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The league of successful “Autodidacts”



Are you a Conformist or do you have the courage to change your world?


TED Talk http://youtu.be/a181ctQyGY4

http://youtu.be/a181ctQyGY4

 

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TED Talks


Living in a bitter world without clear conscience


I love those who can smile in trouble, who can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. ‘Tis the business of little minds to shrink, but they whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves their conduct, will pursue their principles unto death.
Leonardo da Vinci

The strange thing about us human beings is that we often spend a lot of time and energy searching for ideas, and answers which often are found within ourselves. Many blame the world and everything they can and some often find their answers within. One of the most important answer we often seem to seek is: if we are doing the right thing? Or is what we are doing good for us? And as many accomplished and successful people have pointed out based on their own experiences: “listen to your inner voice or gut feeling”. Somehow this inner voice seems to know all the right answers and helps guide you often to the right things in life. And when we do something wrong it begins to eat us up from inside with guilt. But this inner voice is only heard if one pays attention and takes the effort to query or listen to it. And it only works if you take the necessary positive actions to do the right thing. This magical phenomenon that all of us have been gifted with is almost like a divine compass called Conscience. Like all the greatest gifts that we have Conscience is also another intangible and immeasurable possession like love, feelings, thinking etc.

Conscience is often found as a feeling of remorse when a human being commits actions that go against his or her moral values and beliefs. Conscience is like an aptitude, intuition or judgment of our thoughts and behaviours that distinguishes right from wrong. And us humans are asked to invoke this conscience universally through all religious belief systems and by means of any basic intellectual norms.

The word “conscience” is derived from the Latin word conscientia, meaning “privity of knowledge” or “with-knowledge”. The English word implies internal awareness of a moral standard in the mind concerning the quality of one’s motives, as well as a consciousness of our own actions. Conscience may be defined as the practical reason employed when applying moral convictions to a situation The many philosophers, or saints often ask to invoke our conscience to develop it, as they themselves do through daily contemplation or meditation combined with selfless service to others. Such developed state of conscience helps create a strong sense of intuitive insight or revelation to many. This helps a person to use their intellect towards positive and humane causes, pursue further knowledge, be self critical with the focus of self improvement and on a general level apply fair justice in his or her life.

The human voice can never reach the distance that is covered by the still small voice of conscience.
Mohandas Gandhi

Yet we, the most developed and gifted species choose to live by killing our own conscience. Our pride, ego, anger and prejudice help us do things against our very own conscience until it is too late. The sad fact is that while one does things that go against their own moral values or beliefs, the conscience keep telling them that it is wrong. Once we do things against our conscience and fail, our conscience begins to hurt us with the feeling of severe guilt. But instead of taking the necessary positive steps to undo the damage many still continue to stifle this inner voice with rage and anger or drown it in intoxication. We the intelligent, civilized and knowledgeable species choose such.

All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.
Thomas Jefferson

It is plain common sense that many of our personal and worlds’ ills are result of actions in rage and blind fury. The things we say to hurt others, the things we do to hurt others and ourselves, the greed we posses, the prejudice we hold, the disrespect we show are some of the things we do often against our conscience. The violent killings, the communal riots, steeling, damaging things, wars, or theft are all things that people do against their basic human moral values and beliefs. The greatest crimes against humanity are often over the deliberate killing of our own conscience. The person who commits the atrocity and the person who witnesses it and chooses to close their door on the facts and reality are both guilty of killing their own conscience.

Never do anything against conscience even if the state demands it.
Albert Einstein

But this gift of conscience is a wonderful thing. It is the conscience that makes the individual set out to accomplish great feats and do the impossible, it makes people charitable, invokes the wealthy to become philanthropists, invokes love, compassion, and righteousness. It makes us become better people, do greater things in life, and helps us succeed.

All credibility, all good conscience, all evidence of truth come only from the senses.
Friedrich Nietzsche

Development of Conscience:

Most people live with a self conceived idea and parameters of morality. It may be okay to lie a little but not to deceive or they may be comfortable to speak just to the advantages of doing something but choose to hide the negatives. But in general terms there is limit to who they choose to do and what they do not based on their moral values and comfort. These limits they choose change though time based on their individual experiences, social pressures and norms, or communal rituals and belief systems. But the conscience within eventually brings about a sense of balance as an individual evolves. But until such time the turmoil one can endure often affects their success and happiness in life.

