Tuesday, December 29, 2015

2015-52 - The Best Ever...

To make this coming year the best year ever, start small. Start with one small moment, and put into it all your energy, your enthusiasm, your passion and commitment. Make full use of what you have right here and now, whatever it may be.

To make this coming year the best year ever, keep going. Though challenges and disappointments will certainly come your way, you do not have to go their way. There is every reason to continue moving forward, no matter what, for that is the best response to every discouragement.

To make this coming year the best year ever, take responsibility for it. Instead of making excuses or assigning blame, put your energy into focused, creative effort, into creating value, into living with purpose.

This coming year can be the best year ever... because it will be for you whatever you are willing to make it.

~ Ralph Marston

"The new year stands before us, like a chapter in a book, 
waiting to be written."

~ Melody Beattie

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

2015-51 - We are never alone

Do you know the legend of the Cherokee Indian youth's rite of passage?

His father takes him into the forest... blindfolded... and leaves him... alone. He is required to sit on a stump the whole night... and not take off the blindfold until the ray of sun shines through it. He is all by himself. He cannot cry out for help to anyone.
Once he survives the night... he is a MAN. He cannot tell the other boys of this experience. Each boy must come into his own manhood.

The boy was terrified... could hear all kinds of noise... beasts were all around him. Maybe even some human would hurt him. The wind blew the grass and earth... and it shook his stump. But he sat stoically... never removing the blindfold. It would be the only way he could be a man.

Finally, after a horrific night... the sun appeared and he removed his blindfold. It was then that he saw his father... sitting on the stump next to him... at watch... the entire night.
We are never truly alone. Even when we do not know it, our family and friends are watching out for us... sitting on a stump beside us.

~ Author Unknown


"You just have to be yourself and go full with confidence and be 

~ Gabby Douglas


Tuesday, December 15, 2015

2015-50 - The Trouble Tree

The carpenter I hired to help me restore an old farm house has just finished a rough day on the job. A flat tyre had made him lose an hour of work, his electric saw quit and now his ancient truck refused to start. While I drove him home, he sat in stony silence. On arriving, he invited me in to meet his family.

As we walked to the front door, he paused briefly at a small tree, touching the tips of the branches with both hands.

When opening the door, he underwent an amazing transformation. His tanned face was wreathed in smiles and he hugged his two small children and gave his wife a kiss. Later, he walked me back to my car. We passed the tree and my curiosity got the better of me; so I asked him about what I had seen him do earlier.

'Oh, that's my trouble tree,' he replied. 'I know I can't help having troubles on the job, but one thing for sure, troubles don't belong at home with my wife and the children. So I just hang them up on the tree every night when I come home. Then in the morning I pick them up again.'

'The funny thing is,' he smiled, 'when I come out in the morning to pick them up, there aren't nearly as many as I remember hanging up the night before'.

~ Author Unknown

"If you break your neck, if you have nothing to eat, if your house is 
on fire, then you got a problem. Everything else is inconvenience".

~ Robert Fulghum

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

2015-49 - Cycle of Evil

There was once a king who was so cruel and unjust that his subjects yearned for his death or dethronement. However, one day he surprised them all by announcing that he had decided to turn over a new leaf.

“No more cruelty, no more injustice,” he promised, and he was as good as his word. He became known as the ‘Gentle Monarch’. Months after his transformation one of his ministers mustered the courage to ask him what had brought about his change of heart.

And the king answered, “As I was galloping through my forests I caught sight of a fox being chased by a hound. The fox escaped into his hole but not before the hound had bitten into its leg and made it lame for life. Later I rode into a village and saw the same hound there. It was barking at a man. Even as I watched, the man picked up a huge stone and flung it at the dog, breaking its leg. The man had not gone far when he was kicked by a horse. His knee was shattered and he fell to the ground, disabled for life. The horse began to run but it fell into a hole and broke its leg. Reflecting on all that had happened, I thought: ‘Evil begets evil. If I continue in my evil ways, I will surely be overtaken by evil’. So I decided to change”.

