Be Inspired: What is the true joy in life?
Saturday, December 30, 2006
I think this is a precious time. Have you thought what was ‘Your Story’ in 2006? Would you like to write your own biography for the year 2006? Are you pleased and satisfied with your story?
One good question to ask ourselves now: Do we have a real purpose in life? If we have one: What have we achieved? Another important question, if we do not know our purpose in life, how to identify it?
This is the right time to think about it. See if you can explore and identify your real purpose in life. Why are you in this world? What difference can you make to this wonderful universe? How can you touch others life in a special way? What ‘Story’ are you going to write about yourself in 2007? So, at the end of 2007, you can feel great, about what you have done with your life. To help you to visualise and identify your real purpose in life, I will soon publish a visualisation exercise.
Before I close, I would like to share with you this beautiful piece of inspiration from Jawaharlal Nehru. “The true joy in life is to ally yourself to a great purpose, to throw yourself into it heart and soul, to forget your little self for the realisation of that purpose.” next...
Funny Side of Inspiration: Everyone is Right
Friday, December 29, 2006
One day when Naseeruddin Hodja was resting at his home with his family, one of his neighbours came to him with a complaint and it was against another neighbour.
So, Hodja comforted his neighbour and listened to his complaints carefully. After the neighbour has finished Hodja said to him, “Yes I agree with you, you are right.”
Then, a second neighbour came to Hodja with a similar complaint and it was against the first neighbour. So, this time Hodja did the same. He comforted the second neighbour and listened to his complaints carefully. After the neighbour has finished Hodja said to him, “Yes I agree with you, you are right.”
Hodja’s wife listened what Hodja has said to both neighbours, and she became confused. When the second neighbour has left, she said to Hodja, “Both men cannot be right”.
Then, Hodja replied to his wife in a loving tone, “Yes dear, I agree with you, you are right.”
Be Inspired: Are you the Man Who Thinks He Can?
Wednesday, December 27, 2006
If you think you are beaten, you are.
If you think you dare not, you don’t!
If you like to win, but think you can't,
it's almost a cinch that you won’t.
If you think you'll lose, you're lost;
For out in the world we find
Success begins with a fellow's will;
It's all in the state of mind.
If you think you're outclassed, you are,
You've got to think high to rise.
You've got to be sure of yourself before
you can win the prize.
Life's battles don't always go
To the strongest or fastest man,
But sooner or later the man who wins
Is the man who thinks he can!
Be Inspired: The Art of Consideration
Tuesday, December 26, 2006
It is a story about a young merchant and his faithful dog. A long time ago, there lived a rich merchant in a small town in India. He was a successful man and he had a thriving business. He supplied materials to business associates throughout the district.
Every fortnight he used to go on a business trip to meet his business associates, and collect money for the goods he had supplied. He travelled by horse and his dog also accompanied him.
One day when the merchant was returning home from his trip, he felt tired and stopped near a tree to rest for a while. Then, he lied down and rested his head on his bag. He quickly fell asleep, the dog and the horse also rested near him.
After a while, the merchant woke up feeling fresh and again started his journey. He could not travel too far before his dog started behaving strangely and it continuously barked at him. The merchant first thought the dog might have seen some other animal and that was the cause for his behaviour.
He commanded the dog to shut up and he carried on with his journey. But the dog kept on barking persistently, and it even tried to stop the merchant few times. So, the merchant became little annoyed with the dog, shouted angrily, and tried to carry on with his journey. But the dog still tried his best to stop the horse.
Now, the merchant became furious, and he got off the horse and beat the dog with a stick. The dog became badly wounded, so the merchant left the dog and headed for home.
After travelling for sometime, the merchant suddenly realised that his bag with all the money is missing. He then remembered he had used the bag as a headrest while he rested near the tree. Without wasting anymore time, he turned his horse and headed towards the tree.
When he reached the place, he saw his injured dog lying on the ground with his head on the bag. With great pain, the dog tried to greet his master by slowly wagging his tail, and then passed away.
