Make the World Better

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

The Four Emotions That Can Lead to Life Change
by Jim Rohn (Jul 2017)

Emotions are the most powerful forces inside us. Under the power of emotions, human beings can perform the most heroic (as well as barbaric) acts. To a great degree, civilization itself can be defined as the intelligent channeling of human emotion. Emotions are fuel and the mind is the pilot, which together propel the ship of civilized progress. Which emotions cause people to act? There are four basic ones; each, or a combination of several, can trigger the most incredible activity. The day that you allow these emotions to fuel your desire is the day you'll turn your life around.

One does not usually equate the word "disgust" with positive action. And yet properly channeled, disgust can change a person's life. The person who feels disgusted has reached a point of no return. He or she is ready to throw down the gauntlet at life and say, "I've had it!" That's what I said after many humiliating experiences at age 25, I said. "I don't want to live like this anymore. I've had it with being broke. I've had it with being embarrassed, and I've had it with lying." Yes, productive feelings of disgust come when a person says, "Enough is enough." There is nothing so life-changing as gut-wrenching disgust! 

Most of us need to be pushed to the wall to make decisions. And once we reach this point, we have to deal with the conflicting emotions that come with making them. We have reached a fork in the road. Now this fork can be a two-prong, three-prong, or even a four-prong fork. No wonder that decision-making can create knots in stomachs, keep us awake in the middle of the night, or make us break out in a cold sweat. Making life-changing decisions can be likened to internal civil war. Conflicting armies of emotions, each with its own arsenal of reasons, battle each other for supremacy of our minds. And our resulting decisions, whether bold or timid, well thought out or impulsive, can either set the course of action or blind it. I don't have much advice to give you about decision-making except this: Whatever you do, don't camp at the fork in the road. Decide. It's far better to make a wrong decision than to not make one at all. Each of us must confront our emotional turmoil and sort out our feelings.

How does one gain desire? I don't think I can answer this directly because there are many ways. But I do know two things about desire:
a. It comes from the inside not the outside.
b. It can be triggered by outside forces.
Therefore, while searching for your "hot button" of pure, raw desire, welcome into your life each positive experience. Don't erect a wall to protect you from experiencing life. The same wall that keeps out your disappointment also keeps out the sunlight of enriching experiences. So let life touch you. The next touch could be the one that turns your life around.

Resolve says, "I will." These two words are among the most potent in the English language. I WILL. Benjamin Disraeli, the great British statesman, once said, "Nothing can resist a human will that will stake even its existence on the extent of its purpose." In other words, when someone resolves to "do or die," nothing can stop him. When confronted with such iron-will determination, I can see Time, Fate and Circumstance calling a hasty conference and deciding, "We might as well let him have his dream. He's said he's going to get there or die trying."

The best definition for "resolve" I've ever heard came from a schoolgirl in Foster City, California. As is my custom, I was lecturing about success to a group of bright kids at a junior high school. I asked, "Who can tell me what "resolve" means?" Several hands went up, and I did get some pretty good definitions. But the last was the best. A shy girl from the back of the room got up and said with quiet intensity, "I think resolve means promising yourself you will never give up." That's it! That's the best definition I've ever heard: PROMISE YOURSELF YOU'LL NEVER GIVE UP.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Characteristics of Someone Who Will Make A Good Spouse: (Jan 2017)
1.          Good listening skills, able to understand and respect the viewpoints of others, considerate and non-judgmental
2.          Positive focus, optimistic, "I can" attitude, grateful (or thankful) and trust others to do what is right
3.          Flexible, open-minded, able to prioritise activities and good time management skills
4.          Take responsibility for own actions, has good problem-solving skills and avoid blaming others or situations for what is / are happening
5.          Awareness & acceptance of own strengths and weaknesses, and has good self-esteem
6.          Appreciative, affirms and encourage others
7.          Patient, tolerant, kind, friendly, gentle, gracious, caring, pleasing, polite and warm.
These positive behaviours occurs in related clusters which can set off a "Virtue Cycle" over time to become better.
Avoid someone who often display the following characteristics:
1.          Poor listening skills, has difficulties understanding the viewpoints of others, inconsiderate, judgmental, mean, critical, toxic, aggressive, unforgiving, vengeful, do not respect others
2.          Negative focus, pessimistic, usually complaining about others, do not appreciate positive aspects of the situations, do not trust others to do what is right, suspicious
3.          Rigid in thoughts and actions, stubborn, narrow or closed-minded, difficulties encountering in prioritising activities / actions to be carried out, and poor time management skill
4.          Blame others or situations for what is / are happening, often complaining, making excuses and feeling helpless in situations or difficulties encountered
5.          Not aware of and do not accept own strengths and weaknesses, feel insecure, has poor self-esteem, has bouts of jealousy, project bad behaviours on others (when own behaviour is worse), possessive, petty, controlling, manipulative
6.          Is critical, toxic and judgmental of others, complaining about the behaviours of others (relatives, work colleagues, neighbours, etc.)
7.          Has fears, guilt, anger or anxiety issue or past hurts (which cannot be released), easily irritable, poor tolerance level, impatient, cold, unfriendly, feel gloomy & depressed

These negative behaviours occurs in related clusters which can set off a "Vicious Cycle" over time to become worse.

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Heaven and Hell On Earth

You experience heaven on Earth when you are with people who are adaptable, affirmative, amiable, good at anger mgmt, apologetic, appreciative, attentive, benevolent, calm, charitable, have good communication skills, compassionate, composed, confident, considerate, contented, courteous, diplomatic, empathetic, encouraging, enthusiastic, far-sighted, flexible, friendly, focus on what can be done, forgiving, generous, gentle, good-natured, gracious, healthy, helpful, honest, humble, "I can" attitude, independent, interesting, kind, have good listening skills, merciful, open-minded, optimistic, patient, peaceful, persevering, pleasant, pleasing, polite, giving praises, proactive, realistic, refreshing, repentant, respectful, responsible, responsive, provide good role model, satisfied, secure, have good self-esteem, self-aware, self-disciplined, sincere, sociable, tactful, thankful, tolerant, truthful, trusting, trustworthy, understanding and warm.

You experience hell on Earth when you are with people who are abusive, aggressive, ambiguous, angry, annoying, antagonistic, anxious, apathetic, bad-tempered, bearing grudges, blaming, belittling, bitter, bullying, callous, caustic, closed-minded, cold, complaining, controlling, corrosive, uses covert intimidation, covetous, create excuses, critical, cruel, dishonest, deceptive, deceitful, in denial, demoralising, desire for power over others, discouraging, discontented, discourteous, distracting / diverting, distrustful, doubting, domineering, egoistic, engages in guilt tripping, evasive, exploitative, fault-finding, fearful, feign innocence or confusion, fierce, gloomy, grumbling, harsh, harassing, hostile, hypocritical, ill-tempered, impatient, inconsiderate, indifferent, inflexible, insecure, insincere, intimidating, intolerant, intrusive, irritating, jealous, lacking in empathy, lacking in kindness, malicious, mean, misleading, obnoxious, offensive, rude, ruthless, , lacking in self-acceptance, have poor self-esteem, slanderous, lacking in warmth, lying by omission, manipulative, narrow-minded, obsessive-compulsive, pessimistic, petty, play the victim role, resentful, self-centered, selfish, use shaming, sneaky, spiteful, stubborn, suspicious, threatening, toxic, traumatised, tyrannical, unconcerned, unfeeling, unforgiving, unfriendly, unresponsive, untrusting, venomous, vicious

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Make Yourself Happy (Nov 2012)

People who are happy often are adaptable, affirmative, amiable, good at anger mgmt, apologetic, appreciative, attentive, benevolent, calm, charitable, have good communication skills, compassionate, composed, confident, considerate, contented, courteous, diplomatic, empathetic, encouraging, enthusiastic, far-sighted, flexible, friendly, focus on what can be done, forgiving, generous, gentle, good-natured, gracious, healthy, helpful, honest, humble, "I can" attitude, independent, interesting, kind, have good listening skills, merciful, open-minded, optimistic, patient, peaceful, persevering, pleasant, pleasing, polite, giving praises, proactive, realistic, refreshing, repentant, respectful, responsible, responsive, provide good role model, satisfied, secure, have good self-esteem, self-aware, self-disciplined, sincere, sociable, tactful, thankful, tolerant, truthful, trusting, trustworthy, understanding and warm.

