head off to school. They have probably stayed up late fighting with the player called “benturmum” for killing “them” (that is their character in the Massively Multiplayer Online Role-playing game) repeatedly for other players amusement. They are still in character from the game this morning. It will probably be until 10:00 am at school when they return to reality today. They have a few other school mates who witnessed their humiliation last night on-line too. It is a complex world they live in. Give them the space. Theirs is not a ritualistic, mundane and monotonous living like yours.

But here is the true reason I love and admire such kids. They are each amazing spirits and characters if you meet them in the virtual online world. They are the unique breed of people who will forget to eat, live, study, or do any chores, to accomplish a single-minded goal to get to the next level in that game. Their single and most important current goal is to compete fiercely and to win that battle with those virtual characters and put them to shame. And they have to do it with the utmost of focus, strategies and a combination of complex skill sets, while they collect their bonus points, ammunition, life’s, strength and energy. Their frustrations are turmoil’s are beyond your imagination. They will “die” several times before they learn to surpass that stage in the game, and them fail again and loose all their strength, life and energy and have to begin that stage or God forbid the whole game from the beginning. But they shall persevere and never give up. They will stay up all night if they have to, but will win and move ahead. Next morning after boasting their accomplishments amongst their friends and gaining respect and adulations, they shall return to the battle. There is no giving up in them. No matter what the “other” real life pressures are. They will hold their courage intact, and shall fight, persevere, get stringer and continue the battle until they win and end this game. There is no stress, rest, or failure in this world of theirs. They are winners! They are the uber class of beings and they accomplish what you or I cannot fathom. They are our future!

But alas! they take this attitude, will, perseverance, courage, and determination to their real lives. Perhaps they never fear failure in real life. They fail repeatedly in life, but get back into the game regardless. They fight every obstacle until they over come them, fight every individual who hinders their progress, and continue their journey towards their one goal. If only they would choose to maintain the determination, will, attitude and choose to pick their bonus points in the form of wisdom, lessons and knowledge along the way. And if they maintain these key wonderful behaviors and characteristics until they accomplish each goal until they move on the next, they will perhaps live a life of amazing wonders. Each of their accomplishments shall be a great story of success. And their lives an inspiration for everyone they touch in their lives. There shall be nothing that would stop them from accomplishing all their dreams and the wishes in their lives. Absolutely nothing!

Similarly if only we are able to adapt the same attitude, patience, composure, will and wisdom that we use in our respective games, or work in our personal lives, perhaps we each shall live a life of greater accomplishments and happiness. It is not the game that decideds the result. It is the attitude of the player towards the game and/or life!

I leave you with some select quotes on wisdom:

By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.
Confucius

If you’re trying to achieve, there will be roadblocks. I’ve had them; everybody has had them. But obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.
Michael Jordan

Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal.
Henry Ford

When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don’t adjust the goals, adjust the action steps.
Confucius

When written in Chinese, the word “crisis” is composed of two characters. One represents danger and the other represents opportunity.
John F. Kennedy

Winners never quit and quitters never win.
Vince Lombardi


Doing good for being good


 

Please enjoy the audio feed

My Dad had a small plaque on his desk forever until he passed away. It said simple words that he preached as well and instilled it deep into my mind which had eventually become a core formation of my character and happiness in my later life helping me through some of the darkest hours of my life.

It said;” Blessed is he, who expects nothing” in return for his good deeds and had a monotone picture of geese flying in their standard “V” formation across a cloudy sky.

He explained the plaque and the picture in great detail once. He explained to me that the geese are migrating birds that fly for thousands of miles south especially in fall and winter. Further, they fly in a V shape because in such a formation it helps the birds gain a great span and distance with little effort. The upward thrust produced by the bird in the front helps the following birds to glide into the air waves created with very little physical effort. However, the leading bird takes the brunt for leading the flock. Soon the leading bird is taken over by one of the following birds as a gesture of good will to give it some rest, and thus they keep doing so until the journey is complete.

Also, fall is a season where many of us venture out for hunting these very birds.  And when one of these birds is shot, or hurt, two birds immediately break from the formation and follow it down to protect it or give it comfort and company until it dies.