The merchant didn’t know what to do. He now understood why his faithful dog was behaving strangely. He started crying and prayed to God for mercy. He knew he had done a great blunder by harming his greatest friend.
When our Dida (Grandma in my native tongue) told us this story it always made us cry. I use this story as a metaphor. What can we learn from this story? How many times do we shut off our closest friends? And the closest of all friends is our own self. The inner voice which constantly barks at us like the faithful dog. Do we listen? Do we give enough consideration before we shut it off?
Please use your imagination, and use the message from this story to enrich and enlighten your life. God bless you.
Wish you a Merry Christmas!
Monday, December 25, 2006
Be Inspired: How can we Adapt, Change, and make Progress?
Sunday, December 24, 2006
But it is also true that we do not like to change, we resist it. And I think it is our basic nature as human beings to hold on to something, which is constantly evolving. We know if we want to make progress, we have to learn and evolve continually.
Let me share with you this beautiful inspirational quote by George Bernard Shaw. He says, “Reasonable men adapt themselves to the world. Unreasonable men adapt the world to themselves. That’s why all progress depends on unreasonable men.”
I am sure you will come up with ideas, and apply this principle in your life. We are all unique with a massive inner power. A ‘Power’ that can revolutionise the world, and the same ‘Power’ that can cause massive hindrance to progress.
Be Inspired: Five Steps to Peace by Mother Teresa
Saturday, December 23, 2006
Step 2: The fruit of prayer is Faith.
Step 3: The fruit of faith is Love.
Step 4: The fruit of love is Service.
Step 5: The fruit of service is Peace.
Be Inspired: How Can We Make the Impossible, Possible
Thursday, December 21, 2006
Sometimes we lose faith on our inner self. Everything seems impossible; we doubt our capacities. Did it ever happen to you? It had happened to me few times, and at that moment, I thought I would not be able to sail through the turbulent waters of life.
I worried and I experienced the fear of doubt. Does worrying help? Does worry help us to achieve anything? Certainly not, it drains our energy and makes us feel helpless and powerless.
So, what should we do? The answer to this question is: lead your life according to the spiritual principles. And I find this piece of knowledge from Saint Francis of Assisi useful and empowering. He said, "Start by doing what's necessary; then do what's possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible."
I always apply this principle in my life, and you won’t believe it’s power till you experience it yourself. It gives enormous strength and an extended sense of direction.
Let me share with you what I do when I face a deadlock. I make myself calm and consider what Saint Francis of Assisi said. Then, I start exploring the means and take action by doing only that is necessary to achieve the goal. I stop worrying. Then, I give my 100% and do the tasks to the best of my ability i.e. what I can possibly do as a human being, and not worrying about events that are beyond my control. And what happens next? I would like to leave this part for you to experience yourself.
I am sure you will have different expectation and experiences please share it with us. And I would like to end this article by reminding you and me that “We have unlimited potential”.
Be Inspired: The Success Story of Ray Kroc - McDonald's
Sunday, December 17, 2006
Did Ray Kroc start when he was young? Did he have a lot of money? Did he have a high profile business qualification? Ray Kroc started in 1954 when he was 54 years old. He was a milk shake machine salesman. But he knew he could make it big, he did not believe in ageism. He completely believed in his self. He knew he had unlimited potential.
Did he have a vision? When he saw hamburger stands selling hamburgers, he envisioned the potential of a massive new fast-food industry. He could see the splendour of his empire in a simple bun. Kroc had the ability to see his future. He created a map for success, so he knew exactly where he was going. ”It requires a certain kind of mind to see beauty in a hamburger bun. Yet, is it any more unusual to find grace in the texture and softly curved silhouette of a bun than to reflect lovingly on the hackles of a favourite fishing fly? Or the arrangement of textures and colours in a butterfly's wing? Not if you're a McDonald's man. Not if you view the bun as an essential material in the art of serving a great many meals fast.” Ray Kroc
He was passionate about owning the most successful chain of restaurants. He wanted to provide high quality service at an affordable cost. He worked for 30 years as a milk shake machine salesman, and wherever he went, he gathered information, knowledge, and skills, which he later used to build the McDonald's Empire. He was patient and waited for the right time and opportunity.
