Saturday, April 5, 2014

Five Things You Can Learn From A Pencil

  1. The pencil writes a lot including interesting stories, inspiring messages, enjoyable narrations etc. But it is not acting on its own. It is guided by a hand. In the same way, remember that all your actions are guided by God and we function as per His directions.
  2. Now and then the pencil has to stop writing. Its lead gets shorter and sometimes broken. It has to use a sharpener to resume its writing. So, it is ok if our progress is halted by some impediments or tragedies. You can emerge stronger from them by honing your skills and strategies.
  3. The pencil allows some of its work removed by the eraser. This is only to correct mistakes or rewrite something for making it better. Allowing our mistakes to be corrected by someone is not a bad thing. It helps us to improve our output.
  4. It is not the wooden exterior of the pencil that is important. It is the graphite inside which creates the pencil’s output. What is happening inside you is not important. And don’t judge anyone by their external appearances but by their values.
  5. Whenever the pencil is in action, it leaves a mark. All your actions leave  a Mark about you that can be seen by others. What more, these marks may remain for a much longer period than your existence in this world.

                                                          -    Adapted from Paulo Coelho’s ‘The Flowing River.’

Friday, March 21, 2014

Urgently needed

Today, I would like to reproduce an interesting message I received from my good friend Siva
Not Blood,


An ELECTRICIAN, to Restore the Current between People,
Who do not Speak to Each Other Any more.

An OPTICIAN, to Change the Outlook of People.

An ARTIST, to Draw a Smile on Everyone's Face.

to Build a Bridge between Neighbours.

to Cultivate Good Thoughts.


Last But Not The Least
for All of Us to Relearn How to Count on Each Other....


Just think which of the above positions you can fit into. i am sure you can fit into more than one, if not all!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Have You ever Been Inside A Prison?

What a question! Do you feel offended? I am sorry, I didn't intend to. The idea of bringing in the prison is to drive home a point> You know about prisons at various places. They are all outside you. But do you know there is a prison inside you? Yes, there is one in your mind. And do you know who is inside it? Who is imprisoned in the prison in your mind? You!

How is it possible? How can you be inside something that is inside you? As per the laws of Physics, you can't be. But in reality you can be? Don't you sometimes feel that you are unable to do something that you would like to. Your hands are free but you feel that they are tied. You feel that something or someone is holding you back. This means that you are not free. Not being free is the same as being in a prison.

There are several layers of prisons in your mind at different layers. You may be inside one sometimes. You can also be inside more than one prison at a time. However, most of us are bound inside a particular prison. This prison is the fear about what others would think if you do a particular thing. It is because you are inside this prison that often you are unable to do things which you would like to or which you ought to. Of course, it's in your hands to free yourself from this prison. the key to open these prison doors is a strong desire to free yourself from this fear.

The greatest prison people live in is the fear of what other people think.  - David Icke

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Are You Thankful?

Are you thankful?

Don't be offended by this question. I know you are a thankful person. But I would like you to ponder over how thankful you are. There are a lot of things to be thankful for but most of us choose to be thankful only occasionally.

Being thankful is not about having the courtesy to thank people who render you some service, whether he is your office assistant or a restaurant waiter. This kind of thanking, though valuable, has become so routine that we do it mechanically without even being consciously aware of our doing it. I am referring about the occasions where we need to thank people who have helped us either directly or indirectly. often, we take this kind of help granted and move on without stopping to thank the person. For example, if you are looking for a lawyer who can advise you on a particular issue and someone suggests one. You go to that lawyer and find that he is really good. Will you make it a point to thank your friend for suggesting him. In many cases, your friend might have suggested a name in a casual manner and might have forgotten it. But when you have benefited from his suggestion, should you not make it a point to convey your thanks to him.

If you think about it, you will have a lot of people to be thankful for various things. Make it a habit to express your thankfulness to all those to whom you owe it.