Similarly, they all glide down to the same lake to find food, share and eat from the same pool or pond and migrate to the same place, and work towards the same goal and fly towards the same direction all the time.

But what is surprising is also, is that they do all this in a team spirit helping each other with absolutely no expectations from the other what so ever. Each respects the other, helps the other, and breaks away from the formations to help the other and get back into other formations in their never ending cycle of life without any expectations of each other.

Likewise, if we, a highly developed species and a superior race amongst Gods creation who can communicate, interact, emote, feel, and are physically advanced, adapted the same selfless nature and worked towards the same goal and helped each other expecting nothing in return, our individual lives may be much happier, purposeful and gratifying.

The idea is a basic one where you help one and other and work in the same direction for mutual benefit. But the principle is to respect each other, help each other, give the space to each other, protect each other, and benefit from each other while doing so. But the wisdom is to do it because we are created in the image of God by himself to serve his own creation. Serve mankind, Gods creation, and in doing so, do it selflessly with honest and selfless intentions expecting nothing in return.

Therein, one can easily find happiness and fulfillment in life. For he who does good and expects nothing shall never be disappointed, but only rewarded for his deeds in a time and place and method of the creators choosing.

 “Blessed is he who expects nothing in return for his good deeds.”

Next time you see these birds fly across the sky, take a minute to watch them all flock together as a team in the same direction in the same old V formation and appreciate them for being wiser and nicer than many of us


A mountain called LIFE


 Please enjoy the audio feed above which compliments the post below

 

Life provides us with many experiences. In these experiences, regardless of them being good or bad, there can be many lessons, inspirations, solutions, and wisdom one can learn from. It only takes a short moment of reflecting upon them with an intention to learn and move ahead. Similarly there are many parallels in life with certain basic things we do. Organizing our work, use clear and analytical thinking, being courteous and tolerant, and choosing our words carefully are some of the things we do at work and in our professional environment. But we seldom choose to adapt to such behavior at home and amongst our family and friends. If we choose to adapt such behaviors at home as well, we can avoid a lot of simple problems the clutter out personal lives.  Maintaining discipline, controlling anger, choosing a calm and composed demeanor, choosing the words we speak, taking a more relaxed perspective, choosing to listen more and inspire by our own behaviors are some of the key things we can apply in many different aspects of our lives. If we can apply these principles, and demeanor at work, we can do the same while playing sports, and in our personal lives, at home, amongst friends etc.

Here is a short story which helps illustrate how such parallels come together to help understand life better. It is a short story of a young man, who, like many of us has been through some tough times in life and lost his will to keep fighting to keep his sanity in this world of treachery, deception and injustice. Life is full of wonderful experiences, that give us a lot of happiness and joy, but often along with all the joy we each have our share of sorrow and pain. This short story is about an experience that changed his life.

This young man has had more than his share of sorrow over his share of happiness, but the pain and turmoil he has been through has left many a deep scars that he is unable to cope with. Corporate politics, being penalized for doing what he thought is the right thing, unable to live a life of clear-cut principles but instead having to cope and adjust to what we call the “Grey Area” under the banner of diplomacy. Deceit in friendships, and failure in love, loss of trust in people, and the faith he once had in good. Looking around he finds himself surrounded by nothing else but violence, greed, selfishness, betrayal, arrogance, ruthlessness and disorder. One can imagine the state of mind of any individual in such circumstances. Many of us have or continue to experience many of these symptoms of social integration as I like to call it. Some have faced more hardships and hurt and some few, nevertheless, which often leaves a lasting change in behavior or attitude towards normal social interactions.

Seeking some peace and perspective he turns to his parents who have tried to support him with all they could offer within their limited means and wisdom they had to share, based on their wisdom and experience. After a lot of trials and support one day his parents call him over and hand him an envelope. In it lies a round trip ticket to his uncles’ cabin located in a totally secluded part of the Rockies.

Surrounded by still lakes, lush trees and majestic mountains, lives his uncle who is a renowned Mountaineer and adventurer. Having conquered a few Mountain peaks which were named after him, he spends his summers with a few fellow adventurers in his cabin teaching people how to climb mountains or run practical classes in wild adventure trekking. He was a man of many interesting and varied experiences and a collection of even more interesting friends with varied lifestyle.