When freedom does not have a purpose, when it does not wish to know anything about the rule of law engraved in the hearts of men and women, when it does not listen to the voice of conscience, it turns against humanity and society.
Pope John Paul II

So, how can one develop sound and balanced approach towards nurturing their conscience and morality to live a happy, content, and successful and guilt free life?

There are several theories based on studies of set groups. But it takes some honest self criticism and the will to self develop to come up with some key objectives:

1) One needs to see the need to self develop and the need to adhere to balanced and just moral values and conduct. This in turn helps develop their inner conscience on sound principles which will allow them to do what is right and make them feel bad when they go against it.

2) Fair judgement on balanced opinions and values. This can be practiced by not immediately reacting to any given situation. Exercising calm and some thinking can always help take a positive approach towards issues at hand. This becomes crucial to control haste and anger where patience and understanding would be more valuable.

3) Respect and Equality for one and all. This would avoid people holding prejudice and tame ones ego. People who do not practice this often continue to live a life of arrogance, and self indulgence at the cost of other people’s happiness, self respect and peace. But they also live a life of continuous fight against their inner guilt and general level of discontent about everything in life.

Through pride we are ever deceiving ourselves. But deep down below the surface of the average conscience a still, small voice says to us, something is out of tune.
Carl Jung

Life is too short to waste time over petty behaviours and toiling in guilt. Many of our ills and unhappiness are out of our own choices and actions in life which are often against out very one divine gift called conscience. By awakening and living in tune with our own conscience we can build better lives for ourselves, make more progress, co exist happily with one and other, live happier and become successful based on moral and clear thinking without the fear of guilt.

Labor to keep alive in your breast that little spark of celestial fire, called conscience.
George Washington


Advice is Cheap – Choose your advisers


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If it’s free, it’s advice; if you pay for it, it’s counselling; if you can use either one, it’s a miracle.
Jack Adams

Advice is cheap. It doesn’t cost anything but time and emotions for the person who gives advice. Which incidentally many have ample to dish away. Everyone can give advises too. I can give you advice about things which I have absolutely no idea about. Your friends can give you advice on love or relationships that they have personally never been in either of these situations.  An employee of any financial institution can advice you on global economies regardless of their institution being on the verge of a bail out themselves. Advice is cheap. Be good, be positive, be courageous so on and so forth. There are those who may advice you who themselves do not practice what they preach.  I have often learned a lot from such advisers more and followed their advises often. And as time passed by I realized that it is easier to give advice but there are several other factors that can stop you from practicing the same. Which also helped me realize the value of these advises about the right things to do in life and how difficult it is to walk the righteous path and hold on to your values.

 In giving advice seek to help, not to please, your friend.
Solon

Why do people give advice? It may not cost them anything monetarily. But the concern, love, concern and care they experience for you often holds lot more value to them than it does to you. Many advice because simply they care. These types of advisers are usually your family, friends or those who know you personally. Then there are those who offer their unsolicited advises whether they are concerned or not. They perhaps take more pride in their position where they can tell something of value and get some acknowledgement in return. And when you seek advice from some they either give you their opinion or advises based on their individual beliefs, experiences and feelings towards the subject. These advises can be biased or unbiased depending on their objective that moment.  Even subject matter experts are often wrong. Many advises from subject matter experts often change depending on the research programs and findings. One day wine will be very good for your heart the other day it wont. Likewise, you will be told to have 3 -4  cups of coffee by a Doctor on TV one week, and two later you will be asked to cut down to one. Meanwhile, you have only battered your heart for no good reason as a result of your actions based on such advises. 