The more you are thankful, the more you attract things to be thankful for.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Two Types of Motivation

Nothing succeeds like success, they say. If you succeed once, you find that succeeding again is easier. This is because success is a great motivator. Success creates immense confidence you. 'You have made it once. So, you can make it again and you can make it any number of times' is the message subconsciously generated at a time you achieve success. Since confidence is a powerful driving force, you will find it easier to accomplish more.

The reverse happens when you fail. Failure erodes your confidence and intensifies your fears. You will be liable to think that you will fail again. So, when you try to do the same thing again or a new thing, the fear of failure can trip your chances of success. A repeat failure will intensify the fear of failure and will create a failure syndrome.

So, how do we react to failure? The most common way people react to failure is to avoid trying. If I don't try, I can't fail. Therefore not trying and thus avoiding failure seems better than trying and failing. Thus failure also motivates people in a negative way. It motivates you to avoid doing things that you fear. You will be surprised to know that a large number of people give up their efforts to learn driving a scooter if they fall down once. Same is the case with car driving. They rationalize their avoidance by inventing reasons like it is cheaper to hire a cab whenever you need than to own a car.

People take a lot of care to avoid doing the things they fear. A student who fails in a test once will invent reasons for not taking up the test again. People will send money and keep themselves far away to avoid a public speaking obligation. Well, you can find out examples from your own life about the occasions when  you have avoided failure.

So there is a success motivation and a failure avoidance motivation, the latter being much stronger than the former!

Monday, March 3, 2014

Simple truths

Do you often say you are busy? It is okay if you say this to avoid people. But if you are really find that you are too busy to attend to several important things, then there may be something wrong with your life. If you are busy and being busy keeps from doing things you have to do, it means that you are not free. You have mortgaged your freedom by making your time available to do what you want to do. Rethink your priorities and see what you can do make you more free. You will most probably find that you have unnecessarily tied up your time for things that are not important. 

Please remember:

When you keep saying you are busy, then you are never free.When you keep saying you have no time, then you will never have time. When you keep saying that you will do it tomorrow, then your tomorrow. will. never come.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Who Are You?

Don't worry. I am not going to make a foray into philosophy.

'Who are you?' is a question which you face sometimes. The answer will define your identity. You can answer this question in various ways. You can just give your name, your profession or some other identity about you like 'I am Jane's brother.'

But a complete answer to this question requires that you understand for yourself what you are and what you are capable of. You are a sum of all your thoughts, words and deeds, the three components that determine your personality. Whatever answer you would like to give the person who poses this question, you should have for yourself as complete an answer as you could muster.

The only way you can find out more about you is by doing things and evaluating yourself on the basis of your actions. People  with a low opinion of themselves have been astonished by the things they could accomplish by choosing to act. And some people who have overrated themselves have discovered to their dismay their limitations when they ventured to do something. This does not mean that these people have become weak. It only means that they have become disillusioned and have got a realistic appraisal of their abilities. In the former case, people have become more empowered after discussing their latent capabilities.

So set out to do things. Action will always make you wiser.

Do you want to know who you are? 
Don't ask. 
Action will delineate and define you.
                                                                  -Thomas Jefferson

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

If You Please.....

Improving relationships is something we are all concerned with.

One easy way of improving relationships is trying to please others. What can make a relationship stronger than making the other person happy? This is what many of us think.

But the problem is when you focus on pleasing someone, you are restricting your focus. For example, you can lease a child by agreeing to whatever it demands. But doing so will not be in the interest of the child. In attempting to please the child, we may end up doing something against the child's welfare and development.

You can please your boss by doing things that will please him but this may not be in the interest of the organization. When something is not good for the organization, it won't be good for your boss also in the long run. So ultimately the boss will not be pleased.

Please remember that if you start with the objective of pleasing someone, you are approaching the issue from the wrong side. You can (and should) think in terms of being fair to others, courteous and polite to people but not in terms of pleasing others. A person getting pleased by what you do must be an incidental outcome, not the principal outcome.

I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody.
                                                                                                       -  Bill Cosby

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The Fun Way To Keep Your Brain in Shape - 2

In the previous post, we discussed how playing simple mind games can boost your brain power.
I will list a few simple games which anyone can play.