So, one day our young man arrives at his cabin with a back pack looking totally tired and beaten up. Upon setting his eyes on him, his uncle pauses and takes a gulp in shock. Seeing his favorite nephew, who was once considered to be a dashing personality filled with vigor and zest for life is now nothing more than a bundle of nerves and sorrow. Although hurt by his appearance his uncle hugs him in his usual pride and love for him concealing his displeasure, shock and dismay.

That night, after supper uncle and nephew have a long chat over a few drinks. The young man cries his heart out to his favorite uncle and tells him of all that he has experienced and how he has lost faith in Good, God and Justice. How he felt he was betrayed by his friends and the person he loved, and the scars he has borne. Further due to these experiences how his behavior and attitude has changed and he has become very cynical and negative as a person, which is affecting his work, social live and his loved ones at home.

Having heard in detail of his life, and feeling very sorry for what he has been through his uncle continued to ask several questions in detail and listened to him with great attention, patience and interest. It was almost past 1:00 am and his uncle told his nephew, that he wants to take him the next morning to climb a mountain that he himself has never climbed before. He said that if he would help his uncle conquer the peak which should probably take a large part of the day, he would give him a gift that would solve all his problems and sooth all his sorrow. The gift would make him a very strong and a dynamic individual and he will be able to win all that he wishes for, and in due time and live a very happy and content life by turning things around his way.

Not having climbed a mountain before and looking for something different to do, the young man agrees. He spends his reminder of the night thinking of what the gift can be? Soon his thoughts drifted to all that he can do and how wonderful his life could be once he gets this gift. The life he will live, the things he would get for himself and the life of joy that he would lead. A good long spell of escapism filled with dreams and wishes coming true all that night as he lay staring at the ceiling.

Next morning he finds his bag packed and ready for the climb. His uncle gives him a pair of pants and a light tee shirt and is all excited as this is yet another mountain he has been waiting to climb and possibly map it right, which could give him the right to name the peak yet again. Sharing his excitement the young man, joins his uncle for the hour-long drive to the foot of the mountain. On reaching there he is left speechless standing at the foot of the mountain looking at the sheer size of the rock. He and his uncle stand there for a few long minutes scaling the rock in detail. The terrain filled with rugged surface, the sharp edges, the several crevasses, the steep rise and the jagged edges. The young man thought of the near impossible task that lies ahead of him. But having faith and total confidence in his uncle, he puts on his climbing shoes and with the help of his uncle, he puts on the climbing gear. The waist harness, the pulleys, sling harnesses, the various ropes around his shoulder, and several hooks and gloves, a small hip sack with chalk and sand in it, a bottle of water, and a very heavy back pack over his shoulder filled with more hooks, ropes, first aid, spike nails, four claw shoes, hammers, etc. He felt he was carrying at least twice his weight and wondered how he will manage the ascent.

 

The Climb

Once they were all loaded up with their equipments, they began the assent. The uncle began leading the way and shouting his instructions to his nephew as they began the accent. Look out to the left, foot hold to the right, hand hold at two 2 O’clock, etc. Since the uncle lead the climb, he was responsible to hammer the nail in the rock, grip the pulleys, run the ropes through them, assemble the hooks and continue to do so as he climbed. Quickly the young man learned the basics and was doing well. Hold on to secure grips and scale the immediate 2 to 3 foot ahead, look for secure hand holds and quick foot stops. Use his hands to lift his body with little force on his foot stops. Moving from one hand to another, and using the help of the ropes his uncle keeps dropping down he continues to climb. Every once in a while he briefly looks down and feels thrilled to see how far they have climbed, but every time he looks up he is unable to see the peak due to the slopes and curves of the rock. However, he makes good gains in his climb for a first timer and keeps getting valuable tips from his uncle. Hold on to the grip, don’t climb now, take a breather, let go of one hand and feel for a hand hold in blind, pull yourself up faster etc. Before they realized they were half way up the mountain and quiet tired. The uncle was now scaling for a rest stop which is typically a short but firm horizontal plain where the climbers could typically stand on their two feet with no hand support. Often here the climbers leave behind some supplies to reduce their weights and take a short break depending on the reminder of their climb. While the uncle tried to swing towards a rest stop side ways that he thought could work, he happened to slip and lost his grip. He now began to fall off the cliff but firmly holding on to the ropes. He knocked his elbow on the rock and kept pushing himself away from the rock every time he came near and fell several feet down very fast, but he held on to one of the ropes he had run though and began to try and break his fall by tightening the harness to the rope by which the fall ended by a quick jerk on his harness as the rope locked on. The young man felt he was done for. Several thoughts ran through his mind while watching the whole episode. He being stuck alone, loosing his uncle, his family, and the possibility of loosing his life, how will he survive etc.? But he also tried to closely watch his uncle struggle to get back to his hold on to the ropes. The sigh of relief was like never before. As the time went by his uncle managed to scale back the altitude and managed to find a rest stop for both of them. A short break was surely warranted after their near death experience.

