Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Paper Planes Story

A teacher distributed some papers to the students in his class and told them to make paper planes out of them. When the students have finished making the paper planes, he asked them to throw them towards to the blackboard to see whose paper plane could fly the furthest. But none of the paper planes could reach their destination.

The teacher then took out a piece of paper and rolled it into a ball. He then threw it towards the blackboard, hitting it before it dropped to the floor.

The students were told that there were no set rules on how the paper planes should be folded and they should look at things from another perspective as by doing so, they would be able to fly further.

“Explore possibilities to open up new horizons and bring positive changes in your life”

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Recipe For Joy

Abraham Hicks offers a recipe for Joy.

For more information about the teachings of abraham visit

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


Resilience in psychology is the positive capacity of people to cope with stress and catastrophe (definition from Wikipedia). Resilience is a quality that can get us through many of life's challenges with grace.

Here are some tips on how we can start developing the ability to be resilient:

- Focus on what you have control over, not on what you have no control over. It's kind of like the serenity prayer - we need to learn the difference, and recognize it. Some things we just have to let go of.

- Make connections. We all have the need for community, for a support system. We can find this in a club, a cause, a church, or any kind of a group where we can make friends.

-Be of service. Volunteer. Contributing to society gives us a feeling of purpose, and that helps us to build resilience.

-Stay fit. Body, mind, and spirit. Eat healthy foods, exercise both mentally and physically, and spend time in nature and in silence. Get into good habits.

-Express gratitude. Every day, count your blessings. Keeping a gratitude journal is a good way to do this. Gratitude helps us to keep things in perspective, and this is important with resilience.

-Pursue your passion. We have the desires we have for a reason. And we can use these to help us learn and grow. Doing what we love brings joy, which boosts our resilience!

(from The Power of Resilience: Achieving Balance, Confidence, and Personal Strength in Your Life by Robert Brooks)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The 10 Things In Life That You Can Control

We humans spend much of our time trying to control every aspect of our lives. Unfortunately, too often we try and control things that are simply beyond our control. The list of what we can control is quite short, but once you know these 10 things you will be able to take control of your own life.

1.What you do: Your actions are yours alone. You choose to make them or not make them and you are responsible for the effects of those actions.

2.What you say: Likewise, the words you speak (or write) are also consciously chosen.
Like actions, they have an impact on your life and the lives of those you contact.

3.What you think: Yes, there are some subconscious thoughts that you can't control. But the things that you really think about, your beliefs, your ideals, etc. are concepts you have chosen to accept and believe in.

4.Your work: Many people like to overlook this one, it being much easier to say, "Oh, I'm! trapped in my job because I don't have a degree, experience, etc." That's simple a way of denying one's responsibility in having chosen the job in the first place. It's your job and you chose it. If you stay (or go), that's a choice as well.

5.The people you associate with: There's a famous T-shirt that states: "It's hard to soar like an eagle when you're surrounded by turkeys." Colloquial is very often correct! Your friends can either lift you up or bring you down. You make the decision which type of friends you wish to have.

6.Your basic physical health. Much about our health is a factor of genetics, environment, and exposure.Much more of our health is simply a matter of the decisions we make about our health, such as: diet, exercise, drugs, sleep, routine physicals, check-ups, etc.

7.The environment you live in: Your house, the condition of your home, the town you live in, the amenities available to you are all things you can control, although some to a lesser degree (i.e., you decide to tolerate them or move someplace else).

8.Your fiscal situation: Having or not having enough money is a factor of what you make versus what you spend.

9.Your time: You choose how to "spend" your time and how much of your time to give to various activities.You'll never get more time than the 24 hours your given each day.

10.Your legacy: All your actions, words, and knowledge that you share while you are living become the gift that you leave when you are gone.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

A Spiritual Conspiracy for Peaceful Entrepreneurs

(Author Unknown)

On the surface of our world right now
There is war, violence, and craziness
And things may seem dark.

But calmly and quietly
At the same time
Something is happening underground.

An inner revolution is taking place
And certain individuals
Are being called to a higher light.

It is a silent revolution
From the inside out
From the ground up.

This is a global co-operation
That has sleeper cells in every nation.
It is a planetary Spiritual Conspiracy.

You won’t likely see us on T.V.
You won’t read about us in the newspaper.
You won’t hear from us on the radio.

We don’t seek glory.
We don’t wear any uniform.
We come in all shapes and sizes, colors and styles.

We are in every country and culture of the world
In cities big and small, mountains and valleys
In farms and villages, tribes and remote islands.

Most of us work anonymously
Seeking not recognition of name
But profound transformation of life.

Working quietly behind the scenes
You could pass by one of us on the street
And not even notice.

We go undercover
Not concerned for who takes the final credit
But simply that the work gets done.

Many of us may seem to have normal jobs.
But behind the external storefront
Is where the deeper work takes a place.

With the individual and collective power
Of our minds and hearts
We spread passion, knowledge, and joy to all.

Some call us the Conscious Army
As together
We co-create a new world.

Our orders come from the Spiritual Intelligence Agency
Instructing us to drop soft, secret love bombs
when no one is looking.

Poems ~ Hugs ~ Music ~ Photography ~ Smiles ~ Kind words
Movies ~ Meditation and prayer ~ Dance ~ Websites
Social activism ~ Blogs ~ Random acts of kindness…

We each express ourselves
In our own unique ways
With our own unique gifts and talents.

“Be the change you want to see in the world”
That is the motto that fills our hearts.
We know this is the path to profound transformation.

We know that quietly and humbly
Individually and collectively
We have the power of all the oceans combined.

At first glance our work is not even visible.
It is slow and meticulous
Like the formation of mountains.

And yet with our combined efforts
Entire tectonic plates
Are being shaped and moved for centuries to come.

Love is the religion we come to share
And you don’t need to be highly educated
Or have exceptional knowledge to understand it.

Love arises from the intelligence of the heart
Embedded in the timeless evolutionary pulse
Of all living beings.

Be the change you want to see in the world.
Nobody else can do it for you.
Yet don’t forget, we are all here supporting you.

We are now recruiting.
Perhaps you will join us
Or already have.

For in this spiritual conspiracy
All are welcome, and all are loved.
The door is always open.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

The Power of Positive Talk


I remember my dad teaching me the power of language at a very young age. Not only did my dad understand that specific words affect our mental pictures, but he understood words are a powerful programming factor in lifelong success. One particularly interesting event occurred when I was eight. As a kid, I was always climbing trees, poles, and literally hanging around upside down from the rafters of our lake house. So, it came to no surprise for my dad to find me at the top of a 30-foot tree swinging back and forth. My little eight-year-old brain didn't realize the tree could break or I could get hurt. I just thought it was fun to be up so high.

My older cousin, Tammy, was also in the same tree. She was hanging on the first big limb, about ten feet below me. Tammy's mother also noticed us at the exact time my dad did. About that time a huge gust of wind came over the tree. I could hear the leaves start to rattle and the tree begin to sway. I remember my dad's voice over the wind yell, "Bart, Hold on tightly." So I did. The next thing I know, I heard Tammy screaming at the top of her lungs, laying flat on the ground. She had fallen out of the tree. I scampered down the tree to safety. My dad later told me why she fell and I did not. Apparently, when Tammy's mother felt the gust of wind, she yelled out, "Tammy, don't fall!" And Tammy did fall.

My dad then explained to me that the mind has a very difficult time processing a negative image. In fact, people who rely on internal pictures cannot see a negative at all. In order for Tammy to process the command of not falling, her nine-year-old brain had to first imagine falling, then try to tell the brain not to do what it just imagined. Whereas, my eight-year-old brain instantly had an internal image of me hanging on tightly.

This concept is especially useful when you are attempting to break a habit or set a goal. You can't visualize not doing something. The only way to properly visualize not doing something is to actually find a word for what you want to do and visualize that. For example, when I was thirteen years old, I played for my junior high school football team. I tried so hard to be good, but I just couldn't get it together at that age. I remember hearing the words run through my head as I was running out for a pass, "Don't drop it!" Naturally, I dropped the ball.

My coaches were not skilled enough to teach us proper "self-talk." They just thought some kids could catch and others couldn't. I'll never make it pro, but I'm now a pretty good Sunday afternoon football player, because all my internal dialogue is positive and encourages me to win. I wish my dad had coached me playing football instead of just climbing trees. I might have had a longer football career.

Here is a very easy demonstration to teach your kids and your friends the power of a toxic vocabulary. Ask them to hold a pen or pencil. Hand it to them. Now, follow my instructions carefully. Say to them, "Okay, try to drop the pencil." Observe what they do. Most people release their hands and watch the pencil hit the floor. You respond, "You weren't paying attention. I said TRY to drop the pencil. Now please do it again." Most people then pick up the pencil and pretend to be in excruciating pain while their hand tries but fails to drop the pencil.

The point is made.
If you tell your brain you will "give it a try," you are actually telling your brain to fail. I have a "no try" rule in my house and with everyone I interact with. Either people will do it or they won't. Either they will be at the party or they won't. I'm brutal when people attempt to lie to me by using the word try. Do they think I don't know they are really telegraphing to the world they have no intention of doing it but they want me to give them brownie points for pretended effort? You will never hear the words "I'll try" come out of my mouth unless I'm teaching this concept in a seminar.

If you "try" and do something, your unconscious mind has permission not to succeed. If I truly can't make a decision I will tell the truth. "Sorry John. I'm not sure if I will be at your party or not. I've got an outstanding commitment. If that falls through, I will be here. Otherwise, I will not. Thanks for the invite." People respect honesty. So remove the word "try" from your vocabulary.

My dad also told me that psychologists claim it takes seventeen positive statements to offset one negative statement. I have no idea if it is true, but the logic holds true. It might take up to seventeen compliments to offset the emotional damage of one harsh criticism. These are concepts that are especially useful when raising children.

Ask yourself how many compliments you give yourself daily versus how many criticisms. Heck, I know you are talking to yourself all day long. We all have internal voices that give us direction. So, are you giving yourself the 17:1 ratio or are you shortchanging yourself with toxic self-talk like, " I'm fat. Nobody will like me. I'll try this diet. I'm not good enough. I'm so stupid. I'm broke, etc. etc."

If our parents can set a lifetime of programming with one wrong statement, imagine the kind of programming you are doing on a daily basis with your own internal dialogue.

Here is a list of Toxic Vocabulary words.
Notice when you or other people use them.
But: Negates any words that are stated before it.
Try: Presupposes failure.
If: Presupposes that you may not.
Might: It does nothing definite. It leaves options for your listener..
Would Have: Past tense that draws attention to things that didn't actually happen.
Should Have: Past tense that draws attention to things that didn't actually happen (and implies guilt.)
Could Have: Past tense that draws attention to things that didn't actually happen but the person tries to take credit as if it did happen.
Can't/Don't: These words force the listener to focus on exactly the opposite of what you want. This is a classic mistake that parents and coaches make without knowing the damage of this linguistic error.

Toxic phrase: "Don't drop the ball!"
Likely result: Drops the ball
Better language: "Catch the ball!"
Toxic phrase: "You shouldn't watch so much television."
Likely result: Watches more television.
Better language: "I read too much television makes people stupid. You might find yourself turning that TV off and picking up one of those books more often!"

Take a moment to write down all the phrases you use on a daily basis or any Toxic self-talk that you have noticed yourself using. Write these phrases down so you will begin to catch yourself as they occur and change them.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

The Good News Girl

by Mac Anderson

One of the most wonderful things about having a positive attitude is the number of people it touches, many times in ways you'll never know.

Recently, I stopped by a convenience store to get a newspaper and a pack of gum. The young woman at the check-out counter said, "That'll be five dollars please," and as I reached into my wallet, the thought occurred to me that a newspaper and gum didn't quite make it to five dollars. When I looked up to get a "re-quote", she had a big smile on her face and said, "Gotcha! I got to get my tip in there somehow!" I laughed when I knew I'd been had. She then glanced down at the paper I was buying and said, "I'm sick and tired of all this negative stuff on the front pages. I want to read some good news for a change." She then said, "In fact, I think someone should just publish a Good News newspaper -a paper with wonderful, inspirational stories about people overcoming adversity and doing good things for others. I'd buy one every day!" She then thanked me for coming in and said, "Maybe we'll get lucky tomorrow; maybe we'll get some good news," and she laughed. She made my day.

The following day after my business appointments, I dropped by the same store again to pick up bottled water, but a different young lady was behind the counter. As I checked out I said, "Good afternoon" and handed her my money for the water. She said nothing – not a word, not a smile...nothing. She just handed me my change and in a negative tone, ordered..."Next!"

It hit me right between the eyes: Two people, same age; one made me feel great, and the other, well, made me feel that I had inconvenienced her by showing up.

By the choices we make, by the attitudes we exhibit, we are influencing lives every day in positive or negative ways...our family, our peers, our friends, and even strangers we've never met before and will never meet again.

So when you brush your teeth every morning, and get ready for work, ask yourself this important question, "Who do I want to be today?" "The Grouch" or "The Good News Girl?" Your answer will go a long way toward determining your success in business and in life.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Where are You Dabbling and Where are You Committed?

By Stacey Mayo

Sometimes when I have a new idea, I jump in head first .... Sometimes I let it percolate a bit before deciding to go forward ... and sometimes I dabble in it - trying a little here and a little there - seeing how people respond - does this have legs - what will happen if I do this? All of that is fine and the truth is, the idea or program or project or business never gets very far if all I do is dabble. I have proof positive of this from my own experience and I bet you do too. However, when I have really committed to things, I have often seen extraordinary results - beyond which I imagined.

Where have you been dabbling? Have you been dabbling with a business idea? With a new program or product for your business? With the idea for a book?

When I get off the dabbling stool and decide to go for it, that's when things begin to happen. That's when I see forward momentum. It doesn't guarantee me success. Some products and programs and ideas have certainly worked better than others. That's okay as long as I learn from it and keep going. It's my opportunity to see what to do different at the next step or stage or program or business.

The fear of failure or fear of success (or some similar derivation) can keep you in dabbling mode forever if you let it.

The key to remember is that if you keep on just dabbling, you are setting yourself up for failure - your idea can never achieve much success from this place.

If you have a fear of success, then it may be time to look at and get support in doing things differently then you have done them before (or watched others who worked too hard). Success does not have to look like working to exhaustion. As a matter of fact, the more I am willing to look at doing things differently, the easier and more enjoyable success gets.

No matter how successful you are, likelihood is there is some idea you are dabbling with. What is in the way of you committing to this idea? To really going for it? To playing it out to see what is possible? To see what kind of an impact you can have if you just get out of your own way?

I encourage you to make a decision one way or another but to quit dabbling. Either decide to go for this idea in a way that is exciting and fun for you or let it go. (or if you have too many ideas to work on at once, put this idea in a folder for later).

When you make a commitment you don't have to know all the how's - you probably know one thing you could do right now. Maybe that one thing is to get support. Remember no man or woman is an island. Whatever that step is, take it. And keep committing to taking one step after another each day. You will be amazed at what happens.

(Taken from Living Your Dreams -The Internet Newsletter of the Center for Balanced Living)

"It's human nature to get distracted by minor issues. We play Trivial Pursuit with our lives. Henry David Thoreau observed that people live lives of "quiet desperation," but today a better description is aimless distraction. Many people are like gyroscopes spinning around at a frantic pace but never going anywhere" - Rick Warren

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The Cross

No Pain No Gain… Accept the Pain, Future will be Fruitful…
Don ' t feel the work you are doing is pain, because there will be always a reason for that pain or work.

"In this age, which believes that there is a short cut to everything, the greatest lesson to be learned is that the most difficult way is, in the long run, the easiest."- Miller, Henry Valentine

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Having What It Takes to Win

There was a young woman who had taken ballet lessons all through her childhood, and now she felt that she was ready to commit herself to the study and discipline necessary to make a career of it. She wanted to be a prima ballerina, but first she wanted to be sure that she had a special talent. So when the ballet company came to town she went backstage after the performance and spoke to the ballet master.

"I want to be a great ballerina," she said, "but I don't know if I have the talent."

"Dance for me," the master said, and after only a minute or so he shook his head. "No, no," he said. "You don't have what it takes."

The young woman went home, heartbroken. She tossed her ballet slippers in the closet and never wore them again. Instead, she got married & had babies, and when the kids were old enough she took a part-time job running a cash register at the convenience store.

Years later she attended the ballet, and on the way out she ran into the old master, now in his eighties. She reminded him that they had spoken before. She showed him photos of her kids and told him about the job at the convenience store, and then she said, "There's just one thing that's always bothered me. How could you tell so quickly that I didn't have what it takes?"

"Oh, I barely looked at you when you danced," he said. "That's what I tell all of them who come to me."

"But that's unforgivable," she cried. "You ruined my life. Maybe I could have been a great prima ballerina."

"No, I don't think so," said the old master. "If you had had what it takes you wouldn't have paid any attention to what I said."

Winners never quit and quitters never win!

Friday, May 22, 2009

I Can't Wait To See What Good Comes Out of This Situation

by Mary Rau-Foster

Have you found yourself facing one challenging situation after another, posing a threat to your happiness, hopefulness, and peace of mind? Would you like to find another way to deal with those challenging situations? If so, let Johanna in the following story be your guide.

Johanna woke up one morning feeling very sad because she and her boyfriend had broken up the night before. She somehow knew that he was not "right" for her, but she had been unable to end their relationship. She had also been told a week ago that her company was downsizing and, as a result, she would be laid off. As she was lying in her bed pondering the situation, her eyes fell on a framed cross-stitch piece that her deceased mother had made for her.

The piece quoted her mother's favorite saying, "I can't wait to see what good will come out of this situation." Johanna's mother was very wise and lived her short life in peace and contentment. Johanna found immediate comfort in the quotation, knowing that the words held power that could change a negative attitude into a positive one. She allowed the saying to permeate her mind as she rose and prepared for her day.

Johanna's day was to get more challenging. Her car would not start and she was going to be late for a job interview. As she stood staring helplessly at her "dead" car, the words again come to her... "I can't wait to see what good is going to come out of this situation."

As she was contemplating what she was going to do, she was approached by her next door neighbor, a very kind (and single) gentleman who offered her assistance. She accepted a ride from this man who she knew only by sight and to whom she had never spoken. As he was driving her to her appointment, she explained her job situation and the need to find another position. It happened that his company was looking for someone with her skills and background. Johanna interviewed with his company, and she accepted a position in her "dream job." She also entered into a very meaningful relationship with her "rescuer."

As Johanna was contemplating her good luck in finding a job and a relationship, she realized that she had been open and receptive to the good that would come out of the unfortunate situations in which she found herself. She learned the power of those words, "I can't wait to see what good is coming out of this situation."

It may be difficult to look for the good in those trying or devastating situations in which we may find ourselves. However, if we will take the time to review the wondrous events in our lives, we may find that many of them had their roots in adverse situations. In fact, if it were not for those challenging events, we may not have been the recipients of the good fortune that we received as a result of the adversity.

“I will look for the good in every challenging situation that occurs to me this week. I will change my life by changing my thinking about challenging events. I will claim the good, knowing that it will come to me.”

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Violinist in the Metro

This is an incredibly sad story. It is a social experiment about perception, taste and priorities of people.

A man sat at a metro station in Washington DC and started to play the violin; it was a cold January morning. He played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time, since it was rush hour, it was calculated that thousands of people went through the station, most of them on their way to work.

Three minutes went by and a middle aged man noticed there was musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds and then hurried up to meet his schedule.

A minute later, the violinist received his first dollar tip: a woman threw the money in the till and without stopping continued to walk.

A few minutes later, someone leaned against the wall to listen to him, but the man looked at his watch and started to walk again. Clearly he was late for work.

The one who paid the most attention was a 3 year old boy. His mother tagged him along, hurried but the kid stopped to look at the violinist. Finally the mother pushed hard and the child continued to walk turning his head all the time. This action was repeated by several other children. All the parents, without exception, forced them to move on.

In the 45 minutes the musician played, only 6 people stopped and stayed for a while. About 20 gave him money but continued to walk their normal pace. He collected $32. When he finished playing and silence took over, no one noticed it. No one applauded, nor was there any recognition.

No one knew this but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the best musicians in the world. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written with a violin worth 3.5 million dollars.

Two days before his playing in the subway, Joshua Bell sold out at a theater in Boston and the seats average $100.

Joshua Bell playing incognito in the metro station was organized by the Washington Post as part of an social experiment about perception, taste and priorities of people. The outlines were: in a commonplace environment at an inappropriate hour: Do we perceive beauty? Do we stop to appreciate it? Do we recognize the talent in an unexpected context?

One of the possible conclusions from this experience could be:

If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world playing the best music ever written, how many other things are we missing?

Monday, May 11, 2009

My Present for My Mother for Mother's Day

I am sure many of us buy presents for our parents on Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and on their birthdays. But, do you really take the trouble to buy a present that they really need?

For this year’s Mother’s Day, I am very proud to say that I bought a present for my mom that she really needs. My mom has been complaining that her feet hurt whenever she has to walk for some period of time, especially after an outing with us.

I decided to buy her a new pair of sandals but I needed to make sure that they fit her. So, last Sunday, after our grocery shopping, I took her to a shoe shop and ask her to try some of the sandals there. She tried a few pairs and there was one pair that she really liked. She said it was very comfortable and it fit her feet very well but she did not let me buy the sandals after looking at the price. Even when I tried to convince her, she was very adamant about it. So we left without buying the sandals.

On Friday after work, I went to the shoe shop and bought the sandals and gave them to her. She scolded me for buying the sandals and I told her since I already bought the sandals, she has to accept them. I told her to wear them the next day as we were going to the Buddhist temple for the Wesak Day prayers. She was still complaining about me buying her such an expensive pair of sandals although it was only RM80.00. But I could see that she like the sandals because she showed them to my sisters and she did not want to take off the sandals to go into the temple for the blessing ceremony as she was afraid that someone will steal them.

Most of us, I think would not hesitate to buy a pair of shoes that we like for ourselves without thinking about the cost. But for my mother, she will really think long and hard before she will buy a pair of shoes that only cost RM19.90, which is the cost of the most expensive pair of shoes she bought for herself. I think it is because of all the hardships that she had endured in her life especially having to bring up six children.

I hope that by sharing this story, you all will really put more thought in the presents that you buy for your parents. It is not the value (or cost) of the present but how much thought you put into getting the present. I know people say it is the thought that counts, so make sure the thought really counts!

Friday, May 8, 2009

What is a Mother?

A Mother is one who understands the things you say and do
Who always overlooks your faults and sees the best in you

A Mother is one whose special love inspires you day by day
Who fills your heart with gladness in her warm and thoughtful way

A Mother is like an angel, although without the wings
She tells you to enjoy life's most smallest things

A Mother is all these things and more
- the greatest treasure known.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Life Challenges

A group of people who had gathered together began to share some of their problems and frustrations. At one point, the facilitator of the group asked them to stop, take a moment to reflect and to write down five problems that they were facing in their lives at this time. He then asked them to fold the papers and place them in a basket that he was passing around.

When all had put their papers into the basket, he mixed them all up and then passed the basket around again instructing the people to remove a paper from the basket and quietly read the paper that they had selected. He then asked if anyone in the room would choose to exchange their own problems for those listed on the paper that they had drawn. No one did. No one wanted to. No one felt that their problems were worse than the ones experienced by the author of the list that they held.

It seems unfair, and sometimes overwhelming, to face hardships and threats to life, safety, security, well-being and happiness. We may not understand the reasons for the pain and fear that result from these life challenges. Nonetheless, they offer the greatest opportunity for growth and emergence of inner strength that was heretofore unrecognized in ourselves.

"In every difficult situation is potential value. Believe this, then begin looking for it" - Norman Vincent Peale

Friday, May 1, 2009

Choose Inspiration Movie

Choose how you want to live your life. Choose to enjoy life and all its possibilites.

Click here to watch the mini-movie.

Monday, April 27, 2009

If and When Were Planted

By Catherine Pulsifer

How is "if and when" planted? The short stories below are examples of planting "if and when":

Karen, one of my coworkers was stressed about where she was living. She hated the apartment she was in and complained every day about it. One day over coffee, I asked her why she didn't look for another apartment - it seemed like an easy solution to me. Karen's reply to this was, "I will look for another apartment when I come back from vacation."

Sam hated his job. He dreaded getting up in the morning. He hated the work he was doing and it started to take a toll on him. He had a love for photography and was currently taking a two-year course to obtain his certificate. Every night he complained about his work. After listening to his complaints for a month, I asked him why he didn't finish his course and start a small business doing photography on the weekends. His reply, "if only I had more time to finish my course. When I finish my course I will start a business."

Sarah had saved all her life and now was retired and living comfortably. The house she bought had a dishwasher in it; however, the dishwasher was old and didn't work. She hated doing dishes, and every time we visited with her she complained about doing the dishes. One night, I asked her, "Why don't you buy a new dishwasher Sarah." Her reply, "I have been thinking about it, if they would only come on sale I would."

Larry worked for a company that allowed early retirement. Larry had both the years of service and his age, which allowed him to retire, but at a reduced pension. He was having difficulty coping with all the changes that were being made in his work. He had a couple of mild attacks, not a heart attack but similar to one. He called me and we talked for hours. I was worried about the stress of his job and the effects it was having on his health. "Why don't you retire Harry? Do something that you have always wanted to do," I asked. Harry's reply to my question was, "If only I was older then I would get my full pension." I got bolder in my conversation with him, "But Harry, you have your house paid off, you have no bills, the kids are grown up. You could sell your house and downsize, it really is not worth your health is it? Harry then said, "When the summer comes maybe I will."

All of these stories have the same theme running through them. There is a proverb that says it all: "If and when were planted, and nothing grew."

Now a year later,
Karen is still living in the apartment she hates!
Sam is still complaining about his job and still has not finished his course!
Sarah is still washing dishes!
Larry is still working and his health is not what it used to be!

The sad part of all of these stories is that all of these people had a lot of stress in their lives that they could have taken action to reduce. But, all of them defeated themselves by thinking "if" or "when". Life is too short for "if's and when's".

The next time you are in a stressful situation and you find yourself saying or thinking - "if or when" - remember the saying, "If and when were planted and nothing grew!" Change your thinking and take action, so that you can reduce your stress right now.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Today is Earth Day

In conjunction with Earth Day, I would like to share this poem taken from CanTeach.

Our Earth

The Earth is ours to enjoy
For every little girl and boy.
But we must always be aware.
That all its beauty we must share
With all the children yet to come,
Who want to laugh and play and run
Around the trees and in the fields.

So we must keep our planet free
From messy trash and debris
With air that's clean and fresh and clear
For all to breathe from year to year.
We must never ever abuse
Our sweet Earth that's ours to use.

Sunday, April 19, 2009


by Dr. John C. Maxwell

Perseverance is not an issue of talent. It is not an issue of time. It is about finishing. Talent provides hope for accomplishment, but perseverance guarantees it.

Running Past Failure

As a small child, Vonetta (Jeffrey) Flowers dreamed about being in the Olympics. She ran everywhere she went, and gained a reputation among her school friends for being quick. At age nine, Vonetta learned she had special talent. While trying out for an inner-city track club in her hometown of Birmingham, she shocked coaches by posting the best sprint time for Jonesboro Elementary School - running faster than boys two years older than she was!

Vonetta's immense talent carried her to the University of Alabama-Birmingham on a track-and-field scholarship. While at the university, she continued to pursue her goal of gaining a spot on the Olympic team. She practiced meticulously to perfect her stride, spent hours in the weight room adding strength, and ran grueling intervals to shave seconds off her sprint times. Thanks to her combination of talent and discipline, Vonetta ended her college career as a 7-time All-American, competing in the 100 meter and 200 meter sprints, long jump, triple jump, heptathlon, and relays.

With her college career finished, Vonetta set her sights on the 1996 Olympics. Unfortunately, she failed to qualify for the team, running slightly behind the leaders. The failure stung, but Vonetta was determined not to give up. She found a job as an assistant coach and continued her regimen of training.

For the next four years, Vonetta put her body through punishing workouts with an eye on the 2000 Olympics in Sydney. In her words, "I devoted countless hours to lifting weights, eating right, and staying mentally tough. I knew that my time as an athlete was coming to an end, and I'd hoped that the 2000 Olympic trials would prove to be my year to finally find out what it's like to be an Olympian."

In June 2000, Vonetta lined up again to run at the U.S. Olympic Trials. Unfortunately, Vonetta placed 13th, and she failed to make the Olympic squad. Although one of the fastest women in America, she wasn't in the select group to represent the United States in Sydney. After 17 years of training, she had come up empty in her quest for the Olympics.

Two days after her second painful failure in the Olympic Trials, Vonetta's husband spotted an advertisement for tryouts for the United States Olympic bobsled team. He convinced her to go to the tryouts. Growing up in the South, Vonetta was not accustomed to cold and snow, and she knew next to nothing about bobsledding. However, at the tryouts her unusual blend of speed and strength proved to be ideal qualities for a brakewoman (the person who pushes the bobsled to give it initial momentum and then hops in with the driver). Vonetta was chosen for the team.

Vonetta's decision to join the bobsled team came with a price - two more years of a strict diet, sore muscles, and countless hours dedicated to attaining peak physical fitness. It also meant delaying her dream to be a mom. However, her years of perseverance paid off. Not only did Vonetta achieve her lifelong goal of competing in the Olympics, but she also became the first African-American to win a gold medal in the winter Olympics!

Perseverance punctuates talent

Vonetta's talent seemed almost limitless, but it wouldn't have carried her to the Olympics without an admirable measure of perseverance. Life seems designed to make a person quit. For even the most talented individual, obstacles abound, and failures are commonplace. Only when a person matches talent with perseverance do opportunities become avenues of success.

Perseverance means succeeding because you are determined to, not destined to

If Vonetta had seen her Olympic dream as a matter of destiny than she likely would have given up after her second failure to make the track and field team. After 17 years of training, the results signaled that her dream wasn't meant to be. She had no natural reason to be hopeful about her prospects. However, she pressed on, determined to find a way to take hold of her goals, and in the end, she was rewarded with success.

Perseverance means stopping, not because you're tired, but because the task is done

Perseverance doesn't come into play until a person is tired. A year or two after college, Vonetta still was riding the excitement of her collegiate track and field championships. She was young, energetic, and optimistic about the future. Nothing was telling her to stop, and consequently she needed nothing extra to keep going.

However, after a taste of disappointment at the Olympic Trials, fatigue and discouragement crept up on Vonetta. The mountain of work in front of her began to look more and more daunting, and her dream began to be a little harder to imagine. Nonetheless, Vonetta persevered. She kept believing, she kept training, and she kept running until she finally caught up with success.

Dr John C. Maxwell is an internationally recognized leadership expert, speaker, and author who has sold over 16 million books.

Friday, April 17, 2009

The 7 Keys to Success

Click here to watch the mini movie for a bit of inspiration on the 7 Keys to Success.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Four Candles

The four candles burn slowly.
The ambiance was so soft you could hear them talking.
The first one said “I am PEACE! but these days, nobody wants to keep me lit. I believe I will go out.”
Its flame rapidly diminishes and goes out completely.
The second one said “I am FAITH! Nowadays, I am no longer indispensable, so it doesn’t 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 haven’t got 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 goes out.
Suddenly, a child enters the room and sees three candles not burning.
“Why are you not burning? You are supposed to stay lit till the end”.
Saying this, the child starts to cry.
Then the fourth candle said “Don’t be afraid. While I am still burning, we can relight 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 your life, so that you will always have Faith, Peace and Love in your life!

Friday, April 10, 2009

The House of 1000 Mirrors

(Japanese Folktale)

Long ago in a small, far away village, there was a place known as the House of 1000 Mirrors. A small, happy little dog learned of this place and decided to visit. When he arrived, he bounced happily up the stairs to the doorway of the house. He looked through the doorway with his ears lifted high and his tail wagging as fast as it could. To his great surprise, he found himself staring at 1000 other happy little dogs with their tails wagging just as fast as his. He smiled a great smile, and was answered with 1000 great smiles just as warm and friendly. As he left the house, he thought to himself, "This is a wonderful place. I will come back and visit it often."

In this same village, another little dog, who was not quite as happy as the first one, decided to visit the house. He slowly climbed the stairs and hung his head low as he looked into the door. When he saw the 1000 unfriendly looking dogs staring back at him, he growled at them and was horrified to see 1000 little dogs growling back at him. As he left, he thought to himself, "That is a horrible place, and I will never go back there again."

All the faces in the world are mirrors. What kind of reflections do you see in the faces of the people you meet?

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The Teacher

Jean Thompson stood in front of her fifth-grade class on the very first day of school in the fall and told the children a lie. Like most teachers, she looked at her pupils and said that she loved them all the same, that she would treat them all alike. And that was impossible because there in front of her, slumped in his seat on the third row, was a little boy named Teddy Stoddard.

Mrs. Thompson had watched Teddy the year before and noticed he didn't play well with the other children, that his clothes were unkept and that he constantly needed a bath. And Teddy was unpleasant.

It got to the point during the first few months that she would actually take delight in marking his papers with a broad red pen, making bold X's and then marking the F at the top of the paper biggest of all. Because Teddy was a sullen little boy, no one else seemed to enjoy him, either.

At the school where Mrs. Thompson taught, she was required to review each child's records and put Teddy's off until last. When she opened his file, she was in for a surprise. His first-grade teacher wrote, "Teddy is a bright, inquisitive child with a ready laugh." "He does his work neatly and has good manners...he is a joy to be around."

His second-grade teacher wrote, "Teddy is an excellent student well-liked by his classmates, but he is troubled because his mother has a terminal illness and life at home must be a struggle."

His third-grade teacher wrote, "Teddy continues to work hard but his mother's death has been hard on him. He tries to do his best but his father doesn't show much interest and his home life will soon affect him if some steps aren't taken."

Teddy's fourth-grade teacher wrote, "Teddy is withdrawn and doesn't show much interest in school. He doesn't have many friends and sometimes sleeps in class. He is tardy and could become a problem."

By now Mrs. Thompson realized the problem, but Christmas was coming fast. It was all she could do, with the school play and all, until the day before the holidays began and she was suddenly forced to focus on Teddy Stoddard.

Her children brought her presents, all in beautiful ribbon and bright paper, except for Teddy's, which was clumsily wrapped in the heavy, brown paper of a scissored grocery bag. Mrs. Thompson took pains to open it in the middle of the other presents.

Some of the children started to laugh when she found a rhinestone bracelet with some of the stones missing, and a bottle that was one-quarter full of cologne. She stifled the children's laughter when she exclaimed how pretty the bracelet was, putting it on, and dabbing some of the perfume behind the other wrist. Teddy Stoddard stayed behind just long enough to say, "Mrs. Thompson, today you smelled just like my mom used to."

After the children left she cried for at least an hour. On that very day, she quit teaching reading, writing, and speaking. Instead, she began to teach children. Jean Thompson paid particular attention to one they all called "Teddy."

As she worked with him, his mind seemed to come alive. The more she encouraged him, the faster he responded. On days where there would be an important test, Mrs. Thompson would remember that cologne. By the end of the year he had become one of the smartest children in the class and...well, he had also become the "pet" of the teacher who had once vowed to love all of her children exactly the same.

A year later she found a note under her door, from Teddy, telling her that of all the teachers he'd had in elementary school, she was his favorite. Six years went by before she got another note from Teddy.

He then wrote that he had finished high school, third in his class, and she was still his favorite teacher of all time.

Four years after that, she got another letter, saying that while things had been tough at times, he'd stayed in school, had stuck with it, and would graduate from college with the highest of honors. He assured Mrs. Thompson she was still his favorite teacher.

Then four more years passed and yet another letter came. This time he explained that after he got his bachelor's degree, he decided to go a little further. The letter explained that she was still his favorite teacher, but that now his name was a little longer. The letter was signed, Theodore F. Stoddard, M.D.

The story doesn't end there. You see, there was yet another letter that Spring. Teddy said he'd met this girl and was to be married. He explained that his father had died a couple of years ago and he was wondering...well, if Mrs. Thompson might agree to sit in the pew usually reserved for the mother of the groom. And guess what, she wore that bracelet, the one with several rhinestones missing. And I bet on that special day, Jean Thompson smelled just like...well, just like the way Teddy remembered his mother smelling on their last Christmas together.

You never can tell what type of impact you may make on another's life by your actions or lack of action. Consider this fact in your venture thru life.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

The Mountain Story

A son and his father were walking on the mountains. Suddenly, his son falls, hurts himself and screams: "AAAhhhhhhhhhhh!!!"

To his surprise, he hears the voice repeating, somewhere in the mountain:


Curious, he yells: "Who are you?"

He receives the answer: "Who are you?"

Angered at the response, he screams: "Coward!"

He receives the answer: "Coward!"

He looks to his father and asks: "What's going on?"

The father smiles and says: "My son, pay attention."

And then he screams to the mountain: "I admire you!"

The voice answers: "I admire you!"

Again the man screams: "You are a champion!"

The voice answers: "You are a champion!"

The boy is surprised, but does not understand.

Then the father explains: "People call this ECHO, but really this is LIFE. It gives you back everything you say or do. Our life is simply a reflection of our actions.
If you want more love in the world, create more love in your heart.

If you want more competence in your team, improve your competence.This relationship applies to everything, in all aspects of life; Life will give you back everything you have given to it."


Monday, March 30, 2009

The Wolves Within

An old Grandfather, whose grandson came to him with anger at a schoolmate who had done him an injustice, said, "Let me tell you a story. I too, at times, have felt a great hate for those that have taken so much, with no sorrow for what they do. But hate wears you down, and does not hurt your enemy. It is like taking poison and wishing your enemy would die. I have struggled with these feelings many times."

He continued, "It is as if there are two wolves inside me; one is good and does no harm. He lives in harmony with all around him and does not take offense when no offense was intended. He will only fight when it is right to do so, and in the right way."

"But the other wolf, ah! He is full of anger. The littlest thing will set him into a fit of temper. He fights everyone, all the time, for no reason. He cannot think because his anger and hate are so great. It is hard to live with these two wolves inside me, for both of them try to dominate my spirit."

The boy looked intently into his Grandfather's eye and asked, "Which one wins, Grandfather?"

The Grandfather solemnly said, "The one I feed."

It is up to you to decide which wolf in your heart you want to control your feelings and emotions. Anger will only wears you down and it won't help the situation. So, be constantly aware of which wolf inside you, you feed each day. They are both there, both waiting to be fed. It is up to you to choose which wolf to feed. Which wolf did you feed today?

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Game of Life

(Author Unknown)

Imagine life as a game in which you are juggling some five balls in the air. You name them - work, family, health, friends and spirit and you're keeping all of these in the air. You will soon understand that work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back. But the other four balls - family, health, friends and spirit - are made of glass.

If you drop one of these, they will be irrevocably scuffed, marked, nicked, damaged or even shattered. They will never be the same. You must understand that and strive for balance in your life.

How? Don't undermine your worth by comparing yourself with others. It is because we are different that each of us is special. Don't set your goals by what other people deem important. Only you know what is best for you. Don't take for granted the things closest to your heart. Cling to them as they would your life, for without them, life is meaningless. Don't let your life slip through your fingers by living in the past or for the future. By living your life one day at a time, you live ALL the days of your life.

Don't give up when you still have something to give. Nothing is really over until the moment you stop trying. Don't be afraid to admit that you are less than perfect. It is this fragile thread that binds us to each together.

Don't be afraid to encounter risks. It is by taking chances that we learn how to be brave. Don't shut love out of your life by saying it's impossible to find time. The quickest way to receive love is to give; the fastest way to lose love is to hold it too tightly; and the best way to keep love is to give it wings.

Don't run through life so fast that you forget not only where you've been, but also where you are going.
Don't forget, a person's greatest emotional need is to feel appreciated.
Don't be afraid to learn. Knowledge is weightless, a treasure you can always carry easily.
Don't use time or words carelessly. Neither can be retrieved.
Life is not a race, but a journey to be savoured each step of the way.
Yesterday is History,
Tomorrow is a Mystery and
Today is a gift: that's why we call it The Present.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Two Days

(Author Unknown)

There are two days in every week about which we should not worry, two days which should be kept free from fear and apprehension. One of these days is Yesterday with all its mistakes and cares, its faults and blunders, its aches and pains.

Yesterday has passed forever beyond our control. All the money in the world cannot bring back Yesterday. We cannot undo a single act we performed; we cannot erase a single word we said. Yesterday is gone forever.

The other day we should not worry about is Tomorrow, with all its possible adversities, its burdens, its large promise and its poor performance; Tomorrow is also beyond our immediate control.

Tomorrow's sun will rise, either in splendor or behind a mask of clouds, but it will rise. Until it does, we have no stake in Tomorrow, for it is yet to be born. This leaves only one day, Today. Any person can fight the battle of just one day. It is when you and I add the burdens of those two awful eternities, Yesterday and Tomorrow, that we break down.

It is not the experience of Today that drives a person mad, it is the remorse or bitterness of something which happened Yesterday and the dread of what Tomorrow may bring.

Let us, therefore, Live but one day at a time.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

The Nurture Movie

Have you ever heard the term "bloom where you are planted"? It's a theory about finding ways to thrive within your current situation and surroundings.

Please click here to watch the movie.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Fixing the Ship Engine

Ever heard the story of the giant ship engine that failed? The ship's owners tried one expert after another, but none of them could figure but how to fix the engine.

Then they brought in an old man who had been fixing ships since he was a youngster.

He carried a large bag of tools with him, and when he arrived, he immediately went to work. He inspected the engine very carefully, top to bottom.

Two of the ship's owners were there, watching this man, hoping he would know what to do. After looking things over, the old man reached into his bag and pulled out a small hammer.

He gently tapped something. Instantly, the engine lurched into life.

He carefully put his hammer away. The engine was fixed! A week later, the owners received a bill from the old man for ten thousand dollars.

"What?!" the owners exclaimed. "He hardly did anything!"

So they wrote the old man a note saying, "Please send us an itemized bill."

The man sent a bill that read:

Tapping with a hammer .. $ 2.00

Knowing where to tap .. $ 9998.00

Owners understood and sent a cheque for $10000.

I find this story very informative. Not only you should have a skill. You must know when and where to exercise the skill. Precision is very important for success. How to be precise?

Knowledge and practice of decision making makes you better in everything you do. So before you do anything, gather knowledge before you exercise your choice.

Effort is important, but knowing where to make an effort in your life makes all the difference.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Who Packed Your Parachute?

(Author Unknown)

Charles Plumb, a US Naval Academy graduate, was a jet pilot in Vietnam. After 75 combat missions, his plane was destroyed by a surface-to-air missile. Plumb ejected and parachuted into enemy hands. He was captured and spent 6 years in a communist prison. He survived the ordeal and now lectures on lessons learned from that experience.

One day, when Plumb and his wife were sitting in a restaurant, a man at another table came up and said, "You're Plumb! You flew jet fighters in Vietnam from the aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk. You were shot down!"

"How in the world did you know that?" asked Plumb. "I packed your parachute," the man replied. Plumb gasped in surprise and gratitude. The man grabbed his hand and said, "I guess it worked!"

Plumb assured him, "It sure did. If your chute hadn't worked, I wouldn't be here today."

Plumb couldn't sleep that night, thinking about that man. Plumb kept wondering what the man might have looked like in a Navy uniform. He wondered how many times he might have seen him and not even said good morning, how are you or anything, because you see, he was a fighter pilot and the man was just a sailor. Plumb thought of the many hours that sailor had spent in the bowels of the ship, carefully weaving the shrouds and folding the silks of each chute, holding in his hands each time the fate of someone he did not know.

Now Plumb asks his audience, "Who is packing your parachute?" Everyone has someone who provides what they need to make it through the day. Plumb also points out that he needed many kinds of parachutes when his plane was shot down. As you go through your week, month, and even New Year, recognize the people who have packed your parachute and enabled you to get where you are today!

Sometimes in the daily challenges that life gives us, we miss what is really important. We may fail to say hello, please, thank you, congratulate someone on something wonderful that has happened to them, give a compliment, or just do something nice for no reason.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Ten Ways to Worry Less and Accomplish More

(Author Unknown)
1. Don't think of problems as difficulties. Think of them as opportunities for action.

2. After you've done your best to deal with a situation, avoid speculating about the outcome. Forget it and go onto the next thing.

3. Keep busy. Keep the 24 hours of your day filled with these three ingredients: work, recreation, and sleep. Don't allow yourself time for abstract thinking.

4. Don't concern yourself with things you can't do anything about. Armchair generals don't win battles, but they do have nervous breakdowns.

5. For the time being anyway, eliminate daydreaming completely. Stop building air castles.

6. Don't procrastinate. Putting off an unpleasant task until tomorrow simply gives you more time for your imagination to make a mountain out a possible molehill. More time for anxiety to sap your self-confidence. Do it now, brother, do it now.

7. Don't pour woes and anxieties to other people. You don't want their sympathy - it'll merely make it easy for you to feel sorrier for yourself.

8. Get up as soon as you wake up. If you lie in bed, you may use up as much nervous energy living your day in advance as you would in actual accomplishment of the day's work.

9. Try to arrange your schedule so that you will not have to hurry. Hurry, a blood brother to worry, helps shatter poise and self-confidence, and contributes to fear and anxiety.

10. If a project seems too big, break it up into simple steps of action. Then negotiate those steps-link rungs in a at a time. And don't allow yourself to think about the difficulties of step number two until you've executed step number one.

What were you worried about this time last year?
Can't remember?

"This day and your life ... are God's gift to you, so give thanks and be joyful always!"

Monday, March 2, 2009

Through The Journey of Life

(Author Unknown)

Do not undermine your worth by comparing yourself with others.
It is because we are different that each of us is special.

Do not set your goals by what other people deem important.
Only you know what is best for you.

Do not take for granted the things closest to your heart.
Cling to them as you would your life, for without them, life is meaningless.

Do not let your life slip through your fingers by living in the past nor for the future.
By living your life one day at a time, you live all of the days of your life.

Do not give up when you still have something to give.
Nothing is really over until the moment you stop trying.

Do not be afraid to encounter risks.
It is by taking chances that we learn how to be brave.

Do not shut love out of your life by saying it is impossible to find.
The quickest way to receive love is to give love.
The fastest way to lose love is too hold it too tightly.
In addition, the best way to keep love is to give it wings

Do not dismiss your dreams.
To be without dreams is to be without hope.
To be without hope is to be without purpose.

Do not run through life so fast that you forget not only where you have been, but also where you are going.
Life is not a race, but a journey to be savored each step of the way.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Mom's Wisdom

by Catherine Pulsifer

My Mom is in her seventies, and has seen a lot in her lifetime. She faced challenges that we all face one way or the other. She has seen successes and many happy times throughout her life.

Recently, we were talking and I asked her if she could give me just three pieces of advice to live my life what would they be. After some thought, she said she would have to think about it. It surprised me that she wanted time to think about it. She always was free with her advice sometimes even when I didn't want to hear it.

I arrived at her house the next day where she handed me a piece of paper with her three pieces of wisdom written out. She explained to me that if she was only able to give me three, that these three were the most important.

As I read them, I realized the importance of what she was telling me. She wasn't telling me to save my money, nor was she telling me to work hard. Her 3 most important things to live a happy life were truly pieces of wisdom.

What were they? Here is the wisdom my Mom shared with me:

1. Make each new day count by helping someone or just making someone smile.
2. Don't dwell on life's troubles, think of the good times.
3. Don't worry about things you can't do anything about.

This was an interesting thing to do. Perhaps, like me, you have someone in your life that has been there for you, no matter what. My Mom has always been one of my biggest supporters and the wisdom she has given me over the years has helped shaped the person I am today.

Ask that person in your life to give you three pieces of advice to live a good life. You may be pleasantly surprised by the answers you get.

"You cannot always control what goes on outside. But you can always control what goes on inside" - Wayne Dyer

Monday, February 23, 2009

Spilt Milk

A famous research scientist who had made several very important medical breakthroughs was being interviewed by a newspaper reporter who asked him why he thought he was able to be so much more creative than the average person. What set him so far apart from others?

He responded that, in his opinion, it all came from an experience with his mother that occurred when he was about two years old. He had been trying to remove a bottle of milk from the refrigerator when he lost his grip on the slippery bottle and it fell, spilling its contents all over the kitchen floor—a veritable sea of milk!

When his mother came into the kitchen, instead of yelling at him, giving him a lecture, or punishing him, she said, “Robert, what a great and wonderful mess you have made! I have rarely seen such a huge puddle of milk. Well, the damage has already been done. Would you like to get down and play in the milk for a few minutes before we clean it up?”

Indeed, he did. After a few minutes, his mother said, “You know, Robert, whenever you make a mess like this, eventually you have to clean it up and restore everything to its proper order. So, how would you like to do that? We could use a sponge, a towel, or a mop. Which do you prefer?” He chose the sponge and together they cleaned up the spilled milk.

His mother then said, “You know, what we have here is a failed experiment in how to effectively carry a big milk bottle with two tiny hands. Let’s go out in the back yard and fill the bottle with water and see if you can discover a way to carry it without dropping it.” The little boy learned that if he grasped the bottle at the top near the lip with both hands, he could carry it without dropping it. What a wonderful lesson!

This renowned scientist then remarked that it was at that moment that he knew he didn’t need to be afraid to make mistakes. Instead, he learned that mistakes were just opportunities for learning something new, which is, after all, what scientific experiments are all about. Even if the experiment “doesn’t work,” we usually learn something valuable from it.

Without mistakes we don't learn, we can't get better at what we do and we don't find out what is wrong.

When we make mistakes we can:
-look at things differently and find new solutions
-think creatively and find many possible answers
-find many ways of solving a problem
-find rules that are 'old' and no longer of use, whether they be rules of society or rules of our minds
-find a solution to solve another problem
-have a sense of humour
-find a new way of thinking
-change directions so we don't keep on doing the wrong thing
-learn about new things.

"To make no mistakes is not in the power of man; but from their errors and mistakes the wise and good learn wisdom for the future" - Plutarch

Friday, February 20, 2009

Slow Down Culture

(Author unknown)

It's been 18 years since I joined Volvo, a Swedish company. Working for them has proven to be an interesting experience. Any project here takes 2 years to be finalized, even if the idea is simple and brilliant. It's a rule.

Globalized processes have caused in us (all over the world) a general sense of searching for immediate results. Therefore, we have come to possess a need to see immediate results. This contrasts greatly with the slow movements of the Swedish. They, on the other hand, debate, debate, debate, hold several meetings and work with a slowdown scheme. At the end, this always yields better results.

The first time I was in Sweden , one of my colleagues picked me up at the hotel every morning. It was September, bit cold and snowy. We would arrive early at the company and he would park far away from the entrance (2000 employees drive their car to work). The first day, I didn't say anything, either the second or third. One morning I asked, "Do you have a fixed parking space? I've noticed we park far from the entrance even when there are no other cars in the lot." To which he replied, "Since we're here early we'll have time to walk, and whoever gets in late will be late and need a place closer to the door. Don't you think we should help them too?" Imagine my face!

Nowadays, there's a movement in Europe name Slow Food. This movement establishes that people should eat and drink slowly, with enough time to taste their food, spend time with the family, friends, without rushing. Slow Food is against its counterpart: the spirit of Fast Food and what it stands for as a lifestyle. Slow Food is the basis for a bigger movement called Slow Europe, as mentioned by Business Week.

Basically, the movement questions the sense of "hurry" and "craziness" generated by globalization, fueled by the desire of "having in quantity" (life status) versus "having with quality", "life quality" or the "quality of being". French people, even though they work 35 hours per week, are more productive than Americans or British. Germans have established 28.8 hour workweeks and have seen their productivity been driven up by 20%. This slow attitude has brought forth the US 's attention, pupils of the fast and the "do it now!"

This no-rush attitude doesn't represent doing less or having a lower productivity. It means working and doing things with greater quality, productivity, perfection, with attention to detail and less stress. It means re-establishing family values, friends, free and leisure time. Taking the "now", present and concrete, versus the "global", undefined and anonymous. It means taking humans' essential values, the simplicity of living.

It stands for a less coercive work environment, more happy, lighter and more productive where humans enjoy doing what they know best how to do. It's time to stop and think on how companies need to develop serious quality with no-rush that will increase productivity and the quality of products and services, without losing the essence of spirit.

Many of us live our lives running behind time, but we only reach it when we die of a heart attack or in a car accident rushing to be on time. Others are so anxious of living the future that they forget to live the present, which is the only time that truly exists. We all have equal time throughout the world. No one has more or less. The difference lies in how each one of us does with our time. We need to live each moment. As John Lennon said, "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans".

Thanks for reading till the end of this message. There are many who will have stopped in the middle so as not to waste time in this globalized world!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Stopped By A Brick

About ten years ago, a young and very successful executive named Josh was traveling down a Chicago neighborhood street. He was going a bit too fast in his sleek, black, 12-cylinder Jaguar XKE, which was only two months old. He was watching for kids darting out from between parked cars and slowed down when he thought he saw something. As his car passed, no child darted out, but a brick sailed out and -- WHUMP! -- it smashed into the Jag's shiny black side door! SCREECH...!!!! Brakes slammed! Gears ground into reverse, and tires madly spun the Jaguar back to the spot from where the brick had been thrown.

Josh jumped out of the car, grabbed the kid and pushed him up against a parked car. He shouted at the kid, "What was that all about and who are you? Just what the heck are you doing?!" Building up a head of steam, he went on. "That's my new Jag, that brick you threw is gonna cost you a lot of money. Why did you throw it?"

"Please, mister, please...I'm sorry! I didn't know what else to do!" pleaded the youngster. "I threw the brick because no one else would stop!"

Tears were dripping down the boy's chin as he pointed around the parked car. "It's my brother, Mister," he said. "He rolled off the curb and fell out of his wheelchair and I can't lift him up." Sobbing, the boy asked the executive, "Would you please help me get him back into his wheelchair? He's hurt and he's too heavy for me."

Moved beyond words, the young executive tried desperately to swallow the rapidly swelling lump in his throat.

Straining, he lifted the young man back into the wheelchair and took out his handkerchief and wiped the scrapes and cuts, checking to see that everything was going to be OK. He then watched the younger brother push him down the sidewalk toward their home. It was a long walk back to the sleek, black, shining, 12-cylinder Jaguar XKE - a long and slow walk.

Josh never did fix the side door of his Jaguar. He kept the dent to remind him not to go through life so fast that someone has to throw a brick at him to get his attention.

At times in our lives, we tend to become so wrapped up in other things. We become focused on ourselves or our job we do not realize there are others around us that need our help.

We can react in a negative way to a situation without fully realizing or taking the time to look at the other persons situation. Or to take the time to find out the reason the other person has taken the action that they did.

"Don't let the bricks in life hit you, be sensitive to those around you." - Catherine Pulsifer

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Clock

This clock had sat on the mantle for years. And it ran and ran. One day, the clock began to think about how many times it had to tick during the year. It counted up the seconds - it would have to tick 31,536,000 times a year. The clock seemed overwhelmed - "I can't do it, that is just too much." So the clock stopped ticking. Then somebody reminded the clock that it didn't have to tick the 31,536,000 seconds all at one time, but rather one tick at a time. The clock then realized this was okay and started ticking again!

When we set our goals, it is good to visualize the end results. But, getting to our goal is doing a little bit every day; not doing it all at once. So the next time you find yourself overwhelmed by your goal, remember the clock and the number of ticks - do a little bit every day and over time you will reach your goal. Believe me, reaching your goal is worth it!

Friday, February 13, 2009

The Cow And The Pig

There was once a man who was very rich and very miserly at the same time.. The villagers disliked him intensely. One day he said to them, "Either you're jealous of me or you don't understand my love of money-God alone knows.. But you dislike me; that much I know. When I die, I won't take anything with me. I will leave it all for others. I will make a will, and I will give everything to charity. Then everyone will be happy."

Even then people mocked and laughed at him. The rich man said to them, "What is the matter with you? Can't you wait a few years to see my money go to charity?"

The villagers didn't believe him. He said, "Do you think I'm immortal? I'll die like everyone else, and then my money will go to charities." He couldn't understand why they didn't believe him.

One day he went for a walk. All of a sudden it started raining heavily, so he took shelter under a tree. Under this tree he saw a pig and a cow. The pig and the cow entered into conversation, and the man overheard what they were saying.

The pig said to the cow, "How is it that everybody appreciates you and nobody appreciates me? When I die, I provide people with bacon, ham and sausage. People can also use my bristles. I give three or four things, whereas you give only one thing: milk. Why do people appreciate you all the time and not me?"

The cow said to the pig, "Look, I give them milk while I'm alive. They see that I am generous with what I have. But you don't give them anything while you're alive. Only after you're dead do you give ham, bacon and so forth. People don't believe in the future; they believe in the present. If you give while you are alive, people will appreciate you. It is quite simple."

From that moment on, the rich man has started to follow the advice.

It might cost us time, money, stepping out of our comfort zone, or sacrificing our own needs, but the rewards of giving are priceless. When we give, we reap the joy of seeing a bright smile, laughter, tears, joy, and gratitude. Giving is one of the best ways to share our joy, love and gratitude for life!

"There is no joy in possession without sharing - Erasmo da Rotterdam"