11)   Finding new uses for popular products:
Ask your family members to suggest what uses a pen can be put to. Initially, they won’t be able to think anything except for its intended use as a writing instrument. But a little thinking will bring out other uses. Once one person comes out with a new use, other people will see the fun in the process and start thinking differently. You will soon have a list of several uses for the pen. I am listing a couple of uses letting you discover more for yourself!  Paper weight, measuring scale, a weapon for self defence, a punching needle etc!

22)    Guess Who the Caller is: When the telephone rings, before it is picked up, everyone should come out with a guess about who the caller is. You just give them 15 seconds to guess before you pick up the call and just watch the fun!

33)      Puzzles of various types:
1    There are hundreds of thousands of puzzles of a wide variety ranging from  spelling bee to problems requiring creative thinking . The emphasis should be on fun. For example consider this  simple puzzle :
How much mud will be there in a pit measuring  6” by 4” by 5”.
Most of the people will calculate the volume of the pit and come out with an answer like 120 cubic inches (6 x 4 x 5 = 120). Then you can point out to them a pit will be hollow and there will be no mud in it! Such a simple answer will be exciting to anyone who hears this for the first time.

If you make it a habit to spend at least a few minutes everyday in playing mind games, you  will not only make your brain sharper in perception and wider in perspective,  but also become a more cheerful, confident and powerful personality. Did I  mention that your life will become more enjoyable and relationships will also improve?

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The Fun Way To Keep Your Brain in Shape

People take a lot of pains to keep our body in shape. But most don’t think much about keeping our brain in shape. Perhaps they feel that the brain being the intelligent part of the body is capable of taking care of itself!
True but the brain needs a little push from you by way of initiative. There is no need to go into the intricacies of which part of you has to do this. After all, the process is simple and automatic. In fact, your brain itself can trick you into taking the lead to help it do things to keep it in shape. The very fact that you are reading this post is an indication that your brain is at work!

You have to keep your brain in shape but you also should do it in a fun way.  So, the only way you can do this is to make the process interesting and entertaining. And you can do this through mind games or thinking games. These mind games will tune up your brain and boost its power. What more, by making these games a habit, a part of your routine, you will also become creative and come out with amazingly innovative solutions to your problems.

You can play these games alone but they will be more fun and will be more effective if you play them in the company of others. You can involve your family members also.

There are innumerable games you can play. These games are not like traditional games in that they don’t need any physical exertion from you. Being mind games, you can play them while sitting, moving (travelling) or sometimes even while working  (if you can manage to ensure that the work is not affected)!

In the next post, I will list a few games

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Three Free Gifts You Can Give to Anyone Anytime!

Recently I came across an article on gifting. The author advocated that we develop the habit of gifting with no expectations in return. I pondered over the kinds of gifts anyone can give anyone else and thought of a few. These are gifts that don't cost a penny. We are capable of generating these gifts anytime just by wishing. and these gifts are very valuable since they will make the receiver happy, encouraged and empowered. Here are three gifts that you ca give to anyone any time.

1) The Gift of Acknowledging: We are often in the midst of a number of people. How many of them do we acknowledge? Just acknowledge a stranger by a simple nod of your head or a smile or a greeting like 'hi' or 'good morning' and discover the instant change your action creates in them. You will be surprised to discover how much people crave for being acknowledged. If you extend this gift to the neglected people like sweepers, restaurant waiters, shop assistants etc, you will be making their day!

2) The Gift of Thanking: We do thank people but do we do it always? Some of us have a notion that we need to thank people only if they help us voluntarily. But what if we thank someone even if we pay him for doing what he does? Have you ever thanked a vendor from whom we purchase things? We feel that he should thank us for giving him business! But just see the effect of thanking someone even if you pay him for his service. Let it be a bonus. It doesn't cost you anything  anyway. But it can make a lot of difference to him. We thank a doctor for his service even though we pay him, sometimes through our nose. Extend the same privilege to "small" people who do us a service. See the electrifying effect it makes on their moods and eventually on their lives. I am not mentioning the effect it can have on the quality of service you will get from that person the next time because you are doing this with no expectations.