Both of them took advantage of their break by sharing a few tips, while the young man had a few questions, they decided to drop off a few of their supplies which they didn’t need for the rest of the climb and took quick notes on the points where they have had secure nails and hooks planted firmly onto the rocks. Having scaled slightly over the mid-point of the rock they were pretty confident that they will be able to make the climb before sunset. Quickly they began to ascend again.

This time the conditions were a bit harder as the edges were sharper, colder temperatures, and slippery rocks as several years of hard windy conditions have smoothened the surface. There were fewer hand and foot holds how. But there were deeper crevasses, and sharper edges. They had to rely more on their strength and agility and speed rather than the tools and equipment they had. They had to rely on their experience of the first half of the mountain to understand where the possible holds could be based on the sheer character of the mountain. There were several short and steep cliffs that they couldn’t climb and hence had to swing themselves to wide spans to look for grip holds and supports. Each swing being a dangerous one and taking all steps necessary to ensure they do not slip like earlier. Now both had to rely on each other for support as they climbed the final few feet of their mountain. One clinging to other for support and at times one carries the other person’s weight when required. Giving a helping hand to one another, and looking up towards the peak they went on to continue their mission. When they looked down they couldn’t see the foot of the hill as it was covered by haze and dust and the rocks. But the peak now was in clear view. Soon they were at the top. As the young mans uncle grasped the final sharp yet strong edge of the final peak he looked down to his nephew and said we’ve made it!

 

Please enjoy the audio feed above which compliments the post below

 

The Lesson 

Yet another mountain conquered! Another tremendous feat accomplished, that only very few can accomplish in this world perhaps. It sure was an exhilarating sense of achievement that perhaps, can only be experienced by such few individuals. As they off loaded their equipments and released their harness and sat down looking around, the young man couldn’t help notice that his uncle was not jumping ecstatically of his accomplishment. But he was calm, a wide grin on his face and kept looking at his nephew and enquiring how he felt and how was the experience. Looking around, the view was something the young man had never seen before, imagined or experienced. The sky was lit in several shades of orange, blue and purple as the sun began to set. He could see a string of other mountain peaks gleaming in the riot of colors. Total silence which was almost hurting his ears. He for the first time felt and realized what it meant to have a breadth taking experience. Although every inch of his muscles was hurting and he was in pain, the sense of accomplishment and scene was worth every second of the experience. He looked over his shoulder and saw his uncle sitting beside him and thanked him for the wonderful experience. He realized that this experience will last him for the rest of his life. Then he asked his uncle what he was thinking of naming this peak.

His uncle quickly replied with a big smile on his face that he had already decided before the climb to name this peak after his dear nephew! The young man couldn’t believe what he just heard. He stood up in disbelief and began shaking his head urging his uncle to not name it after him as he has done nothing worthy of such love and recognition. His uncle assured him that he did want to name it after him and this was the gift he had told him about last night before they went to sleep.

