Tuesday, August 25, 2009

When your hut is on fire

The only survivor of a shipwreck was washed up on a small, uninhabited island. He prayed feverishly for God to rescue him. Every day he scanned the horizon for help, but none seemed forthcoming. Exhausted, he eventually managed to build a little hut out of driftwood to protect him from the elements, and to store his few possessions. One day, after scavenging for food, he arrived home to find his little hut in flames, with smoke rolling up to the sky. He felt the worst had happened, and everything was lost. He was stunned with disbelief, grief, and anger. He cried out, 'God! How could you do this to me?' Early the next day, he was awakened by the sound of a ship approaching the island! It had come to rescue him! 'How did you know I was here?' asked the weary man to his rescuers. 'We saw your smoke signal,' they replied.

The Moral of This Story:
It's easy to get discouraged when things are going bad, but we shouldn't lose heart, because God is at work in our lives, even in the midst of our pain and suffering. Remember that the next time your little hut seems to be burning to the ground. It just may be a smoke signal that summons the Grace of God.

Monday, August 24, 2009

The Bull & The Bear

Once upon a time there lived a bear in a cave deep in the woods. Nearby was a meadow in which a farmer kept his cattle -- and one large, ferocious-looking bull. Each day the bear hid at the edge of the woods, watching the bull.

The bear was known as the strongest, most fierce creature for miles around. No other beast in the forest dared to tangle with him. As the bear watched the bull peacefully gazing, he wondered which one of them would win a test of strength. He thought about this for many days. Then one morning he decided to challenge the bull to a fight to the finish.

The bull had just chomped down on a fresh clump of clover when he looked up and saw the bear barreling across the meadow toward him. He stopped chewing. The red flag of danger popped up in his head. The bear skidded to a halt in front of him.

The bull lowered his head menacingly, his sharp horns aimed right for the bear's throat. For long moments they stood in place -- eyeball to eyeball -- neither one of them moving. Finally the bull grew tired of the stare-down and asked, "What do you want, Bear?"

"I want to fight you," growled the bear.

"Why?" asked the bull.

"Because, I want to prove that I am a stronger and better fighter than you are."

The bull laughed. "I thought you really wanted something. You can't possibly win against me. I have sharp horns that can cause terrible injuries."

"And my claws are sharp and quick," the bear shot back. "I have defeated many an enemy -- anyone who would harm my cubs or take away my mate. I am the king of the forest!"

"Then go back to the forest," the bull bluntly advised. "This is the meadow."

The bear blinked in surprise. "I beg your pardon..."

"I mean, what's the point of me fighting with you?" the bull asked. "What would that prove? We are not enemies. I have not harmed your cubs or taken your mate."

"It would prove that I am the strongest."

"Okay," said the bull, smiling. "I'll buy that. You are strongest. Now leave and let me graze in peace."

"Just one cotton-picking' minute. What do you mean by that?" The bear raised a club-like paw. "I will tear you to shreds. Defend yourself."

"What you do is up to you," the bull answered calmly. "But if you do, what will all your friends -- the ones who are watching us right now -- think about you?"

"They will think that I am the strongest," yelled the frustrated bear.

"I don't think so. I do not choose to fight you just because you choose to fight with me. I would only fight to defend one of the cows in my care. If you attack one of them, then I'd be obliged to give you a good lashing."

"I can't attack them," protested the bear. "They can't fight back. There would be no victory to it."

"Exactly," answered the bull. "But what if you did? And what if I should try to defend them? What if something should happen to me? Who would protect them then? You? Would you trust me to protect your cubs if something happened to you? What would happen to your family if you lose the fight?"

"I never thought of that," said the bear.

"Go back into the woods, Bear," said the bull as he turned to walk away. "Live in peace. And I will stay in the meadow and do the same."

The bear turned toward the woods. He had come spoiling for a fight -- to prove which one was the strongest.

But he had learned an important lesson from a very wise bull. In peace, there are no losers.

THE MASTER'S LESSON ON GRATITUDE

According to legend, a young man while roaming the desert came across a spring of delicious crystal-clear water. The water was so sweet he filled his leather canteen so he could bring some back to a tribal elder who had been his teacher.

After a four-day journey he presented the water to the old man who took a deep drink, smiled warmly and thanked his student lavishly for the sweet water. The young man returned to his village with a happy heart.

Later, the teacher let another student taste the water. He spat it out, saying it was awful. It apparently had become stale because of the old leather container.

The student challenged his teacher: "Master, the water was foul. Why did you pretend to like it?"

The teacher replied, "You only tasted the water. I tasted the gift. The water was simply the container for an act of loving-kindness and nothing could be sweeter."!!!

Morel of the Story:

We may understand this lesson best when we receive innocent gifts of love from young children. Whether it's a crushed paper painting or a clay figure, the natural and proper response is appreciation and expressed thankfulness because we love the idea within the gift.

Gratitude doesn't always come naturally. Unfortunately, most children and many adults value only the thing given rather than the feeling embodied in it. We should remind ourselves and teach our children about the beauty and purity of feelings and expressions of gratitude. After all, gifts from the heart are really gifts of the heart!! Also, when we express our gratitude,we must never forget that the highest of appreciation is not to utter mere words, but to live by them.