3) The Gift of a Compliment: How many times we care to compliment someone for a good job? A good job is taken for granted. We feel that we should only point out the mistakes or shortcomings. Develop the habit of complimenting people even for small things. 'Be lavish in your approbation and liberal in your praise' says Dale Carnegie. Start this with your family members. Observe the change such compliments make to their disposition. In the case of children, compliments can transform their personality making them more confident, better skilled, more powerful and more achieving.

There are several other free gifts which you can discover for yourself!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Twenty Little Tips!

Here are some simple tips. Don't underestimate their value because they sound simple. They have profound truth.

1. Give people more than they expect and do it cheerfully.

2. Marry a man or woman you love to talk to. As you get older, their conversational skills will be as important as any other.

3. Don`t believe all you hear, spend all you have or sleep all you want.

4. When you say, ``I love you``, mean it.

5. When you say, ``I`m sorry``, look the person in the eye.

6. Be engaged at least six months before you get married.

7. Never laugh at anyone`s dreams. People who don`t have dreams don`t have much.

8. Spend some time alone, everyday.

9. Love deeply and passionately. You might get hurt but it`s the only way to live life completely.

10. In disagreements, fight fairly. Never indulge in name calling.

11. Don`t judge people by their relatives or friends but by their words, actions and companions.

12. Talk slowly but think quickly.

13. When someone asks you a question you don`t want to answer, smile and ask, ``Why do you want to know?``

14. Remember, great love and great achievements involve great risk.

15. Say ``bless you`` when you hear someone sneezes.

16. When you lose, don`t lose the lesson.

17. Remember the three R`s:
a) Respect for self;
b) Respect for others;
c) Responsibility for all your actions.

18. Don`t let a little dispute injure a great friendship.

19. When you realize you`ve made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.

20. Smile when picking up the phone. The caller will hear it in your voice.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

When people say 'Yoiu can't'

Have you sometimes be told by people 'you can't' when you set out to do something? And do you remember how you took these reactions? Either you were discouraged by these remarks and you gave up or you just ignored these remarks and went ahead. And in the latter case, sometimes you might have succeeded and sometimes you might not have. In any of these cases, the, "No. You can't' comments had no real value. They might have had a negative value in dissuading you from doing what you set out to or affecting your performance by denting your self confidence and hence your efficiency.

I came across this quote:

"All your life you are told the things you cannot do. All your life they will say you're not good enough or strong enough or talented enough; they will say you're the wrong height or the wrong weight or the wrong type to play this or be this or achieve this. THEY WILL TELL YOU NO, a thousand times no, until all the no's become meaningless. All your life they will tell you no, quite firmly and very quickly. AND YOU WILL TELL THEM YES."

It is as simple as that. 'Knock the 't' out of the 'can't,' says Norman Vincent Peale.

There is an interesting fact to support the point that no one can say that you are not capable.

As per the aerodynamic laws, the bumblebee can't fly. But it flies! Do you know why? The bumblebee doesn't know that it can't fly because no one can communicate this 'fact' to this poor insect. So, it jolly well flies.

If the all powerful science cannot dictate what a tiny insect can or can't do, why should you pay attention to fallible human beings telling you that you can't do what you want to!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Yet another definition of success

One question for which you will get divergent answers is asking people to define success. You may be surprised at the range of answers you could get from different people.

For some people, ii is status quo. 'Let things be as they are. I will be happy'

For some it is change; getting something they want. the thing that everyone wants will range from the trivial to the sublime.

For some, success means happiness but for some, these two are different. there are successful people who are not happy and they are happy people who have not been successful.

Whatever is your idea of success, you need to give it a concrete shape. I read a beautiful definition of success which all of us can use:

Success is the sum of small efforts repeated day in and day out.   - R. Collier

So you don't have to wait for success. Success is not only the end result. It is the process itself.

As long as you are making efforts towards a goal, then you are successful.

Let us celebrate our success by deciding to bring it forth everyday through our efforts.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

When should you give up?