This confused the young man. Although over whelmed by his uncles’ gesture and gift, he couldn’t understand how this could end all his turmoil and bring him all the happiness and joy he spent the night dreaming about. His uncle could see the total state of confusion in the young mans eyes and smiled. He asked him to sit down and he sat beside him. He asked the young man to listen to what he was going to tell him today at this mountain peak and try to understand it. He urged the young man to hold on to every word he was going to utter and to ponder over the greater meaning of his words. And then he went on to explain to his nephew the following:

Life is like climbing a mountain, he said. Today, consider that you have learned a great lesson in life by climbing this mountain. Think of every single move you made and every single action of yours while climbing the mountain. This is exactly what you need to do in life if you truly want to succeed and experience true happiness, peace and sense of accomplishment as you do right now having climbed this mountain.

Life is full of crevasse, foot holds, hand holds steep ascends and sharp declines. Life is huge with several sharp edges and rugged patches. Amongst these lie our several hidden opportunities and dangers. And it is how we make use of these and how we maneuver ourselves is what makes our life a success or failure.

Let us reflect on what you did today from the very beginning. You first looked at the task on hand and wondered how big it is and how you will accomplish it. Then you took some time scanning it and studying the sheer magnitude of the task before you set out to accomplish it and then you firstly began preparing yourself for it by putting on the appropriate gear and taking up the proper equipment along. Similarly life is like this too. It’s filled with rugged surfaces, sharp edges, steep climbs and deep falls. But amongst which lies the foot and hand holds that help you climb, the gears of knowledge are at your disposal, and there is always a lot of support one can find. You will need to look for these supports, identify them, test them, and use the appropriate tools and gifts of skills that life gives you.

Each event, turn or a phase in your life is like a mountain. Be it love, work, relationships, friendships, family etc. Each is like a task, it looks like it expects too much from you, and its an enormous task, but once you take a step back and have a broader perspective of it and understand it for what it is and have a mental clear understanding of the issue at hand and most importantly you prepare yourself with the right education, knowledge, and attitude you will have a greater chance of succeeding in accomplishing it or overcoming the obstacles. Many always approach their problems with a very wrong attitude and never prepare for it properly. People, and in this case yourself, lay thinking of the life they can have, after they have succeeded in life and waste their time instead of taking the much-needed steps to achieve the task. For example, if you had slept well last night without staying up in excitement of what life would be after you get the gift you would have been lot more agile today and we could have climbed faster. People are often blinded by their instincts and emotions which prevent them from taking an objective view of the issue at hand. Some handle their problems with no proper thinking and some with no proper equipments. The hooks, harness, gloves, sand and chalk, proper shoes are very similar to knowledge, experience, life lessons, smartness, education and wisdom. And the wrong tools are limited vision, narrow-mindedness, immature thinking, cluttered mind, cynicism, negativity, anger, rage etc.

Then consider how you climbed the initial phase of the mountain. Like the mountain, life too gives you several hand holds and foot holds. It is important for you to search for them and identify the good ones from the bad. Each hold or grip is like a change and opportunity in life. You have to choose the ones that will help you get ahead in life safely, faster and on secure paths. Some are weak opportunities and some are strong. Many make bad choices in these and hence end up where they are. Be it education, path in life, career, love, friends, they are let down only if they make poor choices in these. Each of these opportunities is plenty in life, but you have to search them and choose the ones that will take you to your destination safely without letting you down. They are also like any particular short-term situation in life. Each hand hold is like a situation you experience in your life. Here you have to understand that you will have to experience it and let go of it and move on. If you hold on to your hand holds and never let go, you will never get hold of the next one, hence never go ahead in experiences. Usually it’s common in relationships, especially when in love. People hold on to broken relationships like for the longest time and never move ahead in life. They spend more time hanging on to it which was primarily their lack of wisdom or a bad choice to choose that hand hold. They tend to over analyze and hang in there in sorrow and wallowing in self sympathy. They hang on way too long and hence never go ahead or move on. Remember that you will always have to leave one for the other. Unless you let go of the hand hold first, you cannot hook on to the other and pull yourself higher. Or else you will stagnate and eventually get tired of being stuck in the same place far too long.