The essence of all beautiful art, all great art is gratitude! Gratitude is the sign of noble souls and the memory of it is stored in the heart and not the mind!

The next time you receive any gifts from anyone, no matter however small it may be, remember the love behind and don't judge the gift with its appearance! Have a deep sense of gratitude for whatever you receive in life in whatever form it may be!

Crochet a doll

A man and a woman had been married for more than 60 years. They had shared everything. They had kept no secrets from each other except that the little old woman had a shoe box in the top of her closet that she had cautioned her husband never to open or ask her about.

For all of these years, he had never thought about the box, but one day the little old woman got very sick and the doctor said she would not recover. In trying to sort out their affairs, the little old man took down the shoe box and took it to his wife ' s bedside.

She agreed that it was time that he should know what was in the box. When he opened it, he found two crocheted dolls and a stack of money totaling $95,000. He asked her about the contents.

"When we were to be married," she said, "my grandmother told me the secret of a happy marriage was to never argue. She told me that if I ever got angry with you, I should just keep quiet and crochet a doll."

The little old man was so moved; he had to fight back tears. Only two precious dolls were in the box. She had only been angry with him two times in all those years of living and loving. He almost burst with happiness.

"Honey," he said "that explains the doll, but what about all of this money? Where did it come from?"

"Oh, that?" she said. "That is the money I made from selling the dolls."

Moral of the story: Do not waste your time by arguing, the secret of a happy marriage was to never argue

A Pillow & A Blanket

A long time ago, a young, wealthy girl was getting ready for bed. She was saying her prayers when she heard a muffled crying coming through her window. A little frightened, she went over to the window and leaned out. Another girl, who seemed to be about her age and homeless was standing in the alley by the rich girls house. Her heart went out to the homeless girl, for it was the dead of winter, and the girl had no blanket, only old newspapers someone had thrown out.

The rich girl was suddenly struck with a brilliant idea. She called to the other girl and said, "You there, come to my front door, please."

The homeless girl was so startled she could only manage to nod.

As quick as her legs could take her, the young girl ran down the hall to her mothers closet, and picked out an old quilt and a beat up pillow. She had to walk slower down to the front door as to not trip over the quilt which was hanging down, but she made it eventually. Dropping both the articles, she opened the door. Standing there was the homeless girl, looking quite scared. The rich girl smiled warmly and handed both articles to the other girl. Her smile grew wider as she watched the true amazement and happiness alight upon the other girl's face. She went to bed incredibly satisfied.

In mid-morning the next day a knock came to the door. The rich girl flew to the door hoping that it was the other little girl there. She opened the large door and looked outside. It was the other little girl. Her face looked happy, and she smiled. "I suppose you want these back."

The rich little girl opened her mouth to say that she could keep them when another idea popped into her head. "No, I want them back."

The homeless girl's face fell. This was obviously not the answer she had hoped for. She reluctantly laid down the beat up things, and turned to leave when the rich girl yelled, "Wait! Stay right there." She turned in time to see the rich girl running up the stairs and down a long corridor. Deciding whatever the rich little girl was doing wasn't worth waiting for she started to turn around and walk away. As her foot hit the first step, she felt someone tap her on the shoulder, turning she saw the rich little girl, thrusting a new blanket and pillow at her. "Have these." she said quietly.

These were her own personal belonging made of silk and down feathers.

As the two grew older they didn't see each other much, but they were never far from each other's minds. One day, the Rich girl, who was now a Rich woman got a telephone call from someone. A lawyer, saying that she was requested to see him. When she arrived at the office, he told her what had happened. Forty years ago, when she was nine years old, she had helped a little girl in need. That grew into a middle-class woman with a husband and two children. She had recently died and left something for her in her will. "Though," the lawyer said, "it's the most peculiar thing. She left you a pillow and a blanket."

Never Judge too quickly

There was a man who had four sons. He wanted his sons to learn not to judge things too quickly. So he sent them each on a quest, in turn, to go and look at a pear tree that was a great distance away.

The first son went in the winter, the second in the spring, the third in summer and the fourth son in the fall.

When they had all gone and come back, he called them together to describe what they had seen.

The first son said that the tree was ugly, bent and twisted.

The second son said, no, that it was covered with green buds and full of promise.

The third son disagreed; he said it was laden with blossoms that smelled so sweet and looked so beautiful. It was the most graceful thing he had ever seen.

The last son disagreed with all of them. He said it was ripe and drooping with fruit - full of life and fulfillment.

The man then explained to his sons that they were all right, because they had each seen but only one season in the tree's life.

He told them that you cannot judge a tree, or a person by only one season, and that the essence of who they are and the pleasure, joy, and love that comes from that life can only be measured at the end, when all the seasons are up.

David and Svea Flood

Back in 1921, a missionary couple named David and Svea Flood went with their two-year-old son from Sweden to the heart of Africa-to what was then called the Belgian Congo. They met up with another young Scandinavian couple, the Ericksons, and the four of them sought God for direction. In those days of much tenderness and devotion and sacrifice, they felt led of the Lord to set out from the main mission station and take the gospel to a remote area.