People who are unhappy are often abusive, aggressive, ambiguous, angry, annoying, antagonistic, anxious, apathetic, bad-tempered, bearing grudges, blaming, belittling, bitter, bullying, callous, caustic, closed-minded, cold, complaining, controlling, corrosive, uses covert intimidation, covetous, create excuses, critical, cruel, dishonest, deceptive, deceitful, in denial, demoralising, desire for power over others, discouraging, discontented, discourteous, distracting / diverting, distrustful, doubting, domineering, egoistic, engages in guilt tripping, evasive, exploitative, fault-finding, fearful, feign innocence or confusion, fierce, gloomy, grumbling, harsh, harassing, hostile, hypocritical, ill-tempered, impatient, inconsiderate, indifferent, inflexible, insecure, insincere, intimidating, intolerant, intrusive, irritating, jealous, lacking in empathy, lacking in kindness, malicious, mean, misleading, obnoxious, offensive, rude, ruthless, , lacking in self-acceptance, have poor self-esteem, slanderous, lacking in warmth, lying by omission, manipulative, narrow-minded, obsessive-compulsive, pessimistic, petty, play the victim role, resentful, self-centered, selfish, use shaming, sneaky, spiteful, stubborn, suspicious, threatening, toxic, traumatised, tyrannical, unconcerned, unfeeling, unforgiving, unfriendly, unresponsive, untrusting, venomous, vicious, whining.

Which of the above characteristics do you have more of?

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Facing the Enemies Within by Jim Rohn (Apr 2012)

We are not born with courage, but neither are we born with fear. Maybe some of our fears are brought on by your own experiences, by what someone has told you, by what you've read in the papers. Some fears are valid, like walking alone in a bad part of town at two o'clock in the morning. But once you learn to avoid that situation, you won't need to live in fear of it.

Fears, Even the most basic ones, can totally destroy our ambitions. Fear can destroy fortunes. Fear can destroy relationships. Fear, if left unchecked, can destroy our lives. Fear is one of the many enemies lurking inside us.

Let me tell you about five of the other enemies we face from within. The first enemy that you've got to destroy before it destroys you is indifference. What a tragic disease this is. "Ho-hum, let it slide. I'll just drift along." Here's one problem with drifting: you can't drift your way to the top of the mountain.

The second enemy we face is indecision. Indecision is the thief of opportunity and enterprise. It will steal your chances for a better future. Take a sword to this enemy.

The third enemy inside is doubt. Sure, there's room for healthy skepticism. You can't believe everything. But you also can't let doubt take over. Many people doubt the past, doubt the future, doubt each other, doubt the government, doubt the possibilities and doubt the opportunities. Worst of all, they doubt themselves. I'm telling you, doubt will destroy your life and your chances of success. It will empty both your bank account and your heart. Doubt is an enemy. Go after it. Get rid of it.

The fourth enemy within is worry. We've all got to worry some. Just don't let it conquer you. Instead, let it alarm you. Worry can be useful. If you step off the curb in New York City and a taxi is coming, you've got to worry. But you can't let worry loose like a mad dog that drives you into a small corner. Here's what you've got to do with your worries: drive them into a small corner. Whatever is out to get you, you've got to get it. Whatever is pushing on you, you've got to push back.

The fifth interior enemy is over-caution. It is the timid approach to life. Timidity is not a virtue; it's an illness. If you let it go, it'll conquer you. Timid people don't get promoted. They don't advance and grow and become powerful in the marketplace. You've got to avoid over-caution.

Do battle with the enemy. Do battle with your fears. Build your courage to fight what's holding you back, what's keeping you from your goals and dreams. Be courageous in your life and in your pursuit of the things you want and the person you want to become.

The Seven Habits of Spectacularly Unsuccessful Executives (Jan 2012)

Habit # 1: They see themselves and their companies as dominating their environment

Warning Sign for #1: A lack of respect

Habit #2: They identify so completely with the company that there is no clear boundary between their personal interests and their corporation’s interests

Warning Sign for #2: A question of character

Habit #3: They think they have all the answers

Warning Sign for #3: A leader without followers

Habit #4: They ruthlessly eliminate anyone who isn’t completely behind them

Warning Sign for #4: Executive departures

Habit #5: They are consummate spokespersons, obsessed with the company image

Warning Sign of #5: Blatant attention-seeking

Habit #6: They underestimate obstacles

Warning Sign of #6: Excessive hype

Habit #7: They stubbornly rely on what worked for them in the past

Warning Sign of #7: Constantly referring to what worked in the past

10 Kinds of People For Effective Meetings (Nov 2011)

The Value of Shared Thinking by John C. Maxwell

So how do you know what kind of person to bring around the table? Listed below are ten kinds of people you want.

1. People whose greatest desire is the success of the idea. You don't want people around the table who want to see the idea fail. You have to have people around the table who are committed to the success of the idea.

2. People who can compound another person's thought. You want to bring people around the table who can take somebody else's thought and play off of it and tweak it and make it better.

3. People who emotionally can handle the changes of conversation. The creative conversation is going to go left and right, and up and down. It's an emotional roller coaster, and you want someone who won't let their feelings get in the way of progress.

4. People who appreciate strengths in others where they are weak. These are people who can complement one another. For example, where you've got one person who's a focus thinker and another person who's a creative thinker, they will have to be able to appreciate the input of the other.

5. People who recognize their place of value at the table. They know why they're there. If they don't, you will have a problem.

6. People who place what is best for them below what is best for the team. These people know to check their egos at the door. Subordinating your own agenda to what is best for everyone is always good.

7. People who can bring out the best thinking of those around them. When somebody comes up with a great thought, they can probe a little and say, "Come on, go a little bit deeper here. Talk to me a little bit more. Give me some more out of this."

8. People who possess maturity, experience and success in the issue being discussed. I want all three. I don't want maturity without success, I don't want experience without success, and I certainly don't want success without either.

9. People who take ownership and responsibility for the decisions that are made. They have the ability to come to the table and, after there is a shared concept and idea or thought that revolves around it, they can take ownership of it.

10. People who can leave the table with a "we" attitude and not a "me" attitude. Teamwork is essential to accomplishing great things. You always want people who are willing and able to grasp this concept on your team.

Steve Jobs and the Seven Rules of Success (Oct 2011)

By Carmine Gallo | October 14, 2011| Comment Tweet

Steve Jobs' impact on your life cannot be overestimated. His innovations have likely touched nearly every aspect -- computers, movies, music and mobile. As a communications coach, I learned from Jobs that a presentation can, indeed, inspire. For entrepreneurs, Jobs' greatest legacy is the set of principles that drove his success.

Over the years, I've become a student of sorts of Jobs' career and life. Here's my take on the rules and values underpinning his success. Any of us can adopt them to unleash our "inner Steve Jobs."

1. Do what you love. Jobs once said, "People with passion can change the world for the better." Asked about the advice he would offer would-be entrepreneurs, he said, "I'd get a job as a busboy or something until I figured out what I was really passionate about." That's how much it meant to him. Passion is everything.

2. Put a dent in the universe. Jobs believed in the power of vision. He once asked then-Pepsi President, John Sculley, "Do you want to spend your life selling sugar water or do you want to change the world?" Don't lose sight of the big vision.