The minister went away convinced that the time was ripe to overthrow 
the king and seize the throne. Immersed in thought, he did not see 
the steps in front of him and fell, breaking his neck

~ Author Unknown

“My favourite parable for living a positive and influential life is the Golden 
Rule: Do unto others what you would have them do unto you”.

~ Tony Oller

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

2015-48 - Look forward...

Don't base your attitude on what you've experienced in the past. Choose your attitude based on what you would like to experience most in the future.

Don't waste a lot of time complaining about what has already happened. Put your time and energy into envisioning, planning and acting to create a life you truly wish to live.

Look forward with eager anticipation, see life at its best, and smile about what you see. What's ahead is what counts, because you have the opportunity to choose right now.

No matter where you are or where you've been, you can choose a positive future for yourself. Look forward, and see the positive possibilities. Look forward, and step decisively towards the best of them.

~ Author Unknown

“If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.”

~ Henry Ford

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

2015-47 - Please listen to me…

When I ask you to listen to me and you start giving advice, you have not done what I have asked for.

When I ask you to listen to me and you begin to tell me why I shouldn't feel that way, you are trampling on my feelings.

When I ask you to listen to me and you feel you have to do something to solve my problems, you have failed me, strange as that may seem.

All I ask is that you listen. Not talk or do, just hear me out. Advice is cheap: 50 cents will get you Dorothy Dix and Dr Spock in the same newspaper. And I can do for myself; I'm not helpless. Maybe discouraged and faltering, but not helpless.

When you do something for me that I can and need to do for myself, you contribute to my fear and weakness. But when you accept as a simple fact that I do feel what I feel, no matter how irrational, I quit trying to convince you and can get about the business of understanding what’s behind this irrational feeling.

And when that's clear, the answers are obvious and I don't need advice. So, please listen and just hear me out, and if you want to talk, wait for your turn; and I'll listen to you.

~ Author Unknown

“Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what
it takes to sit down and listen.”

~ Winston Churchill

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

2015-46 - Living life and having fun

A house becomes a home when you can write 'I love you' on the furniture. I can't tell you how many countless hours I have spent cleaning. I used to spend at least 8 hours every weekend making sure things were just perfect, 'in case someone came over.' Then I realized one day that no one came over; they were all out living life and having fun!

Now, when people visit, I find no need to explain the condition of my home. They are more interested in hearing about the things I've been doing while I was away living life and having fun. If you haven't quite figured this out as yet, please heed this advice.

Life is short, so enjoy it! Dust if you must, but wouldn't it be better to paint a picture or write a letter, bake a cake or plant a seed, or even ponder the difference between want and need? Dust if you must, but there's not much time, with rivers to swim and mountains to climb, music to hear and books to read, friends to cherish and life to lead. Dust if you must, but the world’s out there with the sun in your eyes, the wind in your hair, a flutter of snow, a shower of rain. This day will not come around again.

Dust if you must, but bear in mind, old age will come and it's not kind. And when you go and go you must, you, yourself will make more dust! It's not what you gather, but what you scatter that tells what kind of life you have lived... and remember, a layer of dust protects the wood beneath it.

~ Author Unknown

“When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it 
is to be alive - to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love.”

~ Marcus Aurelius

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

2015-45 - The Balloon Story

There was a man who made a living selling balloons at a fair. He had all colors of balloons - red, yellow, blue, and green. Whenever business was slow, he would release a helium-filled balloon into the air and when the children saw it go up, they all wanted to buy one. They would come up to him, buy a balloon, and his sales would go up again. He continued this process all day.

One day, he felt someone tugging at his jacket. He turned around and saw a little boy who asked, "If you release a black balloon, would that also fly?"

Moved by the boy's concern, the man replied with empathy, "Son, it is not the color of the balloon, but what is inside that makes it go up."