 When you seek advice, do not withhold any facts from the person whose advice you seek.
Abu Bakr

 So how do you go about getting the right advice and seeking help when you need one? The fact is that the responsibility is upon you on who and what kind of advice you seek. If you want someone who simply needs to agree with you and your decisions you may seek anyone from your social circle who shares your similar ideas or values. They will often agree with your decisions and pamper your ego and actions regardless of whether they you are right or wrong.  But if you truly need a formidable person who can guide you with an unbiased opinion, then it has to be someone who knows you well and cares enough about you to tell you the facts and give the best advice they possibly can based on their individual knowledge and experience.  These are people who are from your immediate family and friends circle who know you over a period of time.

 

Parents can only give good advice or put them on the right paths, but the final forming of a person’s character lies in their own hands.
Anne Frank

 When you ahead out to seek some professional advice or guidance on a particular subject matter it is imperative that you place your trust and seek advice from those who truly are just, unbiased and are known to have provided good fact based advice to others. For example, seeking advice on a relationship from someone who themselves have had a failed relationships wouldn’t be wise. Similarly, seeking advice from a home owner on the right price for a home that you hope to purchase might not be the only advice you will need on that subject. If you truly seek to acquire a balanced and sound guidance on a subject you will have to go seek for it with some honest introspection, hard work and multiple sources before you are able to form an educated and well-balanced opinion. Such effort based, balanced and educated opinions often result in sound decisions and successful outcomes in life. I had mentioned honest introspection earlier because it is equally imperative and supremely important to remove your pride, prejudice, ego and preconceived notions about the subject from your mind on that particular subject in order to enable yourself to be open to what you learn from seeking such advises.

 

I never had a man come to me for advice yet, but what I soon discovered that he thought more of his own opinion than he did of mine. 

~Josh Billings

 Next time you find the need to seek advice or a valued opinion, take the time and put some thinking on choosing who you seek advice from. Value the advises that you receive from those who are concerned about you and love you. Be open to advises and learn that even people who may not have followed what they preach may teach you a valuable thing or two. Learning from other people’s mistakes saves from making your own. Be open to advises, do your research, explore your sources and options and learn well before you form your important decisions in life. Advice is cheap. But if it costs anyone it costs the person who bases his or her decision on that advice.  Your choice on the advice you follow and the sources and people who you seek advice from often has a great impact on major decisions in your life.  Advises can be from others, but the final decision and the outcome of following those advises are yours.

 Nobody can give you wiser advice than yourself.  ~Cicero


Economic Advices vs Commonsense?


Save, do not spend, but invest, in properties that are depreciating like cars, or invest in banks, insurance companies or energy companies or car manufacturers who will claim bankruptcy and have the Government bail them out using your tax dollars. Save! That’s the Mantra! Save and you shall become rich. Spend and you shall become poor. And it took a decline in the stock market, a plunge in the Dollar value and a chars in Europestock market to realize this. Further, it took the stupid channel on cable having an intelligent looking pretty face read of the teleprompter read out “..now we have an expert in Econocomic who is an author of : Another wise crack quoting flawed statistics to create fear for personal monetary benefits

 So what does these experts and so-called financial and economic Gurus say to the common man? Do not spend, save. Do not buy your fancy phones, cars, and luxuries of life that you so desire having worked your life off and pay a good chunk of it to the government. But do put the remaining pennies you bring home into a jar and “invest” it in companies that will either pay you minimal dividends over time or win your trust to invest more over a short period of time and finally declare bankruptcy once they have got all that they can make off you. Oh yes, do not worry, your tax dollars will bail them out should they fail and keep them afloat to ensure that they continue taking your money.

 Show me a man who became rich by saving and I will show you a few hundreds to one who became rich by earning more. Saving will help you not get poor, but earning more is the only way to become rich. Simple and common logic points to this basic fact. Ensure that your “needs” are fulfilled and put aside some if you have for a rainy day before you go get your “wants”.

The true fact is that the experts were wrong and continue to be wrong. Economy will not collapse, invest in real estate, build and they will come, people will buy anything that is cheap, invest in technology, invest in energy, and so on and so forth are all advice that never stuck. The experts who quoted them now sing a different song.