This was a huge step of faith. At the village of N'dolera they were rebuffed by the chief, who would not let them enter his town for fear of alienating the local gods. The two couples opted to go half a mile up the slope and build their own mud huts'.

They prayed for a spiritual breakthrough, but there was none. The only contact with the villagers was a young boy, who was allowed to sell them chickens and eggs twice a week. Svea Flood-a tiny woman only four feet, eight inches tall-decided that if this was the only African she could talk to, she would try to lead the boy to Jesus. And in fact, she succeeded. But there were no other encouragements. Meanwhile, malaria continued to strike one member of the little band after another. In time the Ericksons decided they had had enough suffering and left to return to the central mission station. David and Svea Flood remained near N'dolera to go on alone. Then, of all things, Svea found herself pregnant in the middle of the primitive wilderness. When the time came for her to give birth, the village chief softened enough to allow a midwife to help her. A little girl was born, whom they named Aina. The delivery, however, was exhausting, and Svea Flood was already weak from bouts of malaria. The birth process was a heavy blow to her stamina. She lasted only another seventeen days. Inside David Flood, something snapped in that moment. He dug a crude grave, buried his twenty-seven-year-old wife, and then took his children back down the mountain to the mission station. Giving his newborn daughter to the Ericksons, he snarled, "I'm going back to Sweden. I've lost my wife, and I obviously can't take care of this baby. God has ruined my life." With that, he headed for the port, rejecting not only his calling, but God himself. Within eight months both the Ericksons were stricken with a mysterious malady and died within days of each other. The baby was then turned over to some American missionaries, who adjusted her Swedish name to "Aggie" and eventually brought her back to the United States at age three.

This family loved the little girl and were afraid that if they tried to return to Africa, some legal obstacle might separate her from them. So they decided to stay in their home country and switch from missionary work to pastoral ministry. And that is how Aggie grew up in South Dakota. As a young woman, she attended North Central Bible College in Minneapolis. There she met and married a young man named Dewey Hurst.

Years passed. The Hursts enjoyed a fruitful Ministry. Aggie gave birth first to a daughter, then a son. In time her husband became president of a Christian college in the Seattle area, and Aggie was intrigued to find so much Scandinavian heritage there. One day a Swedish religious magazine appeared in her mailbox. She had no idea who had sent it, and of course she couldn't read the words. But as she turned the pages, all of a sudden a photo stopped her cold. There in a primitive setting was a grave with a white cross-and on the cross were the words SVEA FLOOD. Aggie jumped in her car and went straight for a college faculty member who, she knew, could translate the article. "What does this say?" she demanded. The instructor summarized the story: It was about missionaries who had come to N'dolera long ago ... the birth of a white baby ... the death of the young mother ... the one little African boy who had been led to Christ ... and how, after the whites had all left, the boy had grown up and finally persuaded the chief to let him build a school in the village. The article said that gradually he won all his students to Christ... the children led their parents to Christ... even the chief had become a Christian. Today there were six hundred Christian believers in that one village.... All because of the sacrifice of David and Svea Flood. For the Hursts' twenty-fifth wedding anniversary, the college presented them with the gift of a vacation to Sweden.

There Aggie sought to find her real father. An old man now, David Flood had remarried, fathered four more children, and generally dissipated his life with alcohol. He had recently suffered a stroke. Still bitter, he had one rule in his family: "Never mention the name of God- because God took everything from me. After an emotional reunion with her half brothers and half sister, Aggie brought up the subject of seeing her father. The others hesitated. "You can talk to him," they replied, "even though he's very ill now. But you need to know that whenever he hears the name of God, he flies into a rage. Aggie was not to be deterred. She walked into the squalid apartment, with liquor bottles everywhere, and approached the seventy-three-year-old man lying in a rumpled bed. "Papa~" she said tentatively. He turned and began to cry. "Aina," he said. "I never meant to give you away." "It's all right, Papa," she replied, taking him gently in her arms. "God took care of me." The man instantly stiffened. The tears stopped. "God forgot all of us. Our lives have been like this because of Him." He turned his face back to the wall. Aggie stroked his face and then continued, undaunted. "Papa, I've got a little story to tell you, and it's a true one. You didn't go to Africa in vain. Mama didn't die in vain. The little boy you won to the Lord grew up to win that whole village to Jesus Christ. The one seed you planted just kept growing and growing. Today there are six hundred African people serving the Lord because you were faithful to the call of God in your life. ... Papa, Jesus loves you. He has never hated you." The old man turned back to look into his daughter's eyes. His body relaxed. He began to talk. And by the end of the afternoon, he had come back to the God he had resented for so many decades. Over the next few days, father and daughter enjoyed warm moments together. Aggie and her husband soon had to return to America-and within a few weeks, David Flood had gone into eternity.