3. Make connections. Jobs once said creativity is connecting things. He meant that people with a broad set of life experiences can often see things that others miss. He took calligraphy classes that didn't have any practical use in his life -- until he built the Macintosh. Jobs traveled to India and Asia. He studied design and hospitality. Don't live in a bubble. Connect ideas from different fields.

4. Say no to 1,000 things. Jobs was as proud of what Apple chose not to do as he was of what Apple did. When he returned in Apple in 1997, he took a company with 350 products and reduced them to 10 products in a two-year period. Why? So he could put the "A-Team" on each product. What are you saying "no" to?

5. Create insanely different experiences. Jobs also sought innovation in the customer-service experience. When he first came up with the concept for the Apple Stores, he said they would be different because instead of just moving boxes, the stores would enrich lives. Everything about the experience you have when you walk into an Apple store is intended to enrich your life and to create an emotional connection between you and the Apple brand. What are you doing to enrich the lives of your customers?

6. Master the message. You can have the greatest idea in the world, but if you can't communicate your ideas, it doesn't matter. Jobs was the world's greatest corporate storyteller. Instead of simply delivering a presentation like most people do, he informed, he educated, he inspired and he entertained, all in one presentation.

7. Sell dreams, not products. Jobs captured our imagination because he really understood his customer. He knew that tablets would not capture our imaginations if they were too complicated. The result? One button on the front of an iPad. It's so simple, a 2-year-old can use it. Your customers don't care about your product. They care about themselves, their hopes, their ambitions. Jobs taught us that if you help your customers reach their dreams, you'll win them over.

There's one story that I think sums up Jobs' career at Apple. An executive who had the job of reinventing the Disney Store once called up Jobs and asked for advice. His counsel? Dream bigger. I think that's the best advice he could leave us with. See genius in your craziness, believe in yourself, believe in your vision, and be constantly prepared to defend those ideas.

Three Keys to Greatness by Jim Rohn (Sep 2011)

Eight years ago I went into the studio and recorded a 56-minute video for teenagers called "Three Keys to Greatness." Although my focus was for teenagers, the principles I shared certainly apply to adults as well.

Recently I was asked to list these three keys using a couple sentences for each. Now for your benefit here they are again.

1) Setting Goals. I call it the view of the future. Most people, including kids, will pay the price if they can see the promise of the future. So we need to help our kids see a well-defined future, so they will be motivated to pay the price today to attain the rewards of tomorrow. Goals help them do this.

2) Personal Development. Simply making consistent investments in our self-education and knowledge banks pays major dividends throughout our lives. I suggest having a minimum amount of time set aside for reading books, listening to audiocassettes, attending seminars, keeping a journal and spending time with other successful people. Charlie "Tremendous" Jones says you will be in five years the sum total of the books you read and the people you are around.

3) Financial Planning. I call it the 70/30 plan. After receiving your paycheck or paying yourself, set aside 10 percent for saving, 10 percent for investing and 10 percent for giving, and over time this will guarantee financial independence for a teenager. If a young person, or for that matter an adult, focused on doing these three simple things over a long period of time I believe they will be assured success!

- Jim Rohn

Seven Character Traits of Successful People (Mar 2011)

They are hard working:There is no such thing as easy money. Success takes hard work and people who are willing to do it.

They are honest: Those who are successful long-term are the honest ones. Dishonest people may get the first sale, but honest people will get all the rest!

They persevere: How many success stories will go untold because they never happened? And all because someone quit. Successful people outlast everybody else.

They are friendly: Have you noticed that most successful people are friendly and people oriented? This endears them to others and enables them to lead others to accomplish the task.

They are lifelong learners: Successful people are people who stretch themselves and grow continually, learning from all areas of life, including from their mistakes.

They over-deliver: The old statement of under-promise and over-deliver became famous because it made a lot of people successful, including the richest man in the world - Bill Gates

They seek solutions in the face of problems: Problems are opportunities to do the impossible, not just complain. Successful people are the ones who find solutions.

Chris Widener

7 Keys for Joyful Living (Jan 2011)

1. Know your purpose. Nothing will bring you joy more than knowing what it is that you are about on this earth. Not knowing brings sadness, wondering, fear and lack of fulfillment. Above all, find out what your unique purpose is here on this earth - then fulfill it! As you do, you will experience joy!

2. Live purposefully. This is a follow up to number one. It is one thing to know your purpose, but then you need to live according to that purpose. This is a matter of priorities. Let your actions and schedule reflect your purpose. Don't react to circumstances and let them cause you to live without your purpose fully in sight. Living without your purpose will cause frustration. Living purposefully will bring you deep satisfaction and joy!

3. Stretch yourself. Don't settle into the status quo. That will leave you unfulfilled. Always look to stretch yourself. Whatever you are doing, stretch yourself to do more! Stretching yourself will break the limits you have set for yourself and will cause you to find joy in your expanded horizons!

4. Give more than you take. It brings happiness to accumulate. It brings joy to give away. Sure, getting the car you worked hard for will bring you a sense of satisfaction and even happiness. But it won't bring you joy. Giving something away to the less fortunate will bring you deep, abiding joy.

5. Surprise yourself, and others too. The words here are spontaneity and surprise! Every once in a while, do the unexpected. It will cause everybody to sit back and say, "Wow, where did that come from?" It will put a little joy in your life, and theirs.

6. Indulge yourself sometimes. Too much indulgence and you are caught in the happiness trap. Looking for the next purchase, celebration etc to bring you a little "happiness high." But if you will allow yourself an infrequent indulgence as a reward for a job well done and a life well lived, you will appreciate the indulgence and experience the joy of it.

7. Laugh a little - no, a lot! Most people are just too serious. We need to laugh a little - no, a lot! Learn to laugh daily, even if you have to learn to laugh in bad situations. This life is to be enjoyed! The next time you go to the movie rental store, get a comedy and let loose! Let yourself laugh!

Joy can be yours! Look for it, pursue it and enjoy it!
Chris Widener

Ten Ways to Get More Energy (Sep 2010)

1. Go under the sun or bright lights
2. Take a banana
3. Nuts are also energy-giving
4. Do some stretches / light exercises
5. Smiling and straightening your body posture can be energy-giving
6. Take a short walk
7. Take some mint gum
8. Do some housework
9. Watch a comedy
10. Take a bath.

"Children Learn What They Live" by Dorothy Law Nolte, Ph.D (Aug 2010)

"Children Learn What They Live" by Dorothy Law Nolte, Ph.D. (1924 – 2005)

If children live with criticism, they learn to condemn.
If children live with hostility, they learn to fight.
If children live with fear, they learn to be apprehensive.
If children live with pity, they learn to feel sorry for themselves.
If children live with ridicule, they learn to feel shy.
If children live with jealousy, they learn to feel envy.
If children live with shame, they learn to feel guilty.

If children live with encouragement, they learn confidence.
If children live with tolerance, they learn patience.
If children live with praise, they learn appreciation.
If children live with acceptance, they learn to love.
If children live with approval, they learn to like themselves.
If children live with recognition, they learn it is good to have a goal.

If children live with sharing, they learn generosity.
If children live with honesty, they learn truthfulness.
If children live with fairness, they learn justice.
If children live with kindness and consideration, they learn respect.
If children live with security, they learn to have faith in themselves and in those around them.
If children live with friendliness, they learn the world is a nice place in which to live.

"As Tall As You Want to Be" by Dr. Denis Waitley (Feb 2010)

When he was 2 years old, this adopted child of two college professors suddenly and inexplicably stopped growing, and his health started to fail. A team of doctors gave him six months to live after they diagnosed him as suffering from a rare disease that inhibits digestion and nutrients in food. Intravenous feedings of vitamins and supplements allowed him to regain his strength, but his growth was permanently stunted.

Confined to hospitals for long periods of time, until the age of 9, he quietly plotted his revenge on the kids who taunted him and called him "peanut."