The common man pays. Pays for the governments blunders, pays as an investor, pays to take his own money out of a bank, pays his taxes, pays for his living, his needs, his wants, his familys’ needs and their wants and pays for his death. The people who find ways to take the common man’s money are those who make money. And amongst them who finds a way to take more money from the common man in exchange for something he needs, wants or places a higher value becomes rich. And those who do this frequently become richer. Trade: at its basic best.

We are forced to pay more of our hard earned money for many basic things that we shouldn’t. Health care, water, electricity, roadways and insurance are some that our tax dollars should cover. Yet we are forced and/or convinced to pay for such basic and rightful needs of ours  by age old philosophies, systems and concepts that are backed up by statistics that are produced by vested interests of the companies that service these industries. Spend! Not save! Yet the so called experts harp away the magic mantra of “Save”! Really genius? You have a platform today to dish out your cheap good for nothing advice because you are getting “paid” to say this and by creating some sort of fear and diversion from the reality where you make more money for fear mongering. When is the last time you saved? And if you did, what has it done to your wealth?

The facts remain to be facts. Not much that diverts from basic common sensibilities and logic.

  • Strive always to make more money. Earn more, innovate, think of ways to make more money by exchanging goods and services that others see value in.
  • Yes, do spend. But spend wisely. But your needs and your wants as and when you can afford it.
  • Save for a rainy day. Put some money aside just in case of emergency.
  • Enjoy life. Be happy and realize that many of these things can be sweeter with more money.
  • You live once, so do not live in constant fear and do not be foolish to pay high monetary value on momentary pleasures.
  • If you have excess, help others and the needy who cannot fend for themselves.
  • Invest only on secure ventures that ensure good returns. And you are willing to take chances, do not crib or cry when they fail you.
  • Make money and then spend it. Not the other way around.
  • Buying in credit with interest is nothing but fulfilling your wants by paying out of a possible income in your future for the product and paying more to the middle man in interest for allowing you to do so.
  • Remember that you can buy for $100 more today than what you can get for the same $100 a year later.
  • Learn to differentiate between depreciating assets and appreciating assets and put your money in the right kind.

Rather live a poor man with expensive experiences than be the richest man in the grave having lived a life of no pleasures.

Many experts have been very wrong. Many experts fail in their concepts. And ideas that seem to be true are dependent to that specific time, conditions, circumstances and period (which isn’t long). It never works if any of these parameters change. Ideas, concepts, theories and philosophies need to progressively evolve. Sadly they seldom do. New changing conditions do not adhere to age old paradigms. And economics is one constant proof of that. The economic super powers of yesterday are the rapidly dwindling debt holes of today. And those who were brandished as the poor nations and a country laden with street beggars are the economic stalwarts of today.

This comical madness of econophobia shall continue as long as we feed them with our money. First make yourself rich by earning more. Then perhaps invest with great caution and for decent returns gradually. Greed will get you. Greed will make the other man richer with your money. If you are greedy that is a great thing. It makes many people become rich and gives you a “chance” to become rich as well. But the “chance” is yours and only yours. For the gains for others are a sure fact.

Earn! Earn more!

Spend and rejoice of the money you earn.

Spend for good returns, or on things you place value in and not on those that give you nothing in return

Save just enough for your future (the future when you will not want to earn and live a retired life).

Save for emergency expenses.

Invest in yourself first! Invest in your happiness, life, and quality of life.

Invest in other ventures only on secure and substantial returns.

Gamble! A little risk is good. Simply because the returns are very good!

But do not blame a system or others for your greed!

Do not hate the successful and the wealthy, instead work towards becoming one of them or choose and work towards a comfortable economic state you are happy with.

Lastly, have some realistic expectations. You are not entitled for anything unless you work for it. NOTHING comes for free or easy. Ask your self what have you done or doing to get what you want.