Next, the ropes you used and they way you used are the few precious relationships everyone has in their lives. And these relationships are based on your good deeds, acceptance, respect for them, behavior, honesty and loyalty towards them which are like the hooks and pulleys these ropes were passed through. The better your deeds towards them, they stronger the hooks and nails are. As it’s very important to secure the nails in the rocks and the hooks and pulleys, it is equally important for you to build these relationships on strong and secure deeds honesty and integrity. After all the ropes/relations lie and depend on these. So then again, it’s in your hands how you build these relationships. Their dependability lies in your hands based on how you have securely planted the hooks and what kind of hooks and nails you have used to ensure their integrity. These very relationships are the vital life saving lines for you in your life. Like you reach out and grab on to the ropes when you fall or climb up, it is these relationships that play a similar role in your life. It’s these relationships that help you climb in your life and they are always there when you fall to help you and support you. These relationships are often found in close friends, and some family members. They last you a life time. But again it is how you build these relationships and when do you rely on them and for how long and how much. Like the ropes there is only so much weight and pressure it can take. Nothing can be taken for granted in life.

In general many things in life are totally dependent on our choices, approach, attitude, planning, and execution of the plan, preparation, and commitment and in this particular order. It always begins with our choice. What do we choose to do? Like, you choose to climb the mountain today along with me. Next is the approach and attitude, even if it’s not your choice, how did you approach the task or situation? Did you step back and try to understand it? Studied the task on hand? Where you negative, positive, willing to cope and adjust, manage the situation as best as you can? Then did you plan what to do and how to do it and did you follow the plan? How did you prepare for the task? Pay attention to your back pack, which is yet another vital aspect of your life and climbing a mountain. It best compares to your education and experiences. Many of us think it’s useless or don’t pay much attention to what we are supposed to learn from it. Like the back pack, its heavy in the beginning, filled with things we need and some we don’t. But as we climb and we use these tools the back pack becomes lighter and easier to carry. Similarly, we need the experiences and education. As we go ahead in life we often use them up and often collect some new ones too. But regardless of what it is if we do not learn and use them we waste what life has given to us.

So, life is such. And life is very similar to climbing a mountain. Always look ahead and up towards your future and the next move up. Do not look down as your past could be too steep a fall and it’s also something you have left behind and moved on and as you continue your climb up, you loose sight of the past, but the experience always lives on. But let your past be such were you have left behind the nails and hooks and ropes which your next generation and others could use and follow. Let it be your legacy that you can be proud off. In you life as you go ahead you will find the resting places as well. Stop by, take a breather, think things out, and clear your cluttered mind. Use these breaks to reflect a little of your past and plan your next move towards your future. It’s ok to do nothing at all for a while in life, but you can’t stay there for ever, or else it will go dark and you not have the daylight to climb the mountain. Leave behind what you don’t need there, as the higher you go, you will need more wisdom than tools. Also remember you cannot do anything alone, you often have to learn from others as well. Some people live a pseudo life pretending to know it all and done it all who never truly learn. They may impress the like-minded or the uneducated people but fail to impress the wise and the accomplished. You weren’t arrogant, or too proud to learn, you took tips and learnt a lot today. Thus you were able to get ahead with some help. And lastly, when you get to the top? Don’t loose your character. Be humble and modest about yourself. People who celebrate wildly at the top of the peak often loose their balance and fall back down. The peak is very narrow and just enough to plant your accomplishments which others can follow and learn from. Now this is my gift to you. Hope you will cherish this experience and carry the credit of this peak and your name associated to it with humility and pride as well. I would want you to share what you have learnt with others and use what you have learnt today for the rest of your life. By doing so I assure you that many of your concerns will end and you will begin to live a life with more caution but yet with more happiness, accomplishments and success. Let this Mountain of experience take you to your peak in life and set a path that many others can follow.

With these profound words and the experience the young mans life changed that very moment. He sat there and watched the sun set as he recollected every single experience he gained today and was clinging on to every single word his uncle told him. He then decided to set his past down and begin tomorrow with a renewed vigor and use this wonderful experience he gained this day as a lesson about life.

Such are many profound lessons one can learn from simple experiences in life. Perhaps this story will help many of us to rethink our lives and experiences and help us make better choices, and draw some strength from the lessons this young man learned. Life is very similar to climbing a Mountain. There may be some mountain we need to climb again, but we have to persevere until we conquer the peak!


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