He recalled many years later that subconsciously "the whole experience made me want to succeed at something athletic." Sometimes his sister, Susan, went ice skating at the local rink, and he would go along to watch. There he stood, a frail, under-grown kid with a feeding tube inserted through his nose and down into his stomach. When he wasn't using it, one end of the tube was taped behind his ear.

One day, as he watched his sister whirl around the ice, he turned to his parents and said, "You know, I think I'd like to try ice skating." Talk about two adults, looking at their life-threatened child, with glances that were beyond belief!

Well, he tried it and he loved it, and he went at it with a passion. Here was something fun at which he could excel, where height and weight weren't important.

During his medical checkup the following year, the doctors were startled to discover that he had actually started growing again. It was too late for him to reach normal size, but neither he nor his family cared. He was recovering and succeeding. He believed in his dream, although he had little else to hang on to.

None of the kids taunt him and tease him today. Instead, they all cheer and rush to get his autograph. He has just completed another dazzling performance on the world professional ice skating tour, with a long string of triple jumps, complicated manoeuvres, and athletic moves, capped off with a racing front flip that brought him to a sudden stop inches from the audience. Although he has retired from professional skating, he remains a coach, mentor and commentator revered by everyone in winter sports.

At 5 feet 3 inches and 115 pounds of pure muscle and electrifying energy, former Olympic gold medal figure skating champion Scott Hamilton stands as tall and as proud as any winner. Scott's size didn't limit his faith and reach. Don't let doubts and critics limit yours. This doesn't mean that you'll close almost every sale or get promoted in record time. Scott Hamilton certainly didn't hit every triple-axle jump he ever attempted, especially during the initial learning phase. Success in developing any skill requires a basic trust in your ability that should never be allowed to waver.

You can stand tall, no matter how small!

Everything Changed For Me in One Night (Feb 2012)

This is a story shared by a mother to her son:

It was really a big party celebrating the new season. I was off by myself sitting on a couch. At the other end of the couch sat a young woman who looked lonelier than I felt. I decided maybe I can make sure there is one less miserable person at the party, so I scooted over and say hello. As we talked, I realized that she was a stamp collector and started sharing her experience.

At first I felt uneasy and thought I was going to be bored and lonely. But as she talked, I became fascinated as she related countless legends and mysteries associated with stamps. She explained why some stamps are worth millions. The longer she talked, more people who were there drifted over until she is surrounded by a circle of interested listeners.

At the end of the evening, we were all saying good-night and she thanked me for being responsible for her most enjoyable evening in her life. Later that night, I couldn't sleep, trying to figure out what I had done. Basically all I done was to sincerely show interest in another human being and in doing so, I had changed her life and made the party more enjoyable for everyone.

From that night onwards, I no longer cared whether anyone noticed me. I just made sure I noticed everyone else. This has made me to be among the most popular girls in school.

Self Appraisal (Dec 2010)

A little boy went to a telephone booth that was at the cash counter of a store & dialled a number. The store-Owner observed and listened to the Conversation:

Boy: "Lady, Can you give me the job of cutting your lawn?

Woman: (at the other end of the phone line) "I already have someone to cut my lawn."

Boy: "Lady, I will cut your lawn for half the price than the person who cuts your lawn now."

Woman: I'm very satisfied with the person who is presently cutting my lawn.

Boy: (with more perseverance) "Lady, I'll even sweep the floor & the stairs of your house for free.

Woman: No, thank you.

With a smile on his face, the little boy ends call with thank you.

The store-owner, who was listening to all this, walked over to the boy.

Store Owner: "Son...I like your attitude; I like that positive spirit & would like to offer you a job."

Boy: "No thanks,

Store Owner: But you were really pleading for one.

Boy: No Sir, I was just checking my performance at the job I already have.

I am the one who is working for that lady I was talking to!"

This is called "Self Appraisal".

Prosper Thy Neighbour (May 2010)

Prosper Thy Neighbour (May 2010) Posted by: "G K Lim" g_k_lim to Sun May 9, 2010 4:46 am (PDT)

There once was a farmer who grew award winning corn. Each year he entered his corn in the state fair where it won a blue ribbon.

One year a newspaper reporter interviewed him and learned something interesting about how he grew it. The reporter discovered that the farmer shared his seed corn with his neighbours.

"How can you afford to share your best seed corn with your neighbours when they are entering corn in competition with yours each year?" the reporter asked.

"Why sir," said the farmer, "didn't you know? The wind picks up pollen from the ripening corn and swirls it from field to field. If my neighbours grow inferior corn, cross-pollination will steadily degrade the quality of my corn. If I am to grow good corn, I must help my neighbours grow good corn."

Socrates 's Triple Filter Test (Apr 2010)

Triple Filter Test (Apr 2010) Mon Apr 26, 2010 6:59 pm (PDT)

In ancient Greece, Socrates (469 - 399 BC) was widely lauded for his wisdom. One day an acquaintance ran up to him excitedly and said, "Socrates, do you know what I just heard about Diogenes?"

"Wait a moment," Socrates replied, "Before you tell me I'd like you to pass a little test. It's called the Triple Filter Test."

'Triple filter?" asked the acquaintance.

"That's right," Socrates continued, "Before you talk to me about Diogenes let's take a moment to filter what you're going to say. The first filter is *Truth*. Have you made absolutely sure that what you are about to tell me is true?"

"No," the man said, "Actually I just heard about it."

"All right," said Socrates, "So you don't really know if it's true or not. Now let's try the second filter, the filter of *Goodness*. Is what you are about to tell me about Diogenes something good?"

"No, on the contrary..."

"So," Socrates continued, "You want to tell me something about Diogenes that may be bad, even though you're not certain it's true?"

The man shrugged, a little embarrassed. Socrates continued, "You may still pass the test though, because there is a third filter, the filter of *Usefulness. * Is what you want to tell me about Diogenes going to be useful to me?"

"No, not really."

"Well," concluded Socrates, "If what you want to tell me is neither True nor Good nor even Useful, why tell it to me or anyone at all?"

The man was bewildered and ashamed. This is an example of why Socrates was a great philosopher and held in such high esteem.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Quotations On Happiness

Listen to what the different wise people had told you about happiness. Going through the quotations below you should get a good feel on what happiness is about, as there are many similarities in what different people says:

1) He who can make others happy, is happy *
2) Warm hugs are better than cold shoulders
3) Happiness is more a state of health than wealth *
4) There is no way to happiness. Happiness is the way - Wayne Dyer
5) Positive self-talk is the key to experiencing happiness *
6) You cannot be thankful and unhappy at the same time *
7) Life's greatest happiness is to be convinced we are loved - Victor Hugo
8) Remember that very little is needed to make a happy life - Marcus Aurelius
9) Happiest are the people who give most happiness to others - Dennis Diderot
10) The spend thrift is happy a few hours; the saver, all his life *
11) To get joy we must give it and to keep joy, we must scatter it - Unknown *
12) People are just about as happy as they make up their minds to be. - Abraham Lincoln
13) Keep your face in the sunshine and you can never see the shadow - Helen Keller *
14) A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery, on a detour *
15) Happiness is not having what you want, but enjoying what you have *
16) The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts - Marcus Aurelius *
17) Success is getting what you want; Happiness is wanting what you get *
18) People whose main concern is with their own happiness seldom find it *
19) Truely understanding the power of gratitude can change your life forever
20) For every minute that you are angry, you lose sixty seconds of happiness *
21) Happiness is the act of being tough with ourselves and tender with others
22) Being miserable is a habit; being happy is a habit; and the choice is yours - Tom Hopkins *
23) Happiness will never come to those who fail to appreciate what they have *
24) Like swimming, riding, writing, or playing golf, happiness can be learned
25) It is difficult for you to find happiness. It is easier to let happiness find you *
26) Remember that there is no happiness in having or in getting, but only in giving - Og Mandino
27) Almost all unhappiness in life comes from the tendency to blame someone else *
28) The foolish man seeks happiness in the distance; the wise grows it under his feet. ~ James Openheim
29) Happiness is not about having what you want; It is about wanting what you have *
30) When someone does something good, applaud! You will make two people happy - Samuel Goldwyn
31) Until you are happy with what you are, you will never be happy with what you have *
32) My riches consist not in the extent of my possessions, but in the fewness of my wants - J. Brotherton
33) Let every one develop his special talent. Nothing else will keep him permanently happy *
34) Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass. It is about learning how to dance in the rain - Vivian Greene *
35) Happiness is a perfume you cannot pour on others without getting a few drops on yourself - Og Mandino
36) Life events and experiences comes and goes like the weather, regardless of my preference
37) Happiness is that state of consciousness which proceeds from the achievement of one's values." - Ayn Rand
38) Only one thing has to change for us to know happiness in our lives: where we focus our attention - Greg Anderson
39) Most people ask for happiness on condition. Happiness can only be felt if you don't set any condition - Arthur Rubinstein
40) You believe that things or people make you unhappy. This is not accurate. You make yourself unhappy - Wayne Dyer
41) Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy - Thich Nhat Hahn *
42) Happiness comes of the capacity to feel deeply, to enjoy simply, to think freely, to risk life, to be needed - Thomas Jefferson
43) There are two ways to get enough. One is to continue to accumulate more and more. The other is to desire less. *
44) Most unhappy and frustrated people are that way because they’re trying to do something nature didn’t equip them for *
45) If you want to be happy for a day, have a party. If for a week take trip. If for a year plant a garden. If for life find a worthy goal *
46) The happy people are those who are producing something; the bored people are those who are consuming much and producing nothing - William Ralph Inge *
47) Realize that true happiness lies within you. Waste no time and effort searching for peace and contentment and joy in the world outside - Og Mandino
48) Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared. - Gotama Buddha *
49) The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Things I Like and Dislike

Things I Dislike - Do Not Do Them To Others, Ever

1) Being nasty to others
2) Being impatient
3) Always complaining and blaming others
4) Keeping quiet or claming up and letting people guess what you are thinking or feeling
5) Promise a lot, but can't deliver
6) Losing your cool / poor anger mgmt
7) Talk a lot without thinking
8) Hurry without planning, being impulsive
9) Boasting
10) Acting snobbishly

Things I Like - Do Them for Others, Always

1) Being patient and understanding
2) Feeling of empathy
3) Tolerance of differences
4) Clearly expressing your views - e.g. why you like or dislike something
5) Not to over-promise on what you find difficult to deliver
6) Good anger mgmt skill
7) Careful thoughts before expressing your views
8) Careful planning and steady actions
9) Being humble
10) Treat all equally, regardless of their status

Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Lost-Cause Kid

When she walked into her 7th grade classroom on the very first day of that school year, she found Randy standing on top of his table screaming and jumping around like a wild monkey. He was a highly intelligent boy, who have learned that by behaving wildly, he would be able to fill his empty cup with negative attention.

By the time he reached middle school, Randy had been labeled SED (Severely Emotionally Disabled). He appeared to be an unwanted child. Neither his mother nor father had ever attended a parent-teacher conference and lived with his grandmother most of the time.

Mr B, the Behavioral Specialist, had worked with Randy throughout grade school. By the end of the first week of school, Mr B, quietly confided in her that he considered Randy a lost cause. When she heard Mr B's attitude about Randy, she offered to try just leaving Randy in her classroom for now. Great relief washed over Mr B's face.

She decided that the time she had with Randy each day was going to be enough to "fill his cup" and make it his best year ever. A decision was made, an intention issued and an expectation was in place.

The next morning, while Randy was at Mr B's office to discuss the changes, she opened a community meeting with the class and explained "Operation Concentration".
She invited an open discussion and "brief" venting about what it had been like to be classmates with Randy. She then gave one of the most convincing pep talks of her teaching career, citing benefit after benefit that they could expect out of "Operation Concentration".

She explained that it is perfectly acceptable to acknowledge any person who is behaving unskillfully with compassionate attention, as a means to ease the intensity. In certain terms, she told them what she would do and what she expected them to do and not to do.

Operation Concentration: 1) No throwing an attitude, 2) You always have the right to look to the teacher to intervene, 3) Your only job is to remain neutral and to concentrate on your work.

Regardless, she expected them ALL to stay the course and as they did, this would be the Best Year Ever for all of them. When Randy arrived back from Mr B's office, she took him aside in the hallway to briefly explain Operation Concentration.

She told him she saw him to be a wonderful, gifted and talented person, and she expected him to have his Best Year Ever. Most importantly, that she wanted him in her classroom. Telling "unwanted" children with abandonment issues that you want them in your classroom is powerful and transformative.

Randy came back to class still expecting to get negative attention from his peers. But no one looked up. He went over to his desk and tried to negatively engage the student behind him. The student looked up, gave an acknowledging "Hey there" smile and then went back to work.

Randy began to escalate his behavior. He went over to the bookcase, shaking it and he looked to see who was watching. The shaking it again, and again, until he jolted all of the books on the floor. Everyone remained focus and neutral. Two students got out of their desks and quietly put the books back on the shelves.

As they sat back down, both of them acknowledged Randy compassionately and then began concentrating again on their assignments. As Randy was struggling to grasp what had just happened, his teacher quietly invited him to pull his chair up to her desk for a little visit. His mental wheels were spinning: "This does not compute".

She compassionately asked him, "So what was going on for you that you felt so upset that you pushed over the bookcase?" Randy said, "I don't know". Then she asked, "Well, if you did know, what might it be?". Randy said, "I DON'T KNOW". She followed with, "When you do you, I want you to tell me, so that together we can figure out what you want and how you can best get it". Realising he needed a segue out of this, she said "For now, let 's get back to work."

Over the next several hours, Randy struggled internally trying to absorb that he was "wanted" by his teacher, and there was a NEW classroom atmosphere that was different from before. When the bell rang, he stayed after class and said to her, "Everybody hates me and I hate them back". The lines of communication were now open between student and teacher and progress would be made.

Over the next several weeks, Operation Concentration remained in effect successfully, as Randy and his classmates became a peaceful, productive learning community. Little by little, the members of the class who had previously hated and taunted him, began to acknowledge his accommodatively.

Within nine weeks, she saw him in the hallways, able to hold his own with the older kids, who had upset and teased him before. She even saw him with a skip in his step and joy on his face in the hallways. Reports can in that Randy was doing well during outside breaks and that he even had made a few new friends. In the faculty room, other teachers could be overheard talking about Randy in positive terms.

A child's success makes a bridge between parents and schools where there was none. Randy's mother came to the last parent-teacher conference of the year. There was a quiet acknowledgement between the two of them, as the teacher could see pain coupled with relief on Randy's mother's face. She was so grateful that her child was happier and had enjoyed his Best Year Ever.

The Power Of One: I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something I can do - Edward Everett Hale.

One step must start each journey. One word states an intention. One hope will raise our spirits. One touch can show you care. One voice can speak with wisdom. One heart can know what is true. One life can make the difference. You see, it is up to you. Thank your for the difference you make!

This is a true story which took place in a community where substance abuse and family violence had far reaching effects on its children. The previous year's acadmeic achievement test for the students in this class showed that 35% were in a moderate to high range and 65% were at risk and failing - an extremely high number of students whose cups needed to be filled.

Over the first 9 weeks of school, they grew into the high-functioning, productive, inclusive community this teacher firmly intended and convincingly envisioned. As the year progressed, every students succeeded and achieved the highest grades and standardized test scores they had ever received. The teacher in this true story is Mary Reynolds, M.S. Educational Psychology and Counselling.