What did Ray Kroc do with his vision?
(a) He clearly defined the business goal.
(b) He used to break up the larger goal into small manageable chunks.
(c) He clearly defined what his customers wanted, and filled those needs elegantly.
(d) He focussed on customer satisfaction, quality, and discipline.
(e) He constantly, fine-tuned his strategies by reviewing and adapting his approach to meet the needs of the business environment.
Was Ray Kroc proactive? He took massive action to realise his dream. He partnered with McDonald brothers' to set up a chain of world famous restaurants. He built a strong successful team. He believed in continuous improvement, searched for gaps, and filled them elegantly. He did not base his life on sheer luck; he took action to create his own destiny.
He was passionate about restaurant business and his motivation was high. Commitment is a key factor in the attainment of goals and desires, and Ray Kroc had 100% commitment to reach his goals.
He believed that consistency and high quality is the key to success. He focussed on efficiency, effectiveness, and time management, which are the core elements of success. He knew good organisation and discipline are vital for achieving excellence in any field.
Risk taking and willingness to challenge
He was a powerful man, and had a strong faith in himself. He knew ‘Faith can move mountains’. He used sound strategies to survey the business environment and took calculated risks. He was always willing to go an extra mile, and was ever ready to challenge and stretch himself.
Thinking out of the box
Did he revolutionise the fast-food industry by thinking out of the box? He had the curiosity to explore and find new ways of doing things. He rediscovered and found a new way of selling burgers, French fries, and milk shakes.
Monitoring and the culture of continuous improvement
Did he always look for opportunity? He found out the existing food industry suffered because of the lack of proper organisation. He used this information and developed a sophisticated operating and delivery system. He continually monitored performance and identified opportunities. He built a team for research and development and continually improved his way of doing things that is the business process.
Did he think Win-Win? He regarded his franchisees as partners and not customers. He wanted them to win, and he considered their success to be his own success. “My belief was that I had to help the individual operator succeed in every way I could. His success would insure my success. But I couldn’t do that and, at the same time, treat him as customer”: Ray Kroc – From Forbes Greatest Business Stories of All-Time by Daniel Gross.
Was Ray Kroc flexible? He liked the idea of brainstorming and welcomed new ideas from people at all levels. He knew our environment was dynamic and not static.
He showed high respect for other people’s ideas. On several occasions, he used other people’s ideas to achieve excellence.
Ray Kroc became one of the most powerful people in America but he did not give up his values and ideals. He believed in ‘Plain living and high thinking’.
Was Ray Kroc a good modeller? He looked around him for excellence, identified them, and learned from them. He was a great learner, he did not believe in ‘Reinventing the Wheel’. He adopted good practice from others, refined them to meet his needs. He was good at replicating excellence. When someone did something good, he knew that if the other person could do it, he could do it too.
Magic of reflection
Kroc believed that reflection is a good way of learning. He devoted time and reflected on a new idea or an action. He knew that reflection could clarify thinking and help in achieving the goal effectively.
There is no Failure only Feedback or Outcome
He did not believe in failure, he knew that mistakes are only feedback or outcomes. He learned from his and other people’s mistakes. When an action did not produce the intended result, he kept on changing his approach till he got what he wanted. When he worked as a milk shake machine salesman, he noticed the mistakes made by the businesses in food industry. He then reflected on them and discovered a different approach.
Always succeeded in getting a result
Ray Kroc always succeeded. He knew he always succeeded in getting a result. Sometimes he did not get the intended result, so he kept on changing his approach till he got the intended result. When the McDonald's chain was not doing well financially, Ray Kroc changed his approach and set up a real estate subsidiary to raise extra capital. He used the money from his real estate business to make McDonald's successful.
Adaptation and Change
He believed in order to remain successful we have to adapt and change both at personal and corporate level. He believed in Continuous Professional Development (CPD) both at a personal and professional level.
