Tuesday, December 26, 2017

2017-52 - New Beginnings…

There is something charming and peculiar about a beginning.

You feel it, like the change of seasons, from winter to spring, from spring to summer.

You feel it; the new blood pumping inside your veins.

You feel it; a thousand butterflies fluttering around your fingers to help you fly.

You feel it; on your lips, when you smile at the absurdities of life that suddenly make perfect sense.

You smile... Because in every beginning, there is a rebirth. Because in every beginning, there is a layer of you that you just discovered. A layer you forgot was buried in you all this time.

You smile because you are reminded of the immensity of fate. You smile because suddenly you feel so small and you like it.

So let's begin my dear. This life is beautiful.

~ Malak El Halabi

The beginning is the most important part of the work.

~ Plato

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

2017-51 - The Magic of Christmas

There I was, saying "There is no such thing as free lunch".

Me, down on my luck, bitter, penniless, and desolate. Standing in line... a line snaking its way on the pavement, pointing its steady head into the wide open portal of a street kitchen.

As I neared the doorway, on that Christmas eve, I saw myself surrounded by folk who were more or less in the same state of beingness as me.

In a few minutes, I was standing in front of the kitchen manager who was handing out plates and bowls to those headed to the tables laden with simple, but filling fare of bread and thick soup. Before handing me a plate, he said "Enjoy your free meal", by rote, or so I thought. I muttered back "there is no such thing as free lunch".

To my surprise, he replied, "Why not? Isn't the joy of giving without expecting anything in return simply magic?"

Stunned, I gave him my thanks... and turned towards a renewed version of my future.

~ Manoj Shriyan

The spirit of Christmas is the spirit of love and of generosity and of goodness.

~ Thomas S Monson

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

2017-50 - The Leaf...

I asked the leaf whether it was frightened because it was autumn and the other leaves were falling.

The leaf told me, "No. During the whole spring and summer I was completely alive. I worked hard to help nourish the tree, and now much of me is in the tree. I am not limited by this form. I am also the whole tree, and when I go back to the soil, I will continue to nourish the tree. So I don't worry at all.
As I leave this branch and float to the ground, I will wave to the tree and tell her, 'I will see you again very soon.'"

That day there was a wind blowing and, after a while, I saw the leaf leave the branch and float down to the soil, dancing joyfully, because as it floated it saw itself already there in the tree. It was so happy.

I bowed my head, knowing that I have much to learn from the leaf.

~ Thich Nhat Hanh

One age ends, and another begins. It is the way of things.

~ Derek Donais

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

2017-49 - Get out...

Do you remember what it was like to change from a tricycle as a kid to cycling without supporting wheels?

You can still do this every day, whether it is a task you have never done before or facing an interpersonal issue, simply challenge yourself and get out of your comfort zone.

Even if you feel uncomfortable, trust yourself, and go for it; you'll most probably end up gaining a sense of wonder and confidence.

Sitting in your comfort zone will make you stagnant.

~ Author Unknown

The best piece of advice someone has ever given me was ‘do it scared’.

~ Sherri Shepherd

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

2017-48 - Feelings…

I think that's what's wrong with the world;

No one says what they really feel, they always hold it inside.

They're sad, but they don't cry.

They're happy, but they don't dance or sing.

They're angry, but they don't scream.

Because, if they do, they feel ashamed and that's the worst feeling in the world.

So everyone walks with their heads down, and no one sees how beautiful the sky is.

~ Author Unknown

How you react emotionally is a choice in any situation.

~ Judith Orloff

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

2017-47 - Hell... and Heaven...

In feudal Japan, the fierce Samurai Warriors carried large swords and were highly skilled at using them.

One day, a famous samurai arrived at a monastery, where he flung open the door and demanded of a famed monk, "Tell me, what is heaven and what is hell?"

The monk sat still for a moment, then turned and looked up at the warrior. "You call yourself a samurai," he said. "Look at you. You're nothing but a wastrel!! I doubt you could cut off the head of a fly with your sword."

For a moment, the samurai stood gaping. Then, like a crazed bull, the samurai's face contorted in rage. He bellowed, "How dare you insult me thus!" Pulling his huge sword from its sheath, he raised it high above his head, ready to kill the old monk.