A few years later, the Hursts were attending a high-level evangelism conference in London, England, when a report was given from the nation of Zaire (the former Belgian Congo). The superintendent of the national church, representing some 110,000 baptized believers, spoke eloquently of the gospel's spread in his nation. Aggie could not help going to ask him afterward if he had ever heard of David and Svea Flood. "Yes, madam," the man replied in French, his words then being translated into English. "It was Svea Flood who led me to Jesus Christ. I was the boy who brought food to your parents before you were born. In fact, to this day your mother's grave and her memory are honored by all of us." He embraced her in a long, sobbing hug. Then he continued, "You must come to Africa to see, because your mother is the most famous person in our history." In time that is exactly what Aggie Hurst and her husband did. They were welcomed by cheering throngs of villagers. She even met the man who had been hired by her father many years before to carry her back down the mountain in a hammock-cradle. The most dramatic moment, of course, was when the pastor escorted Aggie to see her mother's white cross for herself. She knelt in the soil to pray and give thanks. Later that day, in the church, the pastor read from John 12:24: "I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds." He then followed with Psalm 126:5: "Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy."

© John Mark Ministries. Articles may be reproduced in any medium, without applying for permission
(provided they are unedited, and retain the original author/copyright information - and perhaps a reference to the John Mark Ministries website. :-)!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Dog and the Doctor

A real story of Japan. A story of one dog and a Doctor.

A doctor one day gave some food to the dog residing nearby and then this become usual. The dog always remain with the doctor whenever it is possible.. Doctor used to go by train everyday for his duty. Dog always accompany him till the Railway Station. And when the doctor come back for his duty, that dog waits for him at the railway station and both come back at home together. This was the usual practice.

Once in an accident doctor died. Dog kept waited for him till long. For two consecutive days it waited for Doctor without having food, water or anything.

Then after that every day the dog visited the platform at the arrival time of that train regularly till the time of its death.


People around that platform started having sympathy towards dog and they started giving it food and started taking care of it. Everyone was impressed by the love between that dog and the Doctor.

Once a person took that dog at home and taking care for it. But dog every day visited that station without missing single day.

Till dog died, it visited that platform and waited for Doctor.

People put the statue of dog at that station for the loving memory of it and Doctor and in that city that dog is recognized as symbol of love.

Moral of the story is that..

If you love someone, then love unconditionally. Accept the positive and negative aspects of your loved one. Take care of the loved one even if it is not with you. Try to be honest and trust 100%. Develop the fear of loss for your love...make your love realize about that fear of loss. Give sweet smile to everyone and love a loved one such a way that it become a history.

Sometime people forgets the value of love even if his or her inside is pure. Because of personal problems, work tension, ego, misunderstandings and many more.... people started thinking wrong ways and loses the faith, then they miss wonderful days of life which they would have enjoyed if their loved ones are nearby. Imagine. Think of that enjoyment.


I don't know why they chooses the path of aloneness rather being in love. Remember days never comes back, time never stops, still if you feel that you are missing someone and due to certain problems you have lost your love, go immediately and catch it and enjoys those days of love which you may never get back. Always follow your heart.

Monday, August 17, 2009

The Master

When one Guru was dying, one of his deciple asked him "Guruji, who was your master?"He said, "I had thousands of masters. If I just relate their names it will take months, years and it is too late. But three masters I will certainly tell you about.

One was a thief. Once I got lost in the desert, and when I reached a village it was very late, everything was closed. But at last I found one man who was trying to make a hole in t he wall of a house. I asked him where I could stay and he said 'At this time of night it will be difficult, but you can say with me - if you can stay with a thief'.And the man was so beautiful. I stayed for one month! And each night he would say to me, 'Now I am going to my work. You rest, you pray.' When he came back I would ask 'Could you get anything?' He would say, 'Not tonight. But tomorrow I will try again, God willing.' He was never in a state of hopelessness, he was always happy.

When I was meditating and meditating for years on end and nothing was happening, many times the moment came when I was so desperate, so hopeless,that I thought to stop all this nonsense. And suddenly I would remember the thief who would say every night, 'God willing, tomorrow it is going to happen.'

And my second master was a dog. I was going to the river, thirsty and a dog came. He was also thirsty. He looked into the river, he saw another dog there -- his own image -- and became afraid. He would bard and run away, but his thirst was so much that he would come back. Finally, despite his fear, he just jumped into the water, and the image disappeared. And I knew that a message had come to me from God: one has to jump in spite of all fears.

And the third master was a small child. I entered a town and a child was carrying a lit candle. he was going to the mosque to put the candle there.

'Just joking,' I asked the boy, 'Have you lit the candle yourself?' He said,

'Yes sir.' And I asked, 'There was a moment when the candle was unlit, then there was a moment when the candle was lit. Can you show me the source from which the light came?' And the boy laughed, blew out the candle, and said, 'Now you have seen the light going. Where has it gone? You will tell me!'

My ego was shattered, my whole knowledge was shattered. And that moment I felt my own stupidity. Since then I dropped all my knowledgeability.

It is true that I had no master. That does not mean that I was not a disciple

-- I accepted the whole existence as my master. My Disciplehood was a greater involvement than yours is. I trusted the clouds, the trees. I trusted existence as such. I had no master because I had millions of masters I learned from every possible source. To be a disciple is a must on the path. What does it mean to be a disciple? It means to be able to learn. to be available to learn to be vulnerable to existence. With a master you start learning to learn.

The master is a swimming pool where you can learn how to swim. Once you have learned, all the oceans are yours."