He set high expectations for himself as well as his business partners. When McDonald brothers’ remained satisfied with an income of $100, 000 a year, Ray Kroc had a different view point. He made McDonald’s chain a multibillion-dollar corporation.
He believed in differentiation and he understood that his company and his people were unique. He helped people to identify their unique talents and supported them to grow and develop. He focussed on those unique skills and talents to beat the competition.
Ray Kroc believed in setting up a long-term relationship based on honesty, trust and understanding.
He believed that ‘United we stand and divided we fall’. He built a strong team of staff and business partners. He understood the universal principle that life is interdependent and not independent. He knew the success of his people meant his own success.
Success is a journey and not a destination
He knew that success is only a milestone, and it is a continuous journey and not a destination. Once he achieved a goal, he always set a new goal, and worked effectively to achieve it.
Experience Life Coaching
After reading this article, I am sure you feel inspired. As promised earlier, I would now introduce you to the I-CAN-DO model of life coaching. I learned this model from Curly Martin, one of the top life coaches in UK. This model was adapted from several sources, including the GROW model by John Whitmore.
First, we will apply this model to Ray Kroc’s life and see how it works. Let’s assume that you are Ray Kroc’s high profile Life Coach. Are you excited? This example will aid your understanding to use this model for coaching people. In real life, the process will be more comprehensive.
I: Investigate what is important to Ray Kroc. From the story, we can say that the most important thing to Ray Kroc was to establish a successful fast-food chain. And become effective in meeting the needs and wants of people in an elegant way.
C: Current what is the current life situation of Ray Kroc - we will assume that he is still a milk shake salesman. We also know from the story that he is 54 years old, do not have enough money, and not qualified in business education.
A: Aims what is Ray Kroc’s aim in life. He wants to set up a successful fast-food business, and have 12000 fast-food outlets all over the world.
N: Number what is the number of alternative ways available to Ray Kroc for achieving his aims. For example, he could set up a business on his own or partner with someone, but in real life, he decided to partner with McDonald brothers’.
D: Date by what date Ray Kroc want to achieve his aims. Ray Kroc started his business in 1954, and by 1984 (he died), McDonald's was worth around $4 billion. Let’s assume that in 30 years Ray Kroc envisioned his business to be worth around few billion dollars. We have to keep in mind that Ray Kroc achieved many smaller goals to reach his final goal. We will also assume that he had specific target dates for each goal.
O: Outcome what are the outcome achievement indicators to Ray Kroc. He envisioned 12000 McDonald's outlets all over the world. We will assume he had a specific target for each financial year. Other indicator of success can be a smooth financial position of McDonald's.
You have done some life coaching to Ray Kroc; now your job is to imagine how you can apply this model in your own life. At this stage, I will not give you further details, as I will cover the whole topic soon. You can take a piece of paper and start working with this model.
Be Inspired: What should I do when I am angry?
Thursday, December 14, 2006
Psalm 37:8 (The Message)
Anger is our greatest enemy; it is a stumbling block and prevents us from realising our full potential. Anger has negative affects on our body, mind, and strains relationship.
When I am angry I control myself by remembering the spiritual principles. It helps me to regain my composure, so I thought why not share this beautiful spiritual message with you.
Be quick to hear (a ready listener), slow to speak, slow to take offence and to get angry. For man's anger does not promote the righteousness God wishes and requires.
James 1:19-20 (Amplified Bible)
Be Inspired: The Power of Now
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
The future is a mystery.
This moment is a gift.
That is why this moment is called the present.
So enjoy it”
We know that we cannot change our past. We cannot experience our future; we can plan and take the right action now to have a better future.
I think if we ask ourselves these simple questions, we can lead a better and fulfilling life. Do we live in our present and enjoy it fully? Or, we just think and live in our past. Or, do we think about our future and ignore our present, which is a wonderful gift.
I asked myself these questions and I decided to realign my life based on this principle. And l experienced “The Power of Now”.