Here are some select quotes:

If all the economists were laid end to end, they’d never reach a conclusion.  ~George Bernard Shaw

 

A happy life is one spent in learning, earning, and yearning.
Lillian Gish

 

Every day I get up and look through the Forbes list of the richest people inAmerica.  If I’m not there, I go to work.  ~Robert Orben

 

Education is not solely about earning a great living. It means living a great life.
Brad Henry

 

Inflation is when you pay fifteen dollars for the ten-dollar haircut you used to get for five dollars when you had hair.  ~Sam Ewing

 

A bank is a place that will lend you money if you can prove that you don’t need it.  ~Bob Hope

 

Business is the art of extracting money from another man’s pocket without resorting to violence.  ~Max Amsterdam

 

When it is a question of money, everybody is of the same religion.  ~Voltaire

 

Money isn’t the most important thing in life, but it’s reasonably close to oxygen on the “gotta have it” scale.  ~Zig Ziglar

 

Economists are coming to acknowledge that measures of national wealth and poverty in terms strictly of average income tell you little that is significant of the health or viability of a society.
Rowan D. Williams

Economists report that a college education adds many thousands of dollars to a man’s lifetime income – which he then spends sending his son to college.
Bill Vaughan

Economic Disparity Complex:

However, we are collectively witnessing a growing sense of self entitlement by the have-nots and a general sense of anger at those who have. As opposed to taking charge and responsibility of their own state of economic conditions, and taking steps to earn more and develop towards becoming successful, many choose to blame those at the opposite end of the spectrum for their lack of initiative or the system. Strangely, those who are considered to be wealthy in USA the now notorious 1% consist of many who crossed the width of economic disparity by making choices and working hard towards building their wealth. They chose to innovate, invent, take risk, work harder, and take advantage of those who spent their hard-earned dollars in exchange for their offerings. For example: It is largely the middle class and to a great extent the lower earning members of the economic ladder who seem to spend their hard-earned dollars on fancy phones and gadgets that are developed and sold by those who become wealthy. The strange and ironic fact is that the remainder of this 99% choose to spend their time to use the same cell phones and online social media to organize protests against those who became wealthy by selling these very tools.

Once again, out comes the “experts” with the statistics and advice on the 1% of the evil “wealthy”. The wealthy own majority of the shares in big companies, they earn more than the 99%, they live in bigger houses etc. Yeah? What are they supposed to do with the wealth they earn? Not invest in business they choose? Dont buy things they like? What about the philanthropic contributions they make? If they have earned it they can choose to spend as they wish. Like wise, those who are at the lower end of the economic ladder have all they need and the freedom to make real choices and actions to become wealthy. They can “get rich or die trying” – right Curtis? If only these half-baked statistics from these so-called “experts” were unbiased and gave the point of view for both sides. Then the number will perhaps indicate towards what the 99% should and could do to cross the economic disparity.

Being wealthy isn’t a crime neither is being self-sufficient and happy where you stand. The “American Dream” isn’t just being a millionaire or wealthy. For many it is owning a house, raising good and balanced children, sharing good and happy memories, a cozy family dinner at Thanksgiving or owning a sports car close to their retirement. And for those who want to do all this and more, there is nothing stopping you from working harder, smarter, taking risks, being innovative, and making more money. The difference is in your attitude, approach, will and choices.

For every person who says they do not have enough money to put themselves through school, there are several who work two jobs and put themselves through school.

For every person who blames the tax system and the amount they pay in taxes, there are several who take advantage of the welfare provided and several more who pay the taxes and still achieve their dreams and ambitions.

For every person who spends time blaming the system and the “wealthy: there are several who work hard and find ways to become wealthy.

For every person who resorts to borrowing money or living on credit there are several who strive hard to earn that money and live within their means.

There is no use of fear mongering and marketing what I call “Econophobia” by the media and the silly statistics put forward by the experts. They are no reliable than the weathermans’ predictions. If the past statistics have proved anything, it is totally unreliable and will change faster than you expect it to change. Your success and economic condition lies in your will, ability and desires. There is no one that can be blamed for your failures but yourself. Stand up and make the changes you need to become successful! 