The audio-visual presentation of this story can be found at

Thursday, February 18, 2010

17 Timeless Secrets of Happy People (Feb 2010)

1. Forget the unpleasant past
One of the keys to happiness is a bad memory. Rita Mae Brown
You won’t be happy if you carry the burden of the past. Did you make mistakes? Did you have terrible experiences? Whatever they are, you should let them go. There’s nothing you can do about the past, so you’d better let them go and focus your energy on the present.

2. Take responsibility for your life
The secret of Happiness is Freedom, and the secret of Freedom, Courage. Thucydides
To be happy you should have freedom and the most essential freedom is the freedom to choose. No matter how bad a situation is, you can always choose how you respond to it. People can annoy you, but it’s up to you whether or not you will resent. But, as the quote above says, freedom takes courage. Freedom to choose requires the courage to take responsibility for your life. You shouldn’t blame someone else when something goes wrong. Take the responsibility and you have the power to choose.

3. Build relationships
Life’s truest happiness is found in friendships we make along the way. Unknown
Relationships is where we can get true happiness in life. The reason is simple: only through relationships can we love and be loved. Make relationships your top priority and you are on your way to true happiness.

4. Develop multiple passions
The more passions and desires one has, the more ways one has of being happy. Charlotte-Catherine
Passions lead you to happiness. So not only should you discover your multiple passions, you should also expand yourself to new passions. This way you will create new ways to happiness. The key to expanding to new passions is curiosity. If you are curious, you will have an endless stream of exciting things waiting for you.

5. Build your character
Character is the basis of happiness and happiness the sanction of character. George Santayana
Building your character is essential for happiness. When you are true to yourself and others, you will be in peace. The way to start building character is by making promises and keeping them. For example, you make promise to yourself that you won’t smoke. When you keep it, you are building your character. Or you make promise to others to be punctual. When you keep it, you build your character.

6. Be who you are
The summit of happiness is reached when a person is ready to be what he is. Desiderius Erasmus
You can only be happy if you become who you are. Don’t live other people’s life by trying to meet their expectations. People may expect you to have certain job or certain way of living but don’t be intimidated by them. Find who you are and be yourself.

7. Live your life purpose
The only true happiness comes from squandering ourselves for a purpose. William Cowper
To have a fulfilling life, you should find your life purpose and follow it faithfully. Find what matters to you and build the courage to follow it. Having a one-liner will help you internalize and communicate your mission.

8. Count your blessings
Happiness will never come to those who fail to appreciate what they already have. Unknown
Being happy is easy if we are grateful. Unfortunately, seeing what we don’t have is often easier than seeing what we have. Sometimes we need to experience loss before appreciating what we have. So don’t take things for granted. Look at what you have and soon you will have plenty of reasons to be happy. You may start with these simple things.

9. Have a positive mind
It is not the place, nor the condition, but the mind alone that can make anyone happy or miserable. Roger L’Estrange
Happy people know how to control their mind. They don’t let negative thoughts come in. While a situation may seem bad to others, happy people look at them in a positive way. They always believe that no matter how bad a situation seems, there is always something positive to take from it. Your mind can make or break you, so guard it well.

10. Work creatively
Happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort. Franklin D. Roosevelt
When you work creatively on something you will find happiness. There is a well-known phenomenon regarding this called flow. When you are in the state of flow, you are fully focused on the task at hand that you no longer realize the passage of time. This state of flow allows you to achieve high productivity and being happy at the same time. Here are some tips to achieve it.

11. Start with what you have
The foolish man seeks happiness in the distance, the wise grows it under his feet. James Oppenheim
Happy people don’t need something they don’t have to be happy. They don’t need certain job or certain level of income. Instead, they learn to be happy with what they already have. They have learned the art of contentment. Be content with what you have and you will be happy.

12. Change
They must often change who would be constant in happiness or wisdom. Confucius
Being happy requires you to constantly grow. In fact, the process of learning itself is essential for happiness. Have you ever felt the excitement of being enlightened about something? Have you ever felt the excitement of achieving a new level in life? Top 10 Things You Should Change in Your Life gives you some practical tips on changing your life.

13. Use your talents
True happiness involves the full use of one’s power and talents. Douglas Pagels
There are two lessons to take from this quote. First, you should find your talents and second, you should use them to the fullest. Working in your talents is a sure way to enjoy your work because it’s something you are “hardwired” to do. Using your talents fully will make you even happier because of the satisfaction of doing your best.

14. Beware of small things
The happiness of most people we know is not ruined by great catastrophes or fatal errors, but by the repetition of slowly destructive little things. Ernest Dimnet
This is very true. Often it’s not big things that ruin your happiness. It’s the small things that do. Perhaps you don’t like someone or break some “small” promises. But even small leaks can sink your ship of happiness, so beware of them.

15. Distill your ambitions
Where ambition ends happiness begins. Author Unknown
While wanting to achieve more in your life is good, being obsessed by it is not. Do your best to improve yourself but don’t be obsessed by it.

16. Make others happy
Happiness is a perfume you cannot pour on others without getting a few drops on yourself. Ralph Waldo Emerson
This is my favorite secret of happiness. The way to being happy is to make others happy first. The more you help other people and make them happy, the more you will
be happy. Happiness doesn’t come through selfishness but through selflessness. You reap what you sow.

17. Practice compassion
If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion. The Dalai Lama
Compassion is perhaps the highest level of selflessness we could have. As this quote aptly says, practicing compassion can make both others and you happy. But of course, it requires practice. Start with thinking about the people around you. Look at their needs and find ways to meet them. Even if you don’t do it out of compassion in the beginning, your compassion will grow over time.

*** All in all, this quote by Aristotle can summarize the lessons above:
Happiness depends upon ourselves.
It’s you who decide whether or not you are happy in life.
I choose to be happy. What about you?


Lessons My Mother Taught Me (Jan 2010)

1) My Mother taught me about ANTICIPATION...
"You wait! Just wait till your father comes back!"

2) My Mother taught me about RECEIVING...
"You are going to get it when we reach home!"

3) My Mother taught me to MEET A CHALLENGE...
"Look at me when I'm talking to you! Why are you staring back at me?!"

4) My Mother taught me about HEALTHY COMPETITION...
"Aunty Mary's son scored 100 marks for Maths! Why can't you be like him?"

5) My Mother taught me about FINANCIAL PLANNING...
"Make sure you marry a rich man/woman in future!"

6) My Mother taught me about HISTORY...
"Many many years ago, when I was your age, I used to...."

7) My Mother taught me to be HOUSE-PROUD
"Chalet? Stay what chalet? You got no house to stay is it?!"

8) My Mother taught me about GENETICS...
"You're just like your father!"

9) My Mother taught me about the WISDOM OF AGE...
"When you get to my age, you'll understand."

10) My Mother taught me about JUSTICE...
"One day you'll have kids, and I hope they turn out just like
YOU...Then you'll know what it's like!"


11) My Mother taught me about POWER...
"I am YOUR mother, you better listen to ME!"


The 13 Characteristics of Successful People by Jeffrey J. Mayer (Dec 2009)

The following is a list of the skills, talents, and characteristics you’ll find in successful people:

1. Successful People Have a Dream. They have a well-defined purpose. They have a definite goal. They know what they want. They aren’t easily influenced by the thoughts and opinions of others. They have willpower. They have ideas. Their strong desire brings strong results. They go out and do things that others say can’t be done.
 Remember: It only takes one sound idea to achieve success.
 Remember: People who excel in life are those who produce results, not excuses. Anybody can come up with excuses and explanations for why he hasn’t made it. Those who want to succeed badly enough don’t make excuses.

2. Successful People Have Ambition. They want to accomplish something. They have enthusiasm, commitment, and pride. They have self-discipline. They’re willing to work hard and to go the extra mile. They have a burning desire to succeed. They’re willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done.
 Remember: With hard work come results. The joy in life comes with working for and achieving something.