Unperturbed, the monk looked directly into the eyes of the furious warrior and said, "This is hell."

The samurai froze, and as the hatred and anger that had consumed him drained away, realized that this small, stooped man had risked his life to answer his question. Lowering his weapon, the samurai bowed to the monk, as tears of gratitude appeared in his eyes. "Thank you for your teaching," the samurai said humbly, with love for the monk's gift.

The monk smiled at the samurai and said, "And this, my friend, is heaven."

~ Author Unknown

Knowing others is Wisdom, Knowing yourself is Enlightenment.

~ Lao Tzu

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

2017-46 - What is love...

A dog has no use for fancy cars or big homes or designer clothes. Status symbol means nothing to him. A waterlogged stick will do just fine. A dog judges others not by their color or creed or class but by who they are inside. A dog doesn't care if you are rich or poor, educated or illiterate, clever or dull. Give him your heart and he will give you his.

And yet we humans, so much wiser and more sophisticated, have always had trouble figuring out what really counts and what does not. As I wrote that farewell column to Marley, I realized it was all right there in front of us, if only we opened our eyes.

Sometimes it takes a dog with bad breath, worse manners, and pure intentions to help us see.

~ John Grogan

"There is only one happiness in this life, to love... and be loved."

~ George Sand

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

2017-45 - I Hope...

I hope you learn that choosing yourself, will always be the most beautiful love language you can ever learn.

I hope you learn never to betray your intuition.

I hope you learn to open your soul and listen when god is speaking to you.

I hope you learn to grow from past inflictions.

I hope you stop using the past as an excuse for stagnancy, and realize your divinity.

~ Billy Chapata

"Learn as if you were to live forever."

~ Mahatma Gandhi

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

2017-44 - The Green Man...

I was waiting at a traffic light to cross the road with Haruki, a Japanese friend. It was a lazy Sunday afternoon in a small town on the Tokyo outskirts and there was not a vehicle or soul in sight. So I turned to Haruki and said, "Hey, I know it's a red man but should we just cross?"

Haruki looked at me and shook his head. "No, we wait for the green man."

I was a bit perplexed - it did not seem to me that it would make any difference whether we waited or not. "There aren't any cars. Why do we need to wait?"

Haruki smiled, then asked me a question in return: "What if a child is watching?"

~ Author Unknown

"Our character is what we do when we think no one is looking."

~ H Jackson Brown Jr

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

2017-43 - The Thorn Birds...

There is a legend about a bird that sings just once in its life, more sweetly than any other creature on the face of the earth.

From the moment it leaves the nest it searches for a thorn tree, and does not rest until it has found one. Then, singing among the savage branches, it impales itself upon the longest, sharpest spine. And, dying, it rises above its own agony to out-carol the lark and the nightingale.

One superlative song, existence the price.

But the whole world stills to listen. For the best is only bought at the cost of great pain... Or so says the legend.

~ Colleen McCullough

"Great achievement is usually born of great sacrifice,and is never the result of selfishness."

~ Napoleon Hill

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

2017-42 - Get Off The Scale...!

You are beautiful. Your beauty, just like your capacity for life, happiness, and success, is immeasurable.

I have yet to see a scale that can tell you how enchanting your eyes are. I have yet to see a scale that can show you how wonderful your hair looks when the sun shines its glorious rays on it. I have yet to see a scale that can thank you for your compassion, sense of humour, and contagious smile.

Get off the scale because I have yet to see one that can admire you for your perseverance when challenged in life.

It's true, the scale can only give you a numerical reflection of your relationship with gravity. That's it. It cannot measure beauty, talent, purpose, life force, possibility, strength, or love. Don't give the scale more power than it has earned. Take note of the number, then get off the scale and live your life. You are beautiful!

~ Steve Maraboli

Judging a woman by her appearance doesn't define her, it defines you.

~ Steve Maraboli

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

2017-41 - Good leadership rocks...

Years ago, a new boss arrived. He did not send flowery emails to his staff like his predecessors did, and did not produce a new mission statement, like every boss did before him. We were very surprised.

