Tuesday, July 27, 2010

2010-31 - Nothing is Written…

My all-time favourite film is "Lawrence Of Arabia" and, if I have a favourite scene from the movie, then I guess it is the one of Lawrence's triumphal return from the Nefud desert, having gone back to rescue the Arab Gasim. The crossing of the Nefud desert is considered impossible, even by the local Arabs, but Lawrence persuades them that, in this way, they can take the Turkish port at Aqaba from the rear.
Having carried out the superhuman feat of traversing this furnace, it is discovered that one of the Arabs, Gasim, has fallen off his camel and is no doubt dying somewhere back in the desert. Lawrence is told that any idea of rescue is futile and, in any event, Gasim's death is "written". When Lawrence achieves the impossible and returns with Gasim still alive, Sherif Ali admits to him: "Truly, for some men nothing is written unless they write it".
As an impressionable teenager when this film was first released, I was stunned by Lawrence's courage and unselfishness in going back into the hell of the Nefud to attempt to find a man he hardly knew among the vast expanse of a fiery terrain and I was so moved by the sense of purpose of a man who is determined to take nothing as "written" but to shape his own destiny. This sense of anti-determinism and this belief that anything is possible has stayed with me always and continues to inspire me in small ways and large.
~ Roger Darlington

“What we can or cannot do, what we consider possible or impossible, is rarely a function of our true capability. It is more likely a function of our beliefs about who we are.”
~ Tony Robbins

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

2010-30 - The Four Way Test…

The man was Herbert J. Taylor who surveyed the way the company did its business, which was the sale of aluminium pots and pans. The nature of the industry was fraught with unethical business practices. To bring the business out of bankruptcy Taylor knew that he had to change the way business was conducted. Ultimately he developed a very simple business philosophy that all employees were to follow in all of their business dealings with customers, suppliers and associates. The philosophy changed the business, turned the business around and ultimately brought it out of bankruptcy.
The business philosophy is a simple four step decision making tool. It didn't tell people what to do or how to think, but it did give them a tool to use in all of their business dealings. The tool is now well known to anyone that has ever associated themselves with Rotary International. It is simple The Four Way Test. The tip is to use this simple decision making tool in your life and see if it doesn't make a difference. As people, we must all stand by our personal honesty and integrity. This is a handy and simple test of what you say, do, or think. Give it a try in your life.
The Four Way Test:
1. Is it the TRUTH?
2. Is it FAIR to all concerned?
3. Will it build GOODWILL and better friendships?
4. Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?
By the way, this tool made Herbert Taylor a multimillionaire in the 1930s. So it's also a very profitable way of doing business.
~ Author Unknown

“Try not to become a man of success but rather to become a man of value.”
~ Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

2010-29 - I Wanted To Change The World…

When I was a young man, I wanted to change the world.
I found it was difficult to change the world, so I tried to change my nation.
When I found I couldn't change the nation, I began to focus on my town. I couldn't change the town and as an older man, I tried to change my family.
Now, as an old man, I realize the only thing I can change is myself, and suddenly I realize that if long ago I had changed myself, I could have made an impact on my family. My family and I could have made an impact on our town. Their impact could have changed the nation and I could indeed have changed the world.
~ Unknown Monk, 1100 A.D.
“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.”
~ Victor Frankl

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

2010-28 - The Power of Encouragement…

Dante Gabriel Rossetti, the famous 19th-century poet and artist, was once approached by an elderly man. The old fellow had some sketches and drawings that he wanted Rossetti to look at and tell him if they were any good, or if they at least showed potential talent. Rossetti looked them over carefully.
After the first few, he knew that they were worthless, showing not the least sign of artistic talent. But Rossetti was a kind man, and he told the elderly man as gently as possible that the pictures were without much value and showed little talent. He was sorry, but he could not lie to the man.
The visitor was disappointed, but seemed to expect Rossetti’s judgment. He then apologized for taking up Rossetti’s time, but would he just look at a few more drawings - these done by a young art student?
Rossetti looked over the second batch of sketches and immediately became enthusiastic over the talent they revealed. "These," he said, "oh, these are good. This young student has great talent. He should be given every help and encouragement in his career as an artist. He has a great future if he will work hard and stick to it."
Rossetti could see that the old fellow was deeply moved. "Who is this fine young artist?" he asked. "Your son?"
"No," said the old man sadly. "It is me - 40 years ago. If only I had heard your praise then! For you see, I got discouraged and gave up - too soon."
~ Author Unknown
"Correction does much, but encouragement does more."
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe