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.