Lunch With God

A little boy wanted to meet God. He knew it was a long trip to where God lived, so he packed his suitcase with a bag of potato chips and a six-pack of root beer and started his journey.

When he had gone about three blocks, he met an old woman. She was sitting in the park, just staring at some pigeons. The boy sat down next to her and opened his suitcase. He was about to take a drink from his root beer when he noticed that the old lady looked hungry, so he offered her some chips. She gratefully accepted it and smiled at him.

Her smile was so pretty that the boy wanted to see it again, so he offered her a root beer. Again, she smiled at him. The boy was delighted! They sat

there all afternoon eating and smiling, but they never said a word.

As twilight approached, the boy realized how tired he was and he got up to leave; but before he had gone more than a few steps, he turned around, ran back to the old woman, and gave her a hug. She gave him her biggest smile ever.

When the boy opened the door to his own house a short time later, his mother was surprised by the look of joy on his face. She asked him, "What did you do today that made you so happy?" He replied, "I had lunch with God." But before his mother could respond, he added, "You know what? She's got the most beautiful smile I've ever seen!"

Meanwhile, the old woman, also radiant with joy, returned to her home. Her son was stunned by the look of peace on her face and he asked, "Mother, what did you do today that made you so happy?" She replied! "I ate potato chips in the park with God." However, before her son responded, she added, "You know, he's much younger than I expected."

Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. People come into our lives for a reason, a season, or a lifetime! Embrace all equally!

A Million Frogs

A Million Frogs

A farmer came into town and asked the owner of a restaurant if he could use a million frog legs.The restaurant owner was shocked and asked the man where he could get so many frog legs! The farmer replied, "There is a pond near my house that is full of frogs--millions of them. They croak all during the night and are about to drive me crazy!"

So the restaurant owner and the farmer made an agreement that the farmer would deliver frogs to the restaurant five hundred at a time for the next several weeks.

The first week, the farmer returned to the restaurant looking rather sheepish, with two scrawny little frogs. The restaurant owner said, "Well...where are all the frogs?" The farmer said, "I was mistaken. There were only these two frogs in the pond. But they sure were making a lot of noise!"

Next time you hear somebody criticizing or making fun of you, remember it's probably just a couple of noisy frogs. Also--remember that problems always seem bigger in the dark.

Have you ever lain in your bed at might worrying about things which seem almost overwhelming--like a million frogs croaking? Chances are pretty good that when the morning comes, and you take a closer look, you'll wonder what all the fuss was about.

Confidence

Confidence !

The business executive was deep in debt and couldn't see a way out.

Creditors were closing in on him. Suppliers were demanding payment. He sat on the park bench, head in hands, wondering if anything could save his company from bankruptcy.

Suddenly an old man appeared before him. "I can see that something is troubling you," he said.

After listening to the executive's woes, the old man said, "I believe I can help you."

He asked the man his name, wrote out a check, and pushed it into his hand saying, "Take this money. Meet me here exactly one year from today, and you can pay me back at that time."

Then he turned and disappeared as quickly as he had come.

The business executive saw in his hand a check for $500,000, signed by John D. Rockefeller, then one of the richest men in the world!

"I can erase my money worries in an instant!" he realized. But instead, the executive decided to put the uncashed check in his safe. Just knowing it was there might give him the strength to work out a way to save his business, he thought.

With renewed optimism, he negotiated better deals and extended terms of payment. He closed several big sales. Within a few months, he was out of debt and making money once again.

Exactly one year later, he returned to the park with the uncashed check. At the agreed-upon time, the old man appeared. But just as the executive was about to hand back the check and share his success story, a nurse came running up and grabbed the old man.

"I'm so glad I caught him!" she cried. "I hope he hasn't been bothering you. He's always escaping from the rest home and telling people he's John D. Rockefeller."

And she led the old man away by the arm.

The astonished executive just stood there, stunned. All year long he'd been wheeling and dealing, buying and selling, convinced he had half a million dollars behind him.

Suddenly, he realized that it wasn't the money, real or imagined, that had turned his life around. It was his newfound self-confidence that gave him the power to achieve anything he went after.

The Fern and the Bamboo

One day I decided to quit.... I quit my job, my relationship, my spirituality. ...

I wanted to quit my life.

I went to the woods to have one last talk with God.

"God", I said. "Can you give me one good reason not to quit?"

His answer surprised me...

"Look around", He said. "Do you see the fern and the bamboo?"

"Yes", I replied.

"When I planted the fern and the bamboo seeds, I took very good care of them.

I gave them light. I gave them water.

The fern quickly grew from the earth. Its brilliant green covered the floor.

Yet nothing came from the bamboo seed. But I did not quit on the bamboo.

In the second year the Fern grew more vibrant and plentiful.

And again, nothing came from the bamboo seed.

But I did not quit on the bamboo".

He said. "In the third year, there was still nothing from the bamboo seed.

But I would not quit.

In the fourth year, again, there was nothing from the bamboo seed.

I would not quit."

He said. "Then in the fifth year a tiny sprout emerged from the earth.

Compared to the fern it was seemingly small and insignificant.

But just 6 months later the bamboo rose to over 100 Feet tall.