3. Successful People Are Strongly Motivated Toward Achievement. They take great satisfaction in accomplishing a task.

4. Successful People Are Focused. They concentrate on their main goals and objectives. They don’t get sidetracked. They don’t procrastinate. They work on the projects that are important, and don’t allow those projects to sit until the last minute. They’re productive, not just busy.

5. Successful People Learn How to Get Things Done. They use their skills, talents, energies, and knowledge to the fullest extent possible. They do the things that need to be done, not just the things they like to do. They are willing to work hard and to commit themselves to getting the job done.
 Remember: Happiness is found in doing and accomplishing, not in owning and possessing.
 Anecdote: Many years ago I was asked: "Jeff, do you like pleasing habits or pleasing results?" As I pondered that probing question, and squirmed in my chair like a worm at the end of a hook, I felt as if I had painted myself into a corner. A few moments later I answered:
 "I like pleasing results." From that moment on my life changed. I began to do the things that were difficult, because they enabled me to achieve my goals.

6. Successful People Take Responsibility for Their Actions. They don’t make excuses. They don’t blame others. They don’t whine and complain.

7. Successful People Look for Solutions to Problems. They’re opportunity minded. When they see opportunities they take advantage of them.

8. Successful People Make Decisions. They think about the issues and relevant facts, give them adequate deliberation and consideration, and make a decision. Decisions aren’t put off or delayed, they’re made now!
 SuccessTip: Spend more time thinking and planning before you make your decision, and you’ll make better decisions.
 SuccessTip: When you don’t get the expected results from the decision you’ve made, change your course of action. Decisions should never be carved in stone.

9. Successful People Have the Courage to Admit They’ve Made a Mistake. When you make a mistake, admit it, fix it, and move on. Don’t waste a lot of time, energy, money, and/or other resources trying to defend a mistake or a bad decision.
 Remember: When people are wrong, they may admit it to themselves. If they are handled gently and tactfully, they may admit it to others and even take pride in their frankness and broad-mindedness. But people become very defensive and angry when others try to cram their mistakes down their throats.

10. Successful People Are Self-Reliant. They have the skills, talents, and training that are needed in order to be successful.

11. Successful People Have Specific Knowledge, Training, and/or Skills and Talents. They know the things they need to know to be successful. And when they need information, knowledge, or skills and talents that they don’t possess, they find someone who does possess them.

12. Successful People Work with and Cooperate with Other People. They have positive, outgoing personalities. They surround themselves with people who offer them help, support, and encouragement. They are leaders.

13. Successful People Are Enthusiastic. They’re excited by what they’re doing, and that excitement is contagious. They draw people to them because these people want to work with them, do business with them, and be with them.


How Is A Paradigm Formed? (Nov 2009)

A group of scientists placed 5 monkeys in a cage and in the middle, a ladder with bananas on the top. Every time a monkey went up the ladder, the scientists soaked the rest of the monkeys with cold water.

After a while, every time a monkey went up the ladder, the others beat up the one on the ladder. After some time, no monkey dare to go up the ladder regardless of the temptation.

Scientists then decided to substitute one of the monkeys. The 1st thing this new monkey did was to go up the ladder. Immediately the other monkeys beat him up.

After several beatings, the new member learned not to climb the ladder even though never knew why. After sometime, 2nd monkey was substituted and the same occurred.

The 1st monkey participated in the beating up of the 2nd monkey. A 3rd monkey was changed and the same was repeated (beating). The 4th was substituted and the beating was repeated and finally the 5th monkey was replaced.

What was left was a group of 5 monkeys that even though never received a cold shower, continued to beat up any monkey who attempted to climb the ladder.

If it was possible to ask the monkeys why they would beat up all those who attempted to go up the ladder... I bet you the answer would be...

I don't know - that's how things are done around here" Does it sounds familiar?
Don't miss the opportunity to share this with others as they might be asking themselves why we continue to do what we are doing if there is a different way out there.

"Only two things are infinite: The universe and human stupidity. And I am not so sure about the former." -Albert Einstein.


Building Bridges - Theme of Life (Oct 2009)

Once upon a time two brothers, who lived on adjoining farms, fell into conflict. It was the first serious rift in 40 years of farming side by side, sharing machinery, and trading labor and goods as needed without a conflict.

Then the long collaboration fell apart. It began with a small misunderstanding and it grew into a major difference, and finally it exploded into an exchange of bitter words followed by weeks of silence.

One morning there was a knock on John's door. He opened it to find a man with a carpenter's tool box."I'm looking for a few days' work" he said. "Perhaps you would have a few small jobs here and there I could help with? Could I help you?"

"Yes," said the older brother. "I do have a job for you." "Look across the creek at that farm. That's my neighbor; in fact, it's my younger brother. Last week there was a meadow between us and he took his bulldozer to the river levee and now there is a creek between us. Well, he may have done this to spite me, but I'll do him one better."

"See that pile of lumber by the barn? I want you to build me a fence --an 8-foot fence -- so I won't need to see his place or his face anymore." The carpenter said, "I think I understand the situation. Show me the nails and the post-hole digger and I'll be able to do a job that pleases you."

The older brother had to go to town, so he helped the carpenter get the materials ready and then he was off for the day. The carpenter worked hard all that day measuring, sawing, nailing. About sunset when the farmer returned, the carpenter had just finished his job.

The farmer's eyes opened wide, his jaw dropped. There was no fence there at all. It was a bridge -- a bridge stretching from one side of the creek to the other! A fine piece of work, handrails and all -- and the neighbor, his younger brother, was coming toward them, his hand outstretched. "You are quite a fellow to build this bridge after all I've said and done."

The two brothers stood at each end of the bridge, and then they met in the middle, taking each other's hand. They turned to see the carpenter hoist his toolbox onto his shoulder. "No, wait! Stay a few days. I've a lot of other projects for you," said the older brother. "I'd love to stay on," the carpenter said, but I have many more bridges to build.

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Creating Special Moments (Sep 2009)

One day a teacher asked her students to list the names of the other students in the room on two sheets of paper, leaving a space between each name. Then she told them to think of the nicest thing they could say about each of their classmates and write it down.

It took the remainder of the class period to finish their assignment, and as the students left the room, each one handed in the papers. That Saturday, the teacher wrote down the name of each student on a separate sheet of paper, and listed what everyone else had said about that individual.

On Monday she gave each student his or her list. Before long, the entire class was smiling. "Really?" she heard whispered. "I never knew that I meant anything to anyone!" and, "I didn't know others liked me so much." were most of the comments.

No one ever mentioned those papers in class again. She never knew if they discussed them after class or with their parents, but it didn't matter. The exercise had accomplished its purpose. The students were happy with themselves and one another. That group of students moved on.

Several years later, one of the students was killed in Vietnam and his teacher attended the funeral of that special student. She had never seen a serviceman in a military coffin before. He looked so handsome, so mature.

The church was packed with his friends. One by one those who loved him took a last walk by the coffin. The teacher was the last one to bless the coffin. As she stood there, one of the soldiers who acted as pallbearer came up to her. "Were you Mark's math teacher?" he asked. She nodded: "yes." Then he said: "Mark talked about you a lot."

After the funeral, most of Mark's former classmates went together to a luncheon. Mark's mother and father were there, obviously waiting to speak with his teacher. "We want to show you something," his father said, taking a wallet out of his pocket. "They found this on Mark when he was killed. We thought you might recognize it."

Opening the billfold, he carefully removed two worn pieces of notebook paper that had obviously been taped, folded and refolded many times. The teacher knew without looking that the papers were the ones on which she had listed all the good things each of Mark's classmates had said about him.

"Thank you so much for doing that," Mark's mother said. "As you can see, Mark treasured it." All of Mark's former classmates started to gather around. Charlie smiled rather sheepishly and said, "I still have my list. It's in the top drawer of my desk at home." Chuck's wife said, "Chuck asked me to put his in our wedding album."