Then, our system administrator made a huge mistake and unplugged a wrong server from the network. A major outage resulted. The boss called him into his office. The Sys Admin expected the worst, he started saying "It is my fault..." but the boss interrupted him. "As your manager, I should have made sure that cables were clearly labelled so such a mistake would be difficult to make." Together the two of them labelled every cable and server in the data centre.

Then, he noticed that his tech support team was not handling trouble tickets well. He got the budget to send them to training. Never a reprimand, nor a patronizing comment from him.

When he finally spoke at all-hands, he never mentioned any of what he did, he only spoke of successes of his employees, calling them out by names. He made each one of us feel very special. He was fiercely loyal to his employees, often putting his own neck on the line.

What he got back was our utmost dedication. He never asked for it, he did not need to.

~ Jim P Dougherty

A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.

~ John C. Maxwell

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

2017-40 - Be who you are…

He used to hide his true self because he feared people wouldn't like him, or would judge him for being too much this, and not enough that. He found himself acting like everyone else, even though his heart wanted to express itself in ways that felt different than much of what he was seeing in the world.

His heart grew louder, and he longed to taste a different kind of freedom, one his mind had worked hard to contain in order to keep him feeling safe. But that safety came with a price: his authenticity. Then it occurred to him, some people would judge him no matter who he was or what he did.

And that if he was going to be judged anyway, he may as well live his life as authentically as possible and at least be judged for his truth. He also knew some people would love him no matter who he was or what he did, and how much better it would feel to be loved for being real.

~ Scott Stabile

"Don't compromise yourself - you're all you have.”

~ John Grisham

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

2017-39 - Pay it forward...

We have evolved the ability to simply 'pay it forward': I help you, somebody else will help me.

I remember hearing a parable when I was younger, about a father who lifts his young son onto his back to carry him across a flooding river. 'When I am older,' said the boy to his father, 'I will carry you across this river as you now do for me.'

'No, you won't,' said the father stoically. 'When you are older you will have your own concerns. All I expect is that one day you will carry your own son across this river as I now do for you.'

Cultivating this attitude is an important part of Humanism - to realize that life can be much more than a series of strict tit-for-tat transactions where you pay me and I pay you back. Learning to pay it forward can add a tremendous sense of meaning and dignity to our lives.

Simply put, it feels good to give to others, whether we get it back or not.

~ Greg M Epstein

"A purposeful act or extension of kindness to another is never wasted."

~  Molly Friedenfeld

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

2017-38 - Perfectly Imperfect

We have all heard that no two snowflakes are alike.

Each snowflake takes the perfect form for the maximum efficiency and effectiveness for its journey. And while the universal force of gravity gives them a shared destination, the expansive space in the air gives each snowflake the opportunity to take their own path. They are on the same journey, but each takes a different path.

Along this gravity-driven journey, some snowflakes collide and damage each other, some collide and join together, some are influenced by wind... there are so many transitions and changes that take place along the journey of the snowflake.

But, no matter what the transition, the snowflake always finds itself perfectly shaped for its journey.

~ Steve Maraboli

"Individual commitment to a group effort - that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work."

~ Vince Lombardi

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

2017-37 - Have A Piece of Cake

Often we wonder, "What did I do to deserve this?" or "Why did life have to do this to me?"

A daughter was telling her Mother how everything was going wrong, she failed algebra, her boyfriend broke up with her, and her best friend was moving away.

Her mother, baking a cake, asked her if she would like a snack, and the daughter said, "Absolutely Mom, I love your cake."

"Here, have some cooking oil," her Mother offered. "Yuck" said her daughter.

"How about a couple raw eggs?" "Gross, Mom!"

"Would you like some flour then? Or maybe some baking soda?" "Mom, those are all yucky!"

To which the mother replied: "Yes, all those things seem bad all by themselves. But when they are put together in the right way, they make a wonderfully delicious cake! Life works the same way. There are always ups and downs, no matter how successful you are."

~ Liana Liberato

Thank you for life, and all the little ups and downs that make it worth living.

~ Travis Barker

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

2017-36 - Innovation is...

Once Steve Jobs was giving a small private presentation about the iTunes Music Store to some independent record label people.

There were a lot of interruptions with people popping up left and right asking, "Does it do [x]?" and "Do you plan to add [y]?"