It had spent the five years growing roots. Those roots made it strong and gave it what it needed to survive.

I would not give any of my creations a challenge it could not handle."

He said to me. "Did you know, my child, that all this time you have been struggling, you have actually been growing roots. I Would not quit on the bamboo. I will never quit on you. Don't compare yourself to others."

He said. "The bamboo had a different purpose than the Fern, yet, they both make the forest beautiful."

"Your time will come, "God said to me." You will rise high!"

"How high should I rise?" I asked.

"How high will the bamboo rise?" He asked in return.

"As high as it can?" I questioned.

"Yes." He said, "Give me glory by rising as high as you can."

I left the forest and brought back this story.

I hope these words can help you see that God will never give up on you........

The desire

An emperor was coming out of his palace for his morning walk when he met a beggar. He asked the beggar, "What do you want?"The beggar laughed and said, "You are asking me as though you can fulfill my desire!"

The king was offended. He said, "Of course I can fulfill your desire. What is it? Just tell me."

And the beggar said, "Think twice before you promise anything."

The beggar was no ordinary beggar, he was the emperors past life master. He had promised in that life, "I will come and try to wake you in your next life. This life you have missed but I will come again." But the king had forgotten completely -- who remembers past lives? So he insisted, "I will fulfill anything you ask. I am a very powerful emperor, what can you possibly desire that I can not give to you?"

The beggar said, "It is a very simple desire. You see this begging bowl? Can you fill it with something?"

The emperor said, "Of course!" He called one of his viziers and told him, "Fill this mans begging bowl with money." The vizier went and got some money and poured it into the bowl, and it disappeared. And he poured more and more, and the moment he would pour it, it would disappear. And the beggging bowl remained always empty.

The whole palace gathered. By and by the rumor went throughout the whole capital, and a huge crowd gathered. The prestige of the emperor was at stake.

He said to his viziers, "If the whole kingdom is lost, I am ready to lose it, but I cannot be defeated by this beggar."

Diamonds and pearls and emeralds, his treasuries were becoming empty.The begging bowl seemed to be bottomless. Everything that was put into it --everything! --immediately disappeared, went out of existence. Finally it was the evening, and the people were standing there in utter silence. The king dropped at the feet of the beggar and admitted his defeat. he said, "Just tell me one thing. You are victorious - but before you leave, just fulfill my curiousity. What is the begging bowl made of?"

The beggar laughed and said, "It is made up of the human mind. There is no secret. It is simple made up of human desire."

This understanding transforms life. Go into one desire -- what is the mechanism of it? First there is a great excitement, great thrill, adventure. you feel a great kick. Something is going to happen, you are on the verge of it. And then you have the car, you have the yacht, you have the house, you have the woman, and suddenly all is meaningless again.

What happens? Your mind has dematerialized it. The car is standing in the drive, but there is no excitement anymore. The excitement was only in getting it. You became so drunk with the desire that you forgot your inner nothingness. Now the desire is fulfilled, the car in the drive, the woman in your bed, the money in your bank account - again excitement disappears. Again the emptiness is there, ready to eat you up. Again you have to create another desire to escape this yawning abyss.

That's how one moves from one desire to another desire. That's how one remains a beggar. Your whole life proves it again and again -- every desire frustrates. And when the goal is achieved, you will need another desire.The day you understand that desire as such is going to fail comes the turning point in your life.The other journey is inwards. move inwards, come back home.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

NAIL IN THE FENCE

There once was a little boy who had a bad temper.

His Father gave him a bag of nails and told him that every time he lost his temper,

he must hammer a nail into the back of the fence.

The first day the boy had driven 37 nails into the fence. Over the next few weeks, as he learned to control his anger,

the number of nails hammered daily gradually dwindled down. He discovered it was easier to hold his temper than to drive those nails into the fence.

Finally the day came when the boy didn't lose his temper at all. He told his father about it and the father suggested that the boy now pull out one nail for each day that he was able to hold his temper.

The days passed and the young boy was finally able to tell his father that all the nails were gone.

The father took his son by the hand and led him to the fence. He said, "You have done well, my son, but look at the holes in the fence.

The fence will never be the same.

When you say things in anger, they leave a scar just like this one. You can put a knife in a man and draw it out.

It won't matter how many times you say I'm sorry, the wound is still there."

A verbal wound is as bad as a physical one. Friends are very rare jewels, indeed. They make you smile and encourage you to succeed. They lend an ear, they share words of praise and they always want to open their hearts to us."

Please forgive me if I have ever left a hole in your heart :)

Proudy Red Rose

One beautiful spring day a red rose blossomed in a forest. Many kinds of trees and plants grew there. As the rose looked around, a pine tree nearby said, "What a beautiful flower. I wish I was that lovely."

Another tree said, "Dear pine, do not be sad, we can not have everything."

The rose turned its head and remarked, "It seems that I am the most beautiful plant in this forest."

A sunflower raised its yellow head and asked, "Why do you say that? In this forest there are many beautiful plants. You are just one of them." The red rose replied, "I see everyone looking at me and admiring me."

Then the rose looked at a cactus and said, "Look at that ugly plant full of thorns!" The pine tree said, "Red rose, what kind of talk is this? Who can say what beauty is? You have thorns too."