The same thing applies to our lives. What is on the inside is what counts. The thing inside us that makes us go up is our attitude. Have you ever wondered why some individuals, organizations, or countries are more successful than others? It is not a secret. These people simply think and act more effectively. They have learned how to do so by investing in their most valuable asset - people.

~ Author Unknown


“The greatest day in your life and mine is when we take total 
responsibility for our attitudes. That's the day we truly grow up.”

~ John C. Maxwell

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

2015-44 - The man who sold very good hot dogs

There was once a man who lived by the side of the road and sold hot dogs. He was hard of hearing so he had no radio; he had trouble with his eyes, so he read no newspapers and of course he didn't look at television. But he sold very good hot dogs. He put up signs on the highway telling everyone how good they were, he stood on the side of the road and cried out to all that passed 'buy a hot dog, they are the best in town'.

And people bought his hot dogs and he increased his meat and bun orders. He bought a bigger stove to take care of all the extra business. He finally got his son to come and help him out with his business.

But then something happen, his son who had been well educated said… 'Father, haven't you been listening to the radio or reading the newspapers or watching television? There's a big recession happening right now. The current business situation is terrible in this country - we have problems with unemployment, high living costs, strikes, pollution, the influence of minorities and majorities, the rich, the poor, drugs, alcohol, capitalism and communism'.
Where upon his father thought, 'well my son's been well educated, he reads the papers, listens to the radio and watches television, so he ought to know'.

So his father cut down on his meat and bun orders, took down all his advertising signs and no longer bothered to stand by the side of the road to promote and sell his hot dogs, …and his hot dog sales fell almost overnight.

'You're right, son' the father said 'we certainly are in the middle of a recession'

~ Author Unknown

 “Recession is when a neighbor loses his job. Depression is when you 
lose yours.”

~ Ronald Reagan

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

2015-43 - Whatever Happens…

This story is about a king who was fond of hunting. He was always accompanied by a minister who was very close to him. This minister kept telling everyone, "Whatever happens, happens for the good". This annoyed the other ministers in the court.

During one of the hunting excursions, the king lost his toe and the minister couldn't stop himself from saying, "Whatever happens, happens for the good". Since the king was the victim this time round, he got very annoyed with the minister and threw him in jail.

During another hunting trip, the king was captured by cannibals and was about to be killed, when they noticed one toe missing. Their tradition did not let them kill a person with a missing body part. So they set him free.

At once, the king recalled his minister’s words and realised how true they were. He visited the jailed minister and apologised for what he had done. The minister pointed out that it was good that he was jailed, else he would have accompanied the king and would end up being the cannibals’ meal.

Many a time we are taken aback by the short term impact of an event and don't realise that each of these events shape our long term future. It is nature's way of controlling our lives.

~ Author Unknown

“Life is ten percent what happens to you and ninety percent how you respond to it.”

~ Lou Holtz

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

2015-42 - One Day...

While I was walking in the park, I noticed a little girl. Barefoot and dirty, she watched all the people pass by indifferently. She was silent and did not say a word. Everybody passed by and did not pay any attention to her.

The very next day I decided to go back to that park and check if the girl was still there. She was right there in the same spot as yesterday, sadly looking around. I was worried about her, as a park full of strangers is not a good place for small kids to be alone.

As I approached her, I realized that the girl’s back was oddly deformed. A thought crossed my mind that maybe this was the reason why everyone was avoiding her and did not try to help. I got closer and smiled to let her know that I was there to talk, to help. I started with a “Hello” and then sat down near her. The girl was very surprised, however, after a long stare, she replied “Hi”.

We talked for hours together until dusk. The park became silent and empty. Then I carefully asked the little girl as to why she was so sorrowful and lonesome. “I am different, that’s why” pat came her reply. I agreed with her and smiled “Yes, you are”, and then I continued “you remind me of an angel, pure and sweet”. She slowly got to her feet and smiled “Really?” I confirmed that she looked to me like a little Guardian Angel who watched all the people passing by. To my surprise, she nodded her head and admitted “I am, I am your Guardian Angel”, and spread her wings. I was so amazed, that I couldn't say a word. After a moment she explained “Think of someone other than yourself – that was the purpose of my job here”.

