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Archive for October, 2008

I always go by my everyday tasks in a rush. I’m always eager to do the next mundane chore on my never-ending list. I kept rushing through life, and now I’m realizing that I’ve missed out on so many things. 

I used to hate being caught in traffic; I needed to get somewhere and I needed to get there quick! But now, I enjoy the moment. I sit back and reflect on my day, I listen to an audio book, or I get to know the people I am in the car with. I’m learning to dance slow…. I’m learning to live!


Slow Dance

Have you ever watched kids
on a merry-go-round
Or listened to the rain
slapping on the ground?

Ever followed a butterfly’s erratic flight
Or gazed at the sun into the fading night?

You better slow down
Don’t dance so fast
Time is short
The music won’t last

Do you run through each day on the fly
When you ask “How are you?”
do you hear the reply?

When the day is done,
do you lie in your bed
With the next hundred chores
running through your head?

You’d better slow down
Don’t dance so fast
Time is short
The music won’t last

Ever told your child,
We’ll do it tomorrow
And in your haste, not see his sorrow?

Ever lost touch,
Let a good friendship die
‘Cause you never had time
to call and say “Hi”?

You’d better slow down
Don’t dance so fast
Time is short
The music won’t last

When you run so fast to get somewhere
You miss half the fun of getting there.

When you worry and hurry through your day,
It is like an unopened gift….
Thrown away…

Life is not a race.
Do take it slower
Hear the music
Before the song is over.

 

– David L. Weatherford

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His name was Fleming, and he was a poor Scottish farmer. One day, while trying to make a living for his family, he heard a cry for help coming from a nearby bog. He dropped his tools and ran to the bog. 

There, mired to his waist in black muck, was a terrified boy, screaming and struggling to free himself. Farmer Fleming saved the lad from what could have been a slow and terrifying death. 

The next day, a fancy carriage pulled up to the Scotsman’s sparse surroundings. An elegantly dressed nobleman stepped out and introduced himself as the father of the boy Farmer Fleming had saved.

 “I want to repay you,” said the nobleman. “You saved my son’s life.” 

“No, I can’t accept payment for what I did,” the Scottish farmer replied waving off the offer. At that moment, the farmer’s own son came to the door of the family hovel.

 “Is that your son?” the nobleman asked.

 “Yes,” the farmer replied proudly. 

“I’ll make you a deal. Let me provide him with the level of education my own son will enjoy. If the lad is anything like his father, he’ll no doubt grow to be a man we both will be proud of.” And that he did.

 Farmer Fleming’s son attended the very best schools and in time, graduated from St. Mary’s Hospital Medical School in London, and went on to become known throughout the world as the noted Sir Alexander Fleming, the discoverer of Penicillin.

 Years afterward, the same nobleman’s son who was saved from the bog was stricken with pneumonia. 

 What saved his life this time? Penicillin.

 The name of the nobleman? Lord Randolph Churchill . His son’s name?

 Sir Winston Churchill. 

  Someone once said: What goes around comes around.

 

 Work like you don’t need the money.

Love like you’ve never been hurt.

Dance like nobody’s watching.

Sing like nobody’s listening.

Live like it’s Heaven on Earth.

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A woman was waiting at an airport one night
With several long hours before her flight
She hunted for a book in the airport shop
Bought a bag of cookies and found a place to drop
She was engrossed in her book but happened to see
That the man beside her as bold as could be
Grabbed a cookie or two from the bag between
Which she tried to ignore to avoid a scene
She munched cookies and watched the clock
As this gutsy cookie thief diminished her stock
She was getting more irritated as the minutes ticked by
Thinking “If I wasn’t so nice I’d blacken his eye”
With each cookie she took he took one too
And when only one was left she wondered what he’d do
With a smile on his face and a nervous laugh
He took the last cookie and broke it in half
He offered her half as he ate the other
She snatched it from him and thought “Oh brother
This guy has some nerve and he’s also rude
Why he didn’t even show any gratitude”
She had never known when she had been so galled
And sighed with relief when her flight was called
She gathered her belongings and headed for the gate
Refusing to look back at the thieving ingrate
She boarded the plane and sank in her seat
Then sought her book which was almost complete
As she reached in her baggage she gasped with surprise
There was her bag of cookies in front of her eyes
“If mine are here” she moaned with despair
“Then the others were his and he tried to share”
“Too late to apologize she realized with grief”
That she was the rude one, the ingrate, the thief

By: Valerie Cox

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Overconfidence?

Is there such a thing? Is it a good thing or a bad thing?

“Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds” 
– Albert Einstein.

This quote has played a very big role in my own self esteem and can really be very positive, while being very egotistical and counter-productive at the same time.

I often reflect back to Bill Gates when he decided to drop out of Harvard in order to pursue his dreams. Imagine what his guidance councilor’s reaction to this was? I have so many different scenarios playing in my head, most of which involves the councilor calling Bill F-ing crazy, insane and absolutely idiotic, not necessarily in that order. Bill Gates, and anyone who walks the halls of Harvard, is pretty much guaranteed a six figure income right off the bat. Yet, Bill decided to take the chance, follow his own heart and do his own thing. Today, he is the most financially secure person in the world, to say the least. 