You keep working on your target but you don't succeed. You keep trying but keep failing. So should you continue or should you give up. And if you should give up, when should you?

the following poem by Garth Brooks gives you an answer!

You know a dream is like a river, ever changing as it flows.
And a dreamer's just a vessel that must follow where it goes.
Trying to learn from what's behind you and never knowing what's in store
makes each day a constant battle just to stay between the shores.
And I will sail my vessel 'til the river runs dry.
Like a bird upon the wind, these waters are my sky.
I'll never reach my destination if I never try,
So I will sail my vessel 'til the river runs dry.
Too many times we stand aside and let the water slip away.
To what we put off 'til tomorrow has now become today.
So don't you sit upon the shore and say you're satisfied.
Choose to chance the rapids and dare to dance the tides.
                                                                - Garth Brooks

Do you believe that the river of your life has dried up? Till you are convinced that the river has dried up and there is no water, you should keep sailing. A good tide may come your way amytime and take you to your destination. You just have to keep navigating

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Watch Your Words

When you converse with others, what do you talk about? If you can understand the nature of your conversation, you can have an idea of your attitude and mindset and get a key to progress.

You can start with others. Observe a few people you are in constant touch with. Observe what they talk about generally. You can classify the subjects people talk about into three categories:


If the major content of a person's talk is ideas, he or she is likely to be a successful person or at least a person focused on success (success may not have still come to them).

If a person talks more about events, he or she is interested in progress but is not doing much about achieving things.

If a person talks about people most of the time, he or she will be leading a mediocre life giving no thought about progress. There may be two types of people here - those who speak admiringly of others and those who speak disparagingly of others. The first category of people at least know the value of success and progress though they are not taking any action either because of diffidence or laziness. The second category of people are cynical and are not likely to realize the value of work or success. Such people bank on luck to achieve success in their lives. They are naturally jealous of people whom they consider lucky and speak ill of them.

Once you do this exercise with a few people, then turn to yourself. Find out what kind of person you are. Once you realize the pattern you (unconsciously) follow, you can change yourself for the better.

“Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.”
                                                                                           - Eleanor Roosevelt

Friday, January 17, 2014

When you feel defeated?

How often do we feel defeated?

'Quite often' will be your answer, if you are like me.

It is alright to feel defeated but the feeling should not be allowed to stay for long.

In olden days, when news was received through letters, there would be some letters carrying good news and some carrying bad news. Many people had the habit of preserving all the letters received because they might need them for reference sometime in future. But people who are sentimental would destroy all letters that carried bad news.

The feeling of having been defeated should be instantly disposed of like the letters carrying bad news.
Getting defeated is a reality. It can't be wished away. But the negative feelings associated with that should not be allowed to stay.

When a boy falls down, he will get up and first dust off the dirt from his body. The injury will be there and so will be the pain. These will go eventually. But the dirt has to be cleaned off. It can't be allowed to stick to the body.

What you have lost is a reality. The damage caused by the defeat is real. But you don't have to live with the feeling of having been defeated. We should focus on our next move just a person falling down would focus on getting his injury healed.

Remember this when you feel defeated the next time. Shrug off the negative feelings like a person falling down will shrug off the dirt that has stuck to him from the fall.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

The Learning Process

Some of you reading this post may be highly educated. Have you noticed one thing in life?

There is o correlation between success and education. There are many educated people who aren't successful and there are  many successful people who aren't educated. Does this mean that one need not be educated to be successful? No. It only means that you need a different kind of education to succeed in life.

What is this education? You can give it many names but I would call it 'self education.' This is a complicated term but can be understood in a simple way. Self education means knowing what you want, what (resources) you have, what more (resources) you need, what you should do to obtain them and whether you are capable of doing what needs to be done. If your answer to the last part of the question is 'no', you have to think of other options.

Self education involves knowing your interests your aptitudes, your strengths and weaknesses.

Unfortunately there is no uniform or standard curriculum for self education. You have to design you own curriculum and pursue it with zeal and perseverance.

Look around you, identify successful people and study what kind of self education they had given to themselves to achieve the level of success they have. You will get a lot of inspiration.