The proud red rose looked angrily at the pine and said, "I thought you had good taste! You do not know what beauty is at all. You can not compare my thorns to that of the cactus."

"What a proud flower", thought the trees.

The rose tried to move its roots away from the cactus, but it could not move. As the days passed, the red rose would look at the cactus and say insulting things, like: This plant is useless? How sorry I am to be his neighbor."

The cactus never got upset and he even tried to advise the rose, saying, "God did not create any form of life without a purpose."

Spring passed, and the weather became very warm. Life became difficult in the forest, as the plants and animals needed water and no rain fell. The red rose began to wilt. One day the rose saw sparrows stick their beaks into the cactus and then fly away, refreshed.

This was puzzling, and the red rose asked the pine tree what the birds were doing. The pine tree explained that the birds got water from the cactus. "Does it not hurt when they make holes?" asked the rose.

"Yes, but the cactus does not like to see any birds suffer," replied the pine.

The rose opened its eyes in wonder and said, "The cactus has water?"

"Yes you can also drink from it. The sparrow can bring water to you if you ask the cactus for help."

The red rose felt too ashamed of its past words and behavior to ask for water from the cactus, but then it finally did ask the cactus for help. The cactus kindly agreed and the birds filled their beaks with water and watered the rose's roots.

Lesson to learn from the Story :Thus the rose and all of us learned a lesson and never judged anyone by their appearance again.

To be in the line of fire

From: Vikram J.Tanna

Subject: [AIMKAlumni] A Real True Story

A real story ...An interesting Conversation between a Solider and a Software Engineer in Shatabdi Train .........An interesting and a must read! Must read !

Vivek Pradhan was not a happy man. Even the plush comfort of the air-conditioned compartment of the Shatabdi express could not cool his frayed nerves. He was the Project Manager and still not entitled to air travel. It was not the prestige he sought; he had tried to reason with the admin person, it was the savings in time. As PM, he had so many things to do!! He opened his case and took out the laptop, determined to put the time to some good use.

"Are you from the software industry sir," the man beside him was staring appreciatively at the laptop. Vivek glanced briefly and mumbled in affirmation, handling the laptop now with exaggerated care and importance as if it were an expensive car.

"You people have brought so much advancement to the country, Sir. Today everything is getting computerized. "

"Thanks," smiled Vivek, turning around to give the man a look. He always found it difficult to resist appreciation. The man was young and well built like a sportsman. He looked simple and strangely out of place in that little lap of luxury like a small town boy in a prep school. He probably was a railway sportsman making the most of his free traveling pass.

"You people always amaze me," the man continued, "You sit in an office and write something on a computer and it does so many big things outside."

Vivek smiled deprecatingly and replied "It is not as simple as that my friend. It is not just a question of writing a few lines. There is a lot of process that goes behind it." For a moment, he was tempted to explain the entire Software Development Lifecycle but restrained himself to a single statement.

"It is complex, very complex."

"It has to be. No wonder you people are so highly paid!," came the reply.

This was not turning out as Vivek had thought. A hint of belligerence crept into his so far affable, persuasive tone.

"Everyone just sees the money. No one sees the amount of hard work we have to put in. Indians have such a narrow concept of hard work. Just because we sit in an air-conditioned office, does not mean our brows do not sweat. You exercise the muscle; we exercise the mind and believe me that is no less taxing."

He could see, he had the man where he wanted, and it was time to drive home the point. "Let me give you an example. Take this train. The entire railway reservation system is computerized. You can book a train ticket between any two stations from any of the hundreds of computerized booking centres across the country. Thousands of transactions accessing a single database, at a time concurrently; data integrity, locking, data security. Do you understand the complexity in designing and coding such a system?"

The man was awestruck; quite like a child at a planetarium. This was something big and beyond his imagination. "You design and code such things."

"I used to," Vivek paused for effect, "but now I am the Project Manager."

"Oh!" sighed the man, as if the storm had passed over, "so your life is easy now."

This was like the last straw for Vivek. He retorted, "Oh come on, does life ever get easy as you go up the ladder. Responsibility only brings more work. Design and coding! That is the easier part. Now I do not do it, but I am responsible for it and believe me, that is far more stressful!

My job is to get the work done in time and with the highest quality. To tell you about the pressures, there is the customer at one end, always changing his requirements, the user at the other, wanting something else, and your boss, always expecting you to have finished it yesterday." Vivek paused in his diatribe, his belligerence fading with self-realization. What he had said, was not merely the outburst of a wronged man, it was the truth. And one need not get angry while defending the truth.

"My friend, you don't know what it is to be in the Line of Fire" Vivek concluded triumphantly.

The man sat back in his chair, his eyes closed as if in realization. When he spoke after sometime, it was with a calm certainty that surprised Vivek. "I know sir,..... I know what it is to be in the Line of Fire......." He was staring blankly, as if no passenger, no train existed, just a vast expanse of time......

"There were 30 of us when we were ordered to capture Point 4875 in the cover of the night. The enemy was firing from the top. There was no knowing where the next bullet was going to come from and for whom. In the morning when we finally hoisted the Tricolour at the top only 4 of us were alive."