Finally, Jobs said, "Hey guys, wait a minute... and please put your hands down. Listen: I know you have a thousand ideas for all the cool features iTunes should have. So do we. But we don't want a thousand features. That would be ugly. Innovation is not about saying yes to everything. It's about saying no to all but the most crucial features."

~ Author Unknown

"Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower."

~ Steve Jobs

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

2017-35 - The Buzzard, the Bat and the Bumblebee...

If you put a Buzzard in a pen six or eight feet square and entirely open at the top, the bird, in spite of his ability to fly, will be an absolute prisoner. The reason is that a buzzard always begins a flight from the ground with a run of ten or twelve feet. Without space to run, as is his habit, he will not even attempt to fly, but will remain a prisoner for life in a small jail with no top.

The ordinary Bat that flies around at night, a remarkably nimble creature in the air, cannot take off from a level place. If it is placed on the floor or flat ground, all it can do is shuffle about helplessly and, no doubt, painfully, until it reaches some slight elevation from which it can throw itself into the air. Then, at once, it takes off like a flash.

A Bumblebee, if dropped into an open tumbler, will be there until it dies, unless it is taken out. It never sees the means of escape at the top, but persists in trying to find some way out through the sides near the bottom. It will seek a way where none exists, until it completely destroys itself.

In many ways, there are lots of people like the Buzzard, the Bat, and the Bee. They are struggling about with all their problems and frustrations, not realizing that the answer is right there... "above" them...

Have a wonderful week and don't forget to look UP!!

~ Author Unknown

I'm looking forward to the future, and feeling grateful for the past.

~ Mike Rowe

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

2017-34 - Journey On A Train...

Life is like a journey on a train with its stations, with changes of routes and with accidents! At birth we boarded the train and met our parents, and we believe they will always travel on our side. However, at some station our parents will step down from the train, leaving us on this journey alone. As time goes by, other people will board the train; and they will be significant, i.e. our siblings, friends, children, and even the love of our life. Many will step down and leave a permanent vacuum. Others will go so unnoticed that we don't realize that they vacated their seats! This train ride will be full of joy, sorrow, fantasy, expectations, hellos, goodbyes, and farewells. Success consists of having a good relationship with all the passengers... requiring that we give the best of ourselves.

The mystery to everyone is: We do not know at which station we ourselves will step down. So, we must live in the best way – Love, forgive, and offer the best of who we are. It is important to do this because when the time comes for us to step down and leave our seat empty, we should leave behind beautiful memories for those who will continue to travel on the train of life without us. I wish you a joyful journey for the coming years on your train of life. Reap success, give lots of love and be happy. More importantly, be thankful for the journey! Lastly, I thank you for being one of the passengers on my train!

~ Author Unknown

People come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime.

~ Author Unknown

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

2017-33 - The Small Moments...

I have a Rewards Card for Showcase Cinema that allows me to earn rewards points with each purchase that I make at the theatre and periodically provides me with a free popcorn, soda or movie ticket coupon. I had recently accumulated enough rewards points to obtain a coupon for a free popcorn.

Standing in the movie theatre ticket line on Saturday, I noticed a father with his 2 kids waiting to buy their tickets for the Matinee. Knowing that movies can be quite expensive for families, I tapped the Dad on the shoulder and asked, "I have a coupon for free popcorn and don't plan to use it, would you like it the boys?" He said, "Yeah, sure. That's great! Thanks!" and took the coupon.

After they had purchased their tickets, one of his sons who appeared to be about 9 years old, walked up to me and silently held out a shiny penny to show me. I took it and said, "'Wow that's cool! It's really shiny!" He quietly replied, "It's a 2011".

As I handed it back to him. He pushed the penny towards me once again and quietly said, "You can keep it". Showing my gratitude, I replied, "Wow that's awesome, thank you very much" and asked, "Where did you get it!" He replied softly, "I found it in my Dad's car". I said, "Oh that's cool, thanks!"

He smiled, quietly turned and walked back to his Dad who returned my smile with a knowing smile of his own. It's the small moments like these that can make an ordinary day, special.

~ Steven L Foley

We do not remember days, we remember moments.

~ Cesare Pavese

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

2017-32 - Your Choice Is Here...

Here I am lying down listening to the beat of my heart, happier than ever, stronger than ever.