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


Paradoxes of our changing times, people and paradigms


 

Please enjoy the above audio feed

 

Sensible humans, insensible beings.  We the knowledgeable and the most gifted of creation do many things that opposes our own basic sensibilities. It is amusing to see people who know the right from wrong but still choose to do what is wrong. For example a person knows the consequences of smoking, the cigarette packs carry horrific pictures of how the internal organs of smokers appears when damaged, and there are seriously alarming statistics for anyone to learn from, yet the knowledgeable man knowingly chooses to smoke. Those who live in a free world with fair law and protection feel the need to carry a gun for self-protection etc. With all the progressive evolution and technological advancements it still appears many things haven’t changed sadly. Man still continues to live in fear, hunger still kills people, and wars still seem to be inevitable.

I often wonder where the days have gone where people welcomed others to visit their country proudly with a warm smile. Have you seen the expressions and demeanor of today’s immigration officers across the world? People now have become accustomed to handing their self-respect and dignity to these uniformed first faces of the country they visit. Being intimidated, unwelcome and at times getting insulted has become a norm while visiting many of our so-called “first world” nations. I find it very shocking and upsetting to see how we have chosen to sacrifice our manners, hospitality, culture, and respect for others under the excuse of terrorism? Aren’t people able to see how they have allowed institutional authorities to scare them into dropping their own privacy, dignity and respect at the feet of a security officer, where some of them take the liberty to abuse the power and authority with arrogance and total disregard to basic human dignity?  I find it appalling to see a father of a young girl stand in line at an airport security check in and watch the pride, love and honor of his house being touched and “patted down” by hand or video screened by a total stranger and he cannot do anything about it. When will our mute conscience scream out for justice for self and all? Is this the state and condition of living we choose in our advanced and developed world? Does security measures have to be this humiliating and disrespectful? Can’t there be a more efficient and respectable process developed with all the technology we have in place today? Do we really have to pack our dignity and leave it at home before we decide to travel for a simple holiday? Does the new highly advanced metal detector really need the person to assume a less dignified position and hold their belongings in both their hands up over their forehead? And the only alternative option is an invasive and more degrading hand pat-down by some stranger under the arrogance of authority? Is this the educated, free and respectable world? This is the free country of today that claims to uphold the respect, dignity and equal rights for everyone?

The age and times of today have changed a lot and less reasonable on the account of political ambitions and personal financial gains of a few powerful people. It seems to be a world that is run by corporations like a corporation. Certain countries are run by corporations and some countries are run by taking-over corporations. We are now witnessing a serious shift in many traditional institutional methods along with age-old perceptions. The military superpowers of yesterday are standing on their knees before the economic superpowers of today. What was once touted as a free country is lot more constrained, rude, interrogative, and invasive where their own people are being oppressed softly than the ones they admonished during the cold war days. The “show me your papers” has been replaced by a simple credit card, social security card or even a basic drivers license. People are watched more carefully and closely with total disregard to their privacy and dignity by advanced technology preying deep into their personal lives. Today’s power abusing government officials keep us so puzzled with their intimidation and scare tactics that we do not have time to realize that our basic rights have also been taken away by new laws and regulations in the name of security. Democratic governments have begun to treat people like dictators while dictatorships have learned to control their people with the false pretext of democracy. Broken homes grow with more frequent divorces over trivial reasons as people become wealthier. The unreasonable distribution of “divorce settlements” feed this trend regardless of the fact that divorce is one of the top reasons for bankruptcies. It has become a legal, super-sensitive and precarious task to correct and reprimand your own children when they misbehave. Basic human lives have lost their value. Countries that were considered poor have become richer while once prosperous countries battle economic crisis. Elected leaders continue to make poor and selfish decisions while people continue to suffer helplessly, and wisdom sits under the thumb of people’s mobile web browsers while they continue to make poor choices and continue to become more ignorant on account of their arrogance. I wonder at times how this world will be, if countries can form coalitions to help other countries, stop wars, maintain peace, eradicate disease and poverty and educate, as opposed to standing together only to fight a common enemy sitting over valuable natural resources.