But of course, we have to be realistic. We always hear about the amazing success stories but there are probably 10 (or more) failures for every victory. So how can one balance out between having our heads in the clouds but our feet on the ground?

Personally, I’ve always leaned toward taking the chance. Every mistake you make is one that you will learn from. Every mistake you make is one less mistake you will repeat.

“The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one”
–Elbert Hubbard.

Yes this may sound too aggressive and outlandish, and yes it is so much easier said than done, especially when you consider having to invest your life savings into your new widget. But I’m not talking about gambling when the odds are stacked in the favor of the casino, no, not gambling, but taking calculated risks in life. There are ways to plan things out, to stack the odds in your favor.

The best way to point yourself in the right direction is to do EVERYTHING you can to ensure success. There are so many other factors that are out of your hands, and those are meant to be left alone. However, aspects that you can control should be researched, planned, understood, structured, studied, debated, marinated, contemplated, practiced, innovated, re-contemplated and any other buzzword you could think of! Oh, and do come up with a plans A, B, C and D.

So far, you need to have confidence and believe in yourself then do everything you can to head towards the right direction. What’s next? *Now what?* (*refer back to previous blog post.)

“Now”, you have to listen.

Listening is a virtue. It’s so easily said, so frequently misused and too often forgotten.

Overconfidence only happens, when one forgets to listen. When one tunes out everyone else and only hears what you want to hear. You don’t have to agree or disagree with anyone, but you have to listen.

How do you listen? Well you need to be patient with the people who give you advice, but be careful whose advice you take.

There’s one more really, really important thing I need to tell you, which would pretty much make everything I said make so much more sense… it is the key to balancing your confidence….. it is something that one of my greatest mentors had taught me…. Umm it goes something like….. ummmm….. I can’t really remember it….. ahhhhh I wasn’t really listening….

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“Now” What?

“NOW,” that’s what you have, that’s what you should focus on and that’s what you should cherish. When push comes to shove, all you have is “now,” and that’s all that really matters…. which is why you really need to be aware of your surroundings and more importantly, yourself.

There is no start, there is no finish, just “now.” just you and your thoughts. So what can you and I do with “now?”

One of the first steps towards achieving success is thinking like you cannot fail, thinking that you already are successful. But I’m not just talking about an estranged fantasy. I’m talking about truly believing in yourself. You have to be able to see the greatness in yourself that no one else can see. So “now” the question is, how do you find this self esteem and how to you make good use of it?

Well first of all, you have to realize that success is just another word that can be very different from person to person. What one finds to be successful, may be a complete and utter failure for another. That’s when you need to realize that it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks. You need to take out the trash, the trash inside your head that worries too much about everyone else. The trash that makes you forget that the only thing that matters is “now,” and right “now” you are thinking way too much about what everyone else thinks.

“When a man feels throbbing within him the power to do what he undertakes as well as it can possibly be done, this is happiness, this is success.”  -Orison Swett Marden 

So go ahead, clear your mind, close your eyes and continue reading…. no wait… close your eyes after you read…

“Now,” define success for yourself. Is it a big house with that infinity pool? Or perhaps that Bugatti that drives 253 mph? Or is is having quality friends and a tight knit family? Whatever it is, act like you can achieve it! Better yet, act like you already achieved it.

Try this, go to a bar or a club and start celebrating with your friend/s. Sit by the bar and just celebrate. When someone asks you why you are celebrating, tell them you just made your first million (or whatever your dream is). They will definitely ask you why and how. Tell them vaguely that you did it “one step at a time.” Or you can tell them exactly what steps you took to make your first million. After they try to get you to buy them a drink and the crowd diminishes, you’ll realize that what you just said, isn’t really that far fetched. You’ll realize that you only talked about the positive things, about how you made, or will make, your first million. There will be no barriers, no glass ceilings, no obstacles. Just you, here and “now” with your thoughts and dreams.

“Vision without Action is a day dream. Action without Vision is a nightmare.” 

After envisioning your dreams, “now” you have to take action. There is no starting or stopping, only doing. So go out there and do something!

 

Where are you?
Here.
What time is it?
Now.
What are you?
This moment.

From the movie “Peaceful Warrior“:

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A philosophy professor stood before his class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, wordlessly he picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with rocks, rocks about 2″ in diameter.

He then asked the students if the jar was full? They agreed that it was.

So the professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles, of course, rolled into the open areas between the rocks.

He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

The professor picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else.

He then asked once more if the jar was full. This time the students were sure and they responded with a unanimous “YES!”

The professor then produced two cans of beer from under the table and proceeded to pour their entire contents into the jar — effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.

“Now,” said the professor, as the laughter subsided, “I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The rocks are the important things – your family, your partner, your health, your children. Things that, if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full. The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house, your car.

The sand is everything else. The small stuff. “If you put the sand into the jar first,” he continued “there is no room for the pebbles or the rocks. The same goes for your life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important to you.

Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your partner out dancing. There will always be time to go to work, clean the house, give a dinner party and fix the disposal.

“Take care of the rocks first — the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.”

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the beer represented.

 


The professor smiled. “I’m glad you asked. It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there’s always room for a couple of beers.”

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