Be Inspired: Does thoughts decide our destiny?
Monday, December 11, 2006
Does thoughts decide our destiny? There were some disagreements when I first wrote on this topic, and I received some emails with different viewpoints. First, I would like to thank all of you for your support, and for taking the time to read my articles.
It is difficult to accept when someone comes to you and says, “Thoughts are real things.” And I found it interesting when I first came across this idea in the Indian philosophical texts some years ago.
But, I think I did not take it seriously, as I believe in Science, and I wanted evidence and proofs. I always thought Philosophy was just an amalgamation of some good words.
Since I did not take it seriously, I did not manage my thoughts effectively or may be I did not have the necessary skill. Now after many years, and facing lot of ups and downs in life. I have made a realisation that Philosophy can improve people’s quality of lives.
I think one of the greatest sources of realisation was through meditation. I have been meditating from last 20 years and it is amazing. I can’t give you proofs but I can only share my experience. I can realise now that “Thoughts are real things.”
I know it will be hard for you to accept it, and you should not accept it, if you haven’t experienced it yourself. I will start an online meditation course soon, please join in.
Be Inspired: The Story of the Woodcutter and the Indian Water God
Sunday, December 10, 2006
Many, many years ago there lived a poor woodcutter in a remote village in India. Everyday he used to go to the jungles to cut wood, and he sold the wood in the village market to make a living. His good wife and his two young children were dependent on his income. Though he was poor, he was a happy man and people in the village liked him.
One day when he was cutting wood from a tree, his axe suddenly slipped his hand and fell in the lake below. The woodcutter became worried and did not know what to do. He came down the tree, and tried his best to find his axe, but the water in the lake was deep, so all his effort proved futile.
The woodcutter became distressed, as he did not have enough money to buy another axe. He knew that if he does not have an axe, he cannot make a living, and his family would suffer from hunger. Without seeing any hope to find his axe again, he sat down near the lake and started crying.
After hearing the woodcutter’s relentless cry, the ‘Water God’ felt sorry for him. He appeared before the woodcutter and said to him, “Son, why are you crying?” The woodcutter explained what had happened to him. The ‘Water God’ then said to the woodcutter, “Do not worry I will get your axe back” and after saying this the ‘Water God’ disappeared.
After a while, the ‘Water God’ appeared again before the woodcutter and showed him an axe made of silver, and asked him whether it was his axe. The woodcutter nodded his head and said, “My lord this is not my axe.”
So, the ‘Water God’ disappeared again and this time came back with an axe made of gold. When the ‘Water God’ asked the woodcutter again, the woodcutter nodded his head and replied, “My lord this is not my axe.”
So, the ‘Water God’ disappeared again and this time came back with an axe made of iron. When the ‘Water God’ asked him whether it was his axe, the woodcutter nodded his head and happily replied, “My lord this is my axe.”
Seeing the woodcutter’s honesty, the ‘Water God’ became pleased and gave the three axes to him, blessed him, and disappeared.
The woodcutter could not believe his eyes, and he quickly headed for home to share his experience with his wife. Thereafter he and his family lived happily.
Moral of the story: Honesty is the best policy.
Be Inspired: Walt Disney’s Success Story
Saturday, December 09, 2006
Interestingly, this morning when I was going through my notebook, I stumbled upon the note, and suddenly this idea came to my mind, “Why not share it with my friends on the blog.”
(1) He was a man of vision with a magnificent dream.
(2) He could visualise his dream and he knew clearly, what he wanted from his life.
(3) He had goals or targets to achieve in life.
(4) He worked hard and he took massive action.
(5) He had a strong positive self-belief; he knew he could make a difference to the world of entertainment.
(6) He knew exactly what he wanted to do in the field of entertainment.
(7) He was courageous; he took and used the failures in his life as stepping-stones to success.
(8) He was consistent in his approach.
(9) He was a persistent man. He never gave up. He always kept on trying.
(10) He was completely devoted to his work.