"I have mine too," Marilyn said. "It's in my diary." Then Vicki, another classmate, reached into her pocketbook, took out her wallet and showed her worn and frazzled list to the group "I carry this with me at all times," Vicki said and without batting an eyelash, she continued: "I think we all saved our lists."

Teachers can create special moments through out the lives of their students, isn't that right?


The Real Reason Why Employees Leave (Aug 2009)

The 10 most frequently mentioned issues that employees say companies do poorly are:

1. Poor management — uncaring and unprofessional managers; overworking staff; no respect, not listening, putting people in wrong jobs; speed over quality; poor manager selection processes.

2 Lack of career growth and advancement opportunities — no perceivable career paths; not posting job openings or filling from within; favouritism or unfair promotions.

3. Poor communications — problems communicating top-down and between departments; after mergers; between facilities.

4. Pay — paid under-market or less than contributions warrant; pay inequities; slow raises; favouritism for bonuses/raises; ineffective appraisals.

5. Lack of recognition — that says it all.

6. Poor senior leadership — not listening, asking, or investing in employees; unresponsiveness and isolation; mixed messages.

7. Lack of training — non-existent or superficial training; nothing for new hires, managers, or to move up.

8. Excessive workload — doing more with less; sacrificing quality and customer service for numbers.

9. Lack of tools and resources — insufficient, malfunctioning, outdated, equipment/supplies; overwork without relief.

10. Lack of teamwork — poor co-worker co-operation / commitment; lack of interdepartmental co-ordination.


A Difficult Judgement (Jul 2009)

In a small town, a person decided to open up his Bar business, which was right opposite to the Temple. The Temple & its congregation started a campaign to block the Bar from opening with petitions and prayed daily against his business.

Work progressed. However, when it was almost complete and was about to open a few days later, a strong lightning struck the Bar and it was burnt to the ground.

The temple folks were rather smug in their outlook after that, till the Bar owner sued the Temple authorities on the grounds that the Temple through its congregation & prayers was ultimately responsible for the demise of his bar shop, either through direct or indirect actions or means.

In its reply to the court, the temple vehemently denied all responsibility or any connection that their prayers were reasons to the bar shop's demise. As the case made its way into court, the judge looked over the paperwork at the hearing and commented:

"I don't know how I'm going to decide this case, but it appears from the paperwork, we have a bar owner who believes in the power of prayer and we have an entire temple and its devotees that doesn't."


History of Great People (Jun 2009)

To succeed in business or life we must continually take remedial actions. Putting yourself on the line day after day can be extremely draining, especially when things do not work out as desired. Hence, each time a disappointing event happens, I like to get reminded of these famous failures:

Bill Gates founder and chairman of Microsoft, has literally changed the work culture of the world in the 21st century, by simplifying the way computer is being used. He was the world's richest man for more than one decade. However, in the 1970's before starting out, he was a Harvard University dropout. The most ironic part is that, he started a software company (that was soon to become Microsoft) by purchasing the software technology from "someone" for only $US50 back then.

Abraham Lincoln received no more than 5 years of formal education throughout his lifetime. When he grew up, he joined politics and had 12 major failures before he was elected the 16th President of the United States of America.

Isaac Newton was the greatest English mathematician of his generation. His work on optics and gravitation made him one of the greatest scientists the world has even known. Many thought that Isaac was born a genius, but he wasn't! When he was young, he did very poorly in grade school, so poor that his teachers became clueless in improving his grades.

Ludwig van Beethoven, a German composer of classical music, is widely regarded as one of history's supreme composers. His reputation has inspired and in many cases intimidated composers, musicians and audiences who were to come after him. Before the start of his career, Beethoven's music teacher once said of him "as a composer, he is hopeless". And during his career, he lost his hearing yet he managed to produce great music a deaf man composing music, ironic isn't!

Thomas Edison who developed many devices that greatly influenced life in the 20th century. Edison is considered one of the most prolific inventors in history, holding 1,093 U.S patents to his name. When he was a boy his teacher told him he was too stupid to learn anything. When he set out on his own, he tried more than 9,000 experiments before he created the first successful light bulb.

The Woolworth Company was a retail company that was one of the original five-and-ten- cent stores. The first Woolworth's store was founded in 1878 by Frank Winfield Woolworth and soon grew to become one of the largest retail chains in the world in the 20th century. Before starting his own business, Woolworth got a job in a dry goods store when he was 21. But his employer would not let him serve any customer because he concluded that Frank "didn't have enough common sense to serve the customers".

By acclamation, Michael Jordon is the greatest basketball player of all time. A phenomenal athlete with a unique combination of grace, speed, power, artistry, improvisational ability and an unquenchable competitive desire. Jordan single-handedly redefined the NBA superstar. Before joining NBA, Jordan was just an ordinary person, so ordinary that was he was removed from the high school basketball team because of his "lack of skill".

Walter Disney was American film producer, director, screenwriter, voice actor and animator. One of the most well-known motion picture producers in the world, Disney founded a production company. The corporation, now known as The Walt Disney Company, makes average revenue of US $30 billion annually. Disney started his own business from his home garage and his very first cartoon production went bankrupt. During his first press conference, a newspaper editor ridiculed Walt Disney because he had no good ideas in film production.

Winston Churchill failed the 6th grade. However, that never stopped him to work harder! He strived and eventually became the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom during the Second World War. Churchill is generally regarded as one of the most important leaders in Britain and world history. In a poll conducted by the BBC in 2002 to identify the "100 Greatest Britons", participants voted Churchill as the most important of all.

Steven Spielberg is an American film director. He has won 3 Academy Awards and ranks among the most successful filmmakers in history. Most of all, Steven was recognized as the financially most successful motion picture director of all time. During his childhood, Spielberg dropped out of junior high school. He was persuaded to come back and was placed in a learning-disabled class. He only lasted a month and then dropped out of school forever.

Albert Einstein was a theoretical physicist widely regarded as the most important scientist of the 20th century. He was awarded the 1921 Nobel Prize for Physics for his explanation of the photoelectric effect in 1905 and "for his services to Theoretical Physics". However, when Einstein was young, his parents thought he was mentally retarded. His grades in school were so poor that a teacher asked him to quit, saying, "Einstein, you will never amount to anything!"

In 1947, one year into her contract, Marilyn Monroe was dropped by 20th Century-Fox because her producer thought she was unattractive and could not act. That didn't deter her at all! She kept on going and eventually she was recognized by the public as the 20th century's most famous movie star, sex symbol and pop icon.

John Grisham's first novel was rejected by sixteen agents and twelve publishing houses. He went on writing and writing until he became best known as a novelist and author for his works of modern legal drama. The media has coined him as one of the best novel authors even alive in the 21st century.

Henry Ford's first two automobile companies failed. That did not stop him from incorporating Ford Motor Company and being the first to apply assembly line manufacturing to the production of affordable automobiles in the world. He not only revolutionized industrial production in the United States and Europe, but also had such influence over the 20th century economy and society. His combination of mass production, high wages and low prices to consumers has initiated a management school known as "Fordism". He became one of the three most famous and richest men in the world during his time.

Soichiro Honda was turned down by Toyota Motor Corporation during a job interview as "engineer" after World War Two. He continued to be jobless until his neighbours starting buying his "home-made scooters". Subsequently, he set out on his own to start his own company. Honda. Today, the Company has grown to become the world's largest motorcycle manufacturer and one of the most profitable automakers - beating giant automaker such as GM and Chrysler. With a global network of 437 subsidiaries, Honda develops, manufactures and markets a wide variety of products ranging from small general-purpose engines and scooters to specialty sports cars.

Akio Morita, founder of giant electric household products, Sony Corporation, first product was an electric rice cooker, only sold 100 cookers (because it burned rice rather than cooking). Today, Sony generates US$66 billion in revenue and ranked as the world's 6th largest electronic and electrical company.

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