It got to the point in my life where I used to work every night, till the sweat ran like water on the floor... but one day, I said enough is enough. I stood up, I listened, and I made my choice. Now, it is time for you to make yours.

Are you just going to sit there and take what life is handing you, or are you going to get off your butt and start telling life what to give you. Because that, that is what living is all about. Not lying in bed crying about the ones you can't have, or those who don't want you. Trust me I was there, I did that, but I stopped, I opened my eyes, and I realized that those people - they are going to be the ones to come running back one day asking you to treat them the way you always did. That moment is when you have to make the choice to be stronger, or to be who you were.

I know it doesn't always feel that way, and you feel like you need someone, but in all honesty, do you, do you really? All you need in your life is having those around you that encourage you to become a stronger person and a better human.

So, stop using excuses in your life and start keeping your word, not to those you promised something, but to yourself, because soon enough you will realize that sticking to your word made you the new and improved you.

~ Stephen Roos

"Stop using excuses and start owning up to what you did and said!"

~ Author Unknown

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

2017-31 - Clean your cup...

I recently started a new job, in a small office, where four of us share a fridge. In that fridge is a Brita water filter pitcher. One of my co-workers complained the water tasted "dirty". It went on for a few days, and she was stunned that I could drink the water without any trouble. I started to doubt my taste buds, but the water really tasted fine.

Finally, she figured out the problem was actually her cup. She simply forgot to clean it, and after a while it started to affect the water inside it. She cleaned her cup, and drank the water with no problem.

I can't help but look at this, and think about the world we live in. Too often we quickly blame other people, other things, anything else, but ourselves. "You're racist". "You're intolerant". "You're the problem". The world isn't perfect, I know, but I think we should take a step back sometimes and ask ourselves some tough questions.

Can I be better? Is my heart really pure? Can I help this situation with kindness?

I want to tell you this; please clean your cup. Because when you do, the water will taste much better. I promise you this.

~ Author Unknown

One of the most healing things you can do is recognize where in your life you are your own poison.

~ Dr Steve Maraboli

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

2017-30 - The small races...

We are probably looking at one ultimate success that the smaller successes seem to take a backseat in the process. I say success is in the journey and not the destination. But I do agree that the final goal is an astounding one.

Let me ask you, how many times have you had an opportunity to pat yourself on the back and say job well done. How many times have you realized that you are getting closer to the goal and how have you acknowledged that? It is easy to look at the final goal and be lost in the process. But I would certainly ask, if you are looking at the one final answer, where are the small answers, the small successes which motivate you, keep you inspired and makes you realize that you are getting there? Well the answer maybe taking up different exams to identify how far you have come and how much more capable you have become from the time you have started preparing for the exam.

Sometimes you don't have to wait that long to realize that you are a success, there will always be these small opportunities, the small races which become equally important because they make you win the big one.

~ Author Unknown

Perseverance is not a long race; it is many short races one after the other.

~ Walter Elliot

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

2017-29 - What spills over...?

You are holding a cup of coffee when someone comes along and shoves you or shakes your arm, making you spill your coffee everywhere.

Why did you spill the coffee?

"Well, because someone bumped into me, of course!"

Wrong answer.

You spilled the coffee because coffee was in the cup. If tea had been in it, you would have spilled tea. Whatever is inside the cup is what will come out.

Therefore, when life comes along and shakes you (which will happen often), whatever is inside of you will come out. It's easy to fake it until you get rattled.

So we have to ask ourselves... what's in my cup?

When life gets tough, what spills over? Joy, gratefulness, peace and humility? Or anger, bitterness, harsh words and actions?

You choose!!

~ Author Unknown

If you carry joy in your heart, you can heal any moment.

~ Carlos Santana

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

2017-28 - Fill your life...

I lost my own taste for owning stuff when a house fire in the middle of the night destroyed everything my family owned when I was only eleven years old. The only thing I had left was the underwear I was wearing. Yet, our whole family had awakened in time to escape.

In the weeks that followed friends and family gave us a lot of stuff to get us back on our feet, but none of it seemed as important any more. What was important was seeing my Mom's smile, giving my Nana a hug and a kiss, and watching my Dad snooze in his chair after a hard day's work. What was important was the stuff of the soul, not the stuff of this world.