Then I got to my feet and asked “Why nobody stopped to help you?”

“Because only you could see me”, was her answer and then she was gone.

~ Author Unknown

“Happiness is not something readymade. It comes from your own actions."

~ Dalai Lama

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

2015-41 - It’s all in the mind…

Imagine that you have been nominated to participate in the Olympics, and just a few days before the event, you lose your hand.

That’s what happened to Karoly Takacs, top shooter for the Hungarian army. He was expected to win a Gold in the 1940 Olympics at Tokyo. A few months before the event, in a training camp, he lost his right hand in an explosion. Any person, at that stage, would quit & regret it for the rest of their life.

Takacs was different. He focused on what he needed to be a winner, i.e. will power, and not what he had lost. He decided to practice shooting with his left hand. Within months, he was competing with other shooters.

Though the Olympics were cancelled due to World War II, he became a Gold Medallist at the age of 38. Not satisfied, he realized his dream of an Olympic championship in 1952 at Helsinki.

It is not circumstances or events in our life, but our response to these
events that decide our fate. We may decide to give up, or bounce back
and be a winner. It’s all in our mind.

~ Author Unknown


“A man is not old until regrets take the place of dreams."

~ John Barrymore

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

2015-40 - Don't Underestimate Your Worth

A well-known speaker began his seminar by holding up a $20 bill. In the room of 200, he asked, "Who would like this $20 bill?"

Hands started going up.

He said, "I am going to give this $20 to one of you but first, let me do this." He proceeded to crumple the dollar bill.
He then asked, "Who still wants it?"

Still the hands were raised.

"Well," he replied, "What if I do this?" And he dropped it on the ground and started to grind it into the floor with his shoe.

He picked it up, now all crumpled and dirty. "Now who still wants it?" Still the hands were raised.

"My friends, you have all learned a very valuable lesson. No matter what I did to the money, you still wanted it because it did not decrease in value. It was still worth $20.

Many times in our lives, we are dropped, crumpled, and ground into the dirt by the decisions we make and the circumstances that come our way.

We feel as though we are worthless. But no matter what has happened or what will happen, you will never lose your value. You are special - Don't ever forget it!

~ Author Unknown

“Self-worth comes from one thing - thinking that you are worthy."

~ Wayne Dyer

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

2015-39 - Level of Confidence…

On a long flight passengers were not being served beverages or meals, because the flight was expecting turbulence. Intermittently, warnings were being given by the pilot to keep the seat belts fastened. The passengers were slowly getting scared.

And then the storm broke. The ominous cracks of thunder could be heard even above the roar of the engines. Lightening lit up the darkening skies and within moments the great plane was like a cork tossed around on a celestial ocean. One moment the airplane was lifted on terrific currents of air; the next, it dropped as if it were about to crash.

As the man looked around the plane, he could see that nearly all the passengers were upset and alarmed. The future seemed ominous and many were wondering if they would make it through the storm.

Amidst all this, the man suddenly saw a girl to whom the storm meant nothing. She had tucked both her feet beneath her and was reading a book. Everything within her small world was calm and orderly without a sign of worry and fear. While all the adults were scared to death, this marvellous child was completely composed and unafraid.

Unable to withhold his curiosity, when the plane finally reached its destination and all the passengers were hurrying to disembark, he lingered to speak to the girl whom he had watched for such a long time. Having commented about the storm and behaviour of the plane, he asked why she had not been afraid.

The sweet child replied, “Sir, my dad is the pilot and he is taking me home.”

~ Author Unknown

“What could we accomplish ourselves, if we knew others would not fail?"

~ Eleanor Roosevelt

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

2015-38 - Improved attitude

No matter how good and positive your attitude may be, you can improve it. And when you improve your attitude, your attitude improves you.