(11) He accepted the events in his life as they were, and looked for opportunities in those events. So, he was always focussed on identifying opportunities, rather than counting his failures.
(12) He was a good leader and a manager. He cared for people.
(13) He was flexible in his approach. If something did not work, he was always ready to try it differently.
(14) He saw success as simple milestones. He believed success is a journey and not a destination.
(15) He believed in the power of networking with people.
‘Forbes Greatest Business Stories of All-Time’ by Daniel Gross, is an inspiring book about 20 most successful people in business. I have read the story about Walt Disney in this book, and I can strongly recommend it, if you want to find out how these great men and women made it big. It is mind-blowing, and discovering the secrets of success will revolutionise your thinking.
You can buy this book here from Amazon: Forbes Greatest Business Stories of All Time
Be Inspired: How to measure Success?
Thursday, December 07, 2006
“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
Qualities: a good life coach
Sunday, December 03, 2006
Win-Win – The ability to form positive and mutually worthwhile human relationships is the key to achieving a fulfilling life. If we nurture this skill, we will become successful. When I say success, I do not mean just material success. I mean a balanced life, which includes peace of mind, a sense of well-being, happiness and joy, fulfilling relationships, and good health.
Win-Win means building a relationship where everyone gets the best, everyone wins. So, there is no loser and there is no disappointment. It is finding a better way for all parties through honesty, cooperation, and understanding. It is not making compromises because when we compromise, we settle for less. Win-Win means abundance for all. It is a way where we compete with ourself rather than competing with others.
“Win/Win is a belief in the Third Alternative. It’s not your way or my way; it’s a better way, a higher way.” – Stephen R Covey from the international best-selling book 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.
I believe in the ‘Win-Win’ principle and I apply it regularly in my life. Whenever I reach a dead end, I think about this principle, whether it is in my family, workplace or when interacting with friends.
If you reach a deadlock in a relationship, it is always a good idea to explore and find out what the other individual wants. Then, you explain what you want.
Win-Win will only work if there is cooperation and honesty from both sides. Now, you must be wondering, what if the other person does not cooperate, or is not honest. One-way of finding a solution is exploring the reason of non-cooperation. People usually do not cooperate when they think that they are a loser or they feel violated and compromised. Will you be happy when you lose? I know for sure that I won’t.
If for some reason Win-Win does not yield results, there will be ‘No Deal’. It is better to go for ‘No Deal’ rather than going for:
Win-Lose – where you win and the other person loses.
Lose-Win – where you lose and the other person wins.
Lose-Lose – where everyone loses.
Sometimes it may be necessary that we take the initiative first by being proactive. Sometimes both parties expect the other to take the first step. And that results in a delay, in finding a solution or many a times leads to no solution. Did you ever come across this? I am sure all of us did. The problem is our ego, which may come first rather than the principle.
If we want to lead a fulfilling life, we have to base our life on principles rather than the ego. We are all unique and different, so use your creativity and imagination to apply this principle in your own way.
7 Habits of Highly Effective People – this is a wonderful and the most influential book ever written. I think it is surely the Bible of self-development. Stephen R Covey is a powerful writer and a self-development expert and this book has already sold more than 15 million copies worldwide. He has researched 200 years of success literature and the result is a masterpiece. The book is also available in public libraries.
You can avail the current offer and download the whole audio book free from Audible it is a good company, I use their service (please read the offer agreement carefully):
You can buy this book here and help us too:
Be Inspired: Art of forgiving
Saturday, December 02, 2006
When we make a mistake nature gives us an opportunity to reform and improve ourselves. It does not mean that we can keep on making the same mistakes.
When a person realises his or her mistake and repents, it is best to support and if possible guide them. If we do this, we will feel better and at the same time, we will gain the respect of the other person.
No doubt it is not easy to master the art of forgiving, and I find it hard to practise. But, I have experienced when I can forgive; I feel boundless joy and freedom. And, I close my eyes and enjoy every moment. I reward myself by saying: I am a wonderful human being. And, this gives me strength and further reinforces my belief.