Since then I have tried to limit the things I purchase. I didn't want too much stuff crowding up my life. I wanted to only buy what I needed and to spend my days in learning, growing, and loving others.

In this life we are given a limited amount of time. We can spend it loving each other, enjoying this beautiful world made for us, and making it a better place or we can spend it acquiring stuff. One gives us joy. The other gives us work. One fills our lives with peace, kindness, and happiness. The other fills our days with worry, fear, and regret.

Make your choice wisely then. Fill your life with love not with stuff.

~ Author Unknown

Back home, people had everything in the materialistic sense and were surrounded with abundance, but they were not happy.

~ Goldie Hawn

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

2017-27 - Facing Society

How often have we been under the shackles of the society. How often have we thought, just cos someone else told  us that it is not possible for us, how often have we dared to believe that they might be right? How often have we dared to doubt ourselves, our own capacities, our faculties, our strengths and our weaknesses? How often have we felt bad that we even doubted ourselves?

I know the answer for most of us is more than one. The society does have a dominating role in shaping us because that is what we are as a part of while growing up. But something we often tend to forget as we grow up is that somewhere along the line we give the society too much of power, too much of importance to the extent that it starts dictating us on a few terms. I am sure we all have faced it at some point of time.

But the real question is – do we have to?

Just cos someone thinks something, does it necessarily have to mean something?

~ Clair Oliver

“Society may predict but only I will determine my destiny.”

~ Clair Oliver

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

2017-26 - Do What You Can…

Have you ever been in a place where you have told yourself, I could have made it… If only?!

If only the board was a little friendly, if only the examiner gave me a little more marks, if only I had studied this one topic, if only I had access to more resources like magazines, classes, question papers, answer booklets and so on…. 

Well I guess there will always be such reasons, some we give to others and some we give to ourselves. The thought is that there shall always be ones, the ones that can hold us back from our pursuit. But there is a larger question to be asked. What if not?

Does that still affect the larger picture? Does that change your goal or do you still want to go ahead and do it?

The only thing that matters is whether your goals or stronger or your reasons?!

~ Theodore Roosevelt

Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.

~ Theodore Roosevelt

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

2017-25 - Life is...

A friend's grandfather came to America from Eastern Europe.

After being processed at Ellis Island, he went into a cafeteria in lower Manhattan to get something to eat. He sat down at an empty table and waited for someone to take his order. Of course nobody did.

Finally, a woman with a tray full of food sat down opposite him and informed him how a cafeteria worked.

"Start out at that end," she said. "Just go along the line and pick out what you want. At the other end they'll tell you how much you have to pay."

"I soon learned that's how everything works in America," the grandfather told a friend. "Life is like a cafeteria. You can get anything you want as long as you are willing to pay the price. You can even get success, but you'll never get it if you wait for someone to bring it to you. You have to get up and get it yourself."

~ Brian Cavanaugh

"Don't just bargain for success. Pay the price!"

~ Israelmore Ayivor

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

2017-24 - Love knows no bounds…

One day, his wife, who had very long hair asked him to buy her a comb for her hair to grow well and to be well-groomed.

The man felt very sorry and said no. He explained that he did not even have enough money to fix the strap of his watch he had just broken. She did not insist on her request.

The man went to work and passed by a watch shop, sold his damaged watch at a low price and went to buy a comb for his wife. He came home in the evening with the comb in his hand ready to give to his wife.

He was surprised when he saw his wife with a very short hair cut.

She had sold her hair and was holding a new watch band.

Tears flowed simultaneously from their eyes, not for the futility of their actions, but for the reciprocity of their love.

~ Edgar Allen Poe

"There is only one happiness in this life, to love and be loved."

~ George Sand

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

2017-23 - Don't judge…

Once on my way to meet my newly wedded husband, I had to travel thru a park full of bridges, each one different, in length, or in height. I was to meet him somewhere near the middle of the park and had to cross many of these bridges to get there.

As I neared our meeting point, I noticed that the last bridge I would have to cross was a rope bridge, a bit higher than the rest. I was a bit nervous being the only one crossing over, and about midway got a bit scared by the swaying. I noticed my husband waiting for me at the end of the bridge and called out to him to come and help me. He shouted back saying he was doing something more important which he could not drop that I should learn to manage my way.