As people we have become more individualistic in nature by shrugging off our basic responsibilities towards our loved ones, family, humanity and the world we share. We are quick to retaliate against our loved ones when we put up with lot more nonsense from people who don’t matter to us. We easily hurt the people who love us without thinking, but we think twice before we say anything to a stranger. We have chosen to work harder at our jobs to succeed while we feel tired to work on the necessary relationships of our lives. “Sorry I do not have the time to attend to your human wants honey because I am too busy attending to the wants of a heartless entity I work for.” Money takes precedence over humanity. We have increasingly become more critical, untrusting and disrespectful of the opposite sex. Socially we have become stranger and paranoid. We look at almost everyone with suspicion. We may live in a community for several years yet we do not know our very neighbors name. Personally we have become more egoistic and arrogant regardless of what we truly are. We have become more demanding and short-tempered. We choose to be rude, unhappy and disrespectful to others over the most minor of incidents. Dignity and self-respect is put in the bottom shelf. We have increasingly become cynical human beings.

We hate and condemn narcotics traffickers and producers yet we pay top dollars to abuse our bodies with such drugs. We despise and religiously oppose prostitution, sex crimes, sex trafficking, child pornography, but yet we create a demand for them by indulging in such heinous and animalistic behaviors that are serious crimes against humanity. Are the producers and traffickers worse or the people who create the demand for such industries by paying top dollars worse?  The producer often escapes the legalities due to their connections while the consumers of such vices are clearly visible and yet not charged because of their fame and money. Yet the strictest of laws and severest of punishments are generously doled out on the victims of sex trades and traffickers of narcotics.

Look at the state of all these religions across the world. What a paradoxical mess they are in. Holy men caught in sinful acts. Religions of peace are being tainted by acts of chaos and terror. Men are treated as Gods by highly educated people, while God has lost his value over the many rituals and norms of the man-made religions. When all prophets were sent by one God and all are have the same family and creation, why do we separate them by different man-made religions and rituals? Yet, strangely the modern and evolved man chooses to follow the age-old paradigms developed by men thousands of years ago. Common knowledge about faith indicates that God created mankind in his own image and conveyed the message to live in peace, be humble, respect and serve humanity, treat each other like you would want to be treated yourself, love thy neighbor, be righteous, uphold morals, and help the needy and the poor. But the religions that were developed by the followers of the prophets and not the prophets themselves advocate segregation of humanity by religions, hate people who do not support your religious rituals, norms and beliefs, be violent, burn, kill and be arrogant and feel superior. I wonder if we are truly this blinded by the rituals of the religions to see the message of the creator. When we all read the same message in different books, why do we fail to see the similarities? People have become more religious lately but less spiritual. They choose to show their faith and religion by the display of their clothes and words rather with their conduct and character. I find it very funny to see people looking up towards the sky when seeking help from God when God is considered to be omnipresent? God in all faiths asks to help humanity. If this is so, is it necessary to help and feed the poor and serve humanity under the condition of changing their religion? Does charity have to be billed as Christian, Islamic, Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist or any other denominational charities? Can’t we be just simple human beings and help our fellow kind regardless of their cast, creed, color or faith?

Many of us thrive on our relationships in our lives. These relationships feed our need for love, compassion, comfort, and a sense of belonging. The importance and influence of these relationships plays a vital part in the formation of our characters, behaviors and lifestyle choices. Yet there are those who are extremely callous with such relationships. Many cheat in love when they expect loyalty and honesty in it. Some have less value for the ones who make major sacrifices for their love over people who flatter their false egos. People begin to realize the worth of people only after they lose them from their lives. We are often too late to say sorry and speak words of love. We often remember the hurt someone has caused us and forget the good they have done and the happiness they gave us. People increasingly are becoming into more pseudo personalities in this world when it’s hard enough to be your true self. And for momentary happiness or satisfaction that usually doesn’t last for more than a few hours we choose to sacrifice our futures. Instant gratification has become the norm and thus once again we create yet another industry to feed our vain behaviors. We carry more applications on our phones than we can care to use, we live in bigger houses with fewer people, buy more than our affordability, talk but don’t listen, and then blame everything around us but ourselves. People hold on to a much higher sense of self entitlement. They no longer are humble and many feel they deserve much more and all others in their lives need to keep honoring their inflated self-worth by complying with their ever-rising demands. They never take the time to reflect on their true worth or think if they will do the same if someone else made such demands of them.

Sensible humans, Insensible beings !


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


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