To improve your attitude, you don’t have to deny reality. When you improve your attitude, it doesn’t mean things will be perfect.

What it means is that you’ll be more positive, more effective, and more solidly focused on the best possibilities. What it means is that you’ll live and act from a position of strength.

With an improved attitude, you can still clearly see all the problems. Yet instead of living in fear of them, you’ll choose to be bigger than those problems.

Right now, there’s a certain way you feel about life, and a certain way you expect life to be. Just think of what could happen if you made the choice to raise those expectations.

Whether you have a great attitude or a lousy one, decide today to improve it. For where your attitude goes, your life will quickly follow.

~ Ralph Marston

“If you don’t like something change it; if you can’t change it, change the way you think about it."

~ Mary Engelbreit

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

2015-37 - In a room…

There were four candles burning. The ambiance was so soft you could hear them talking.

The first one said, “I am PEACE, however nobody can keep me lit. I believe I will go out.”

It’s flame rapidly diminishes and goes out completely.

The second one says, “I am FAITH. Most of all I am no longer indispensable, so it does not make any sense that I stay lit any longer.”

When it finished talking a breeze softly blew on it, putting it out.

Sadly, the third candle spoke in its turn. “I am LOVE. I have not gotten the strength to stay lit. People put me aside and don’t understand my importance. They even forget to love those who are nearest to them.” And waiting no longer, it too goes out.

Suddenly a child entered the room and saw three candles not burning. “Why are you not burning you are supposed to stay lit till the end.”

Saying this the child began to cry. Then the fourth candle said, “Don’t be afraid, while I am still burning we can re-light the other candles, I am HOPE.”
With shining eyes, the child took the candle of Hope and lit the other candles.

The flame of Hope should never go out from our life so that each of us can maintain HOPE, FAITH, PEACE and LOVE.

~ Author Unknown


“When the world says Give Up", Hope whispers "Try it one more time."

~ Anonymous

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

2015-36 - The Value Of A Smile

The value of a smile is priceless, yet it is the cheapest, easiest, most rewarding, and most sincere gift to anyone that crosses your path. A smile makes a person's day, anybody's day, even a stranger's day. A smile is infectious. Start infecting people with your smile today!

A smile is nature's best antidote for discouragement. It brings rest to the weary, sunshine to those who are sad, and hope to those who are hopeless and defeated.

A smile is so valuable that it can't be bought, begged, borrowed, or taken away against your will. You have to be willing to give a smile away before it can do anyone else any good.

So if someone is too tired or grumpy to flash you a smile, let him have one of yours anyway. Nobody needs a smile as much as the person who has none to give.

~ Author Unknown


“A warm smile is the universal language of kindness.”
~ William Arthur Ward

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

2015-35 - God's Embroidery

When I was a little boy, my mother used to embroider a great deal. I would sit at her knee, look up from the floor, and ask what she was doing. She informed me that she was embroidering. As from the underside, I watched her work within the boundaries of the little round hoop that she held in her hand, I complained to her that it sure looked messy from where I sat.

She would smile at me, look down and gently say, "Son, you go about your playing for a while, and when I am finished with my embroidering, I will put you on my knee and let you see it from my side."

I would wonder why she was using some dark threads along with the bright ones and why they seemed so jumbled from my view. A few minutes would pass, and then I would hear mother's voice say, "Son, come and sit on my knee." This I did, only to be surprised and thrilled to see a beautiful flower, or a sunset. I could not believe it, because from underneath it looked so messy.

Then mother would say to me, "My son, from underneath it did look messy and jumbled, but you did not realize that there was a pre-drawn plan on the top. It was a design. I was only following it. Now look at it from my side and you will see what I was doing."
There is a pre-drawn plan for each one of us. Though it might look messy from the other side, we just have to follow the path.

~ Author Unknown

“Perspective is everything when you are experiencing the challenges of life.”

~ Joni Eareckson Tada

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

2015-34 - How Would You Like To Be Remembered?