I felt bad, but with tears streaming down my face, I somehow managed to cross the bridge. There I saw my husband… holding the end of the broken bridge.

~ Author Unknown

Things are not always as they seem.

~ Phaedrus

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

2017-22 - More Smiles...

The other day, I found myself shuffling along Faneuil Hall in Boston, side-stepping the crowd that converged around a clown providing a comedy routine. I was feeling rather low this day. Maybe the bumper-to-bumper traffic had something to do with my disposition but it certainly could have been better than what I was showing. In fact, it was more of a frown than a happy face.

"Did you drop something?" a voice gushed out of the clear blue. I looked around to see who it belonged to and it happened to be the clown. I didn't know where to turn and instinctively glanced at the pavement below. The clown looked at me and said, "You dropped your smile."

I may have ignored him but since others were watching, I decided to play his game. I reached to the ground and picked up a handful of air, putting it smack dab on my face. In place of the grimace, appeared that all elusive smile. To tell you the truth, it took a clown's quip to change my mood and set me on my merry way.

Not enough people, myself included, are smiling these days. We're living in a serious world where laughter and levity are foregone conclusions these days.

So, here's the deal, folks. If a yawn can take on a contagious effect, perhaps the same is true of a smile. Maybe, just maybe, if enough people smile, perhaps it will cause a ripple effect. Not only that, but curious people will be wondering what there is to be smiling about and you can tell them this. "You're not fully dressed without a smile."

I dropped my smile that day in Boston and a clown reminded me to pick it off the ground. My disposition changed in a nanosecond and I suddenly wore a happy face.

~ Tom Vartabedian

We shall never know all the good that a simple smile can do.

~ Mother Teresa

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

2017-21 - True confidence...

True confidence does not come from fantasy. True confidence does not come from arrogance.

True confidence flows from a strong sense of purpose. True confidence is based on a genuine love of life and a love for the good possibilities that are always present.

To be confident, you must be honest, with yourself and with others. You must be willing to give of yourself, to do the difficult work that will create excellence.

Today's world suffers on many different levels from a lack of confidence. Too many people are too invested in sparkly, superficial things that really don’t matter.

Yet the confidence necessary to move forward is always within reach. To the extent you let go of what doesn't matter, and put energy, enthusiasm and effort into what does, you become more confident, more effective.

It is time to stop hiding from the best possibilities. Invest your time, your actions, your life in what matters, and move confidently forward, transforming your highest visions into reality.

~ Ralph Marston

Confidence comes from discipline and training.

~ Robert Kiyosaki

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

2017-20 - Faith...

In the country of Armenia, in 1988, Samuel and Danielle sent their young son, Armand, off to school. Samuel squatted before his son and looked him in the eye. "Have a good day at school, and remember, no matter what, I'll always be there for you." They hugged and the boy ran off to school.

Hours later, a powerful earthquake rocked the area. In the midst of the pandemonium, Samuel and Danielle tried to discover what happened to their son but they couldn't get any information.  On reaching the schoolyard... what Samuel saw brought tears to his eyes. Armand's school was a pile of debris. Other parents were standing around crying.

Samuel found the place where Armand's classroom used to be and began pulling a broken beam off the pile of rubble. One of the parents looking on asked, "What are you doing?" "Digging for my son," Samuel answered. The man then said, "The building is unstable," and tried to pull Samuel away from his work.

But all through the night, and into the next day, Samuel continued digging.  Parents placed flowers and pictures of their children on the ruins. But, Samuel just kept working. He picked up a beam and pushed it out of the way when he heard a faint cry. "Help! Help!"  Samuel listened but didn't hear anything again.  Then he heard a muffled voice, "Papa?"

Samuel began to dig furiously. Finally he could see his son. "Come on out, son!" he said with relief.

"No," Armand said. "Let the other kids come out first because I know you'll get me." Child after child emerged until, finally, little Armand appeared. Samuel took him in his arms and Armand said, "I told the other kids not to worry because you told me that you'd always be there for me!"

Fourteen children were saved that day because one father was faithful.

~ Author Unknown

Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.

~ Mother Teresa