About a hundred years ago, a man looked at the morning newspaper and to his surprise and horror, read his name in the obituary column. The news papers had reported the death of the wrong person by mistake.

His first response was shock. Am I here or there? When he regained his composure, his second thought was to find out what people had said about him.

The obituary read, "Dynamite King Dies." And also "He was the merchant of death." This man was the inventor of dynamite and when he read the words "merchant of death," he asked himself a question, "Is this how I am going to be remembered?" He got in touch with his feelings and decided that this was not the way he wanted to be remembered. From that day on, he started working toward peace. His name was Alfred Nobel and he is remembered today by the great Nobel Prize.

Just as Alfred Nobel got in touch with his feelings and redefined his values, we should 
step back and do the same.

What is your legacy?

How would you like to be remembered?

Will you be spoken well of?

Will you be remembered with love and respect?

Will you be missed?

“I intend to leave after my death a large fund for the promotion of the peace idea, but I am skeptical as to its results.” 

~ Alfred Nobel

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

2015-33 - Be happy…

One day a class professor handed out a surprise test, with the text facing down as usual. Once he handed them all out, he asked his students to turn the page and begin. To everyone's surprise, there were no questions... just a black dot in the centre of the page. The professor seeing the expression on everyone's face, told them, "I want you to write what you see there." The students, confused, got started on the inexplicable task.

At the end of the class, the professor took all the answer papers and started reading each one of them aloud in front of all the students. All of them with no exceptions, described the black dot, trying to explain its position in the middle of the sheet, etc.

After all the papers had been read, the classroom silent, the professor began to explain: "I am not going to grade you on this, I just wanted to give you something to think about. No one wrote about the white part of the paper. Everyone focused on the black dot - and the same thing happens in our lives. We have a white paper to observe and enjoy, but we always focus on the dark spots. Our life is a gift given with love and care, and we always have reasons to celebrate. However we insist on focusing only on the dark spots - the health issues that bother us, the lack of money, the complicated relationship with a family member, the disappointment with a friend, and so forth.”

“The dark spots are very small compared to everything we have in our lives, but they are the ones that pollute our minds.”

“Take your eyes away from the black spots in your life. Enjoy each moment that life gives you. Be happy and live a life filled with LOVE."

~ Author Unknown 


“Do what you need to do and enjoy life as it happens.” 

~ John Scalzi

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

2015-32 - Life is like a big bike race…

Life is like a big bike race, with the path to the finish line being your personal path.

At the start, we all ride together – sharing the camaraderie and enthusiasm. But as the race progresses, the initial joy gives way to the real challenges: tiredness, monotony, doubts about our own abilities.

Notice that some friends will give up, they are still going, but only because they do not know how to stop in the middle of a road, they are numerous, pedalling alongside the support car, talking amongst themselves and meeting an obligation.

Eventually we distance ourselves from them and are forced to cope with loneliness and unfamiliar bends in the road, not to mention problems with the bike. After some time, we may begin to wonder if it’s worth the effort.

Yes, it’s worth it. You just can’t quit.

Furthermore, if you stop pedalling, you begin falling.

~ Paulo Coelho 


“In race of life, it does not matter who finishes first. What matters most is being able to complete your race.” 

~ Lailah Gifty Akita

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

2015-31 - Phoenix of life

Life is a phoenix, can rise from the ashes

Presents a future at challenging situations

This altar of ashes is fountain of new life

War was thrusted, martyrdom shined

Memories of soldiers ignite beauties of life

Phoenix is a metaphor of life in action

Ashes remind us to celebrate greatness of those lives.

(Dr. Kalam wrote this poem to mark his visit to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Moscow where the ashes of the martyrs of the second world war Russian soldiers are kept. Seeing the newly-wed Russian couples getting themselves photographed at the memorial, the President wrote this poem.)

~ A.P.J. Abdul Kalam

"Thinking should become your capital asset, no matter whatever ups and downs you come across in your life."
~ A.P.J. Abdul Kalam