"You are a...?"

"I am Subedar Sushant from the 13 J&K Rifles on duty at Peak 4875 in Kargil. They tell me I have completed my term and can opt for a soft assignment. But, tell me sir, can one give up duty just because it makes life easier.

...On the dawn of that capture, one of my colleagues lay injured in the snow, open to enemy fire while we were hiding behind a bunker. It was my job to go and fetch that soldier to safety. But my Captain Batra Sahib refused me permission and went ahead himself. "He said that the first pledge he had taken as a Gentleman Cadet was to put the safety and welfare of the nation foremost followed by the safety and welfare of the men he commanded... ....his own personal safety came last, always and every time. "He was killed as he shielded and brought that injured soldier into the bunker. Every morning thereafter, as we stood guard, I could see him taking all those bullets, which were actually meant for me .

I know sir....I know, what it is to be in the Line of Fire."

Vivek looked at him in disbelief not sure of how to respond. Abruptly, he switched off the laptop. It seemed trivial, even insulting to edit a Word document in the presence of a man for whom valor and duty was a daily part of life; valor and sense of duty which he had so far attributed only to epical heroes.

The train slowed down as it pulled into the station, and Subedar Sushant picked up his bags to alight.

"It was nice meeting you sir." Vivek fumbled with the handshake.

This hand... had climbed mountains, pressed the trigger, and hoisted the Tricolour !.

Suddenly, as if by impulse, he stood up at attention and his right hand went up in an impromptu salute.

It was the least he felt he could do for the country.

PS: The incident he narrated during the capture of Peak 4875 is a true-life incident during the Kargil war. Capt. Batra sacrificed his life while trying to save one of the men he commanded, as victory was within sight. For this and various other acts of bravery, he was awarded the Param Vir Chakra, the nation's highest military award.

Live humbly, there are great people around us, let us learn!!!!

Vikram J.Tanna
Key Account Executive
Emami Ltd (FMCG)

Buffalo & the Horse - a folk tale

Once upon a time a horse and a buffalo lived in a beautiful meadow up in the mountains.

There was plenty of grass to eat and water to drink, and the two had become good friends. But one year, there was no rain. The meadow stream dried up and the grass turned brown.

Soon the horse and buffalo found themselves fighting over the scarce water and grass. One day, their daily fight became violent. The buffalo jabbed the horse with her sharp horns. The badly injured horse had no option but to flee.

A few days passed and the horse started feeling much better. He still had not forgotten how the buffalo had hurt him, and started planning his revenge. After much thought, he decided to approach a man and ask for his help. On hearing the horse’s tale, the man shrugged and said, "Well, you fought with each other, and you lost. Why should I get into this? Anyway, the buffalo has sharp horns. If she can hurt you, she will definitely kill me." With that the man told the horse to leave him so he could get on with his work.

Once again the horse pleaded with the man. He said, "If you help me, I will help you capture the buffalo. Then you can keep her, and I get to have the meadow all to myself."

The man laughed and said, "What will I do with a captured buffalo; it is of no use to me."

The horse then told the man about the buffalo’s sweet milk. "It not only tastes very good, it is also very healthy. If you were to drink it every day you will become more powerful than all the animals in the jungle." The man seemed impressed and agreed to help the horse. But the buffalo’s horns still worried him.

But the horse had a plan. "What you need," he said, "is a big fat stick. Just climb onto my back and every time I run past the buffalo, you hit her with the stick. She cannot run as fast as me so she will not be able to catch us." The plan sounded good so the man decided to go along with it.

Next morning the man climbed onto the horse’s back, holding a big fat stick. When they found the buffalo in the meadow, the horse started to run past the buffalo. The plan was working. After a few hard hits with the stick, the buffalo fell to the ground. The man captured the buffalo and tied her to a tree next to his hut.

The horse was really happy now that he had got rid of the buffalo from the meadow. He thanked the man and was about to leave when he found that he too was tied to the tree. The horse turned to the man and said, "Dear friend, now that our work is over, you can release me. I can enjoy the meadow and you can enjoy the buffalo’s milk.

The man in turn said, "My dear friend, you have been of such help to me. You have not just taught me how to capture a buffalo but also taught me how to ride horses. Now that I know how useful the two of you are, how can I possibly let either of you go? I promise I will take good care of you."

The sad horse felt betrayed. But after thinking for some time he realized that he was suffering because he had been petty and vengeful. By telling the secret of the buffalo’s milk to the man, he had betrayed his friend the buffalo. From that day on, he decided he would never again betray anybody’s trust, not even his captor’s, the man. Perhaps that is why horses (and dogs) are known as man’s trusted friends.

The Barnyard Duck

A flock of wild ducks were flying in formation, heading south for the winter. They formed a beautiful V in the sky, and were admired by everyone who saw them from below. One day, Wally, one of the wild ducks in the formation, spotted something on the ground that caught his eye. It was a barnyard with a flock of tame ducks who lived on the farm.

They were waddling around on the ground, quacking merrily and eating corn that was thrown on the ground for them every day. Wally liked what he saw. "It sure would be nice to have some of that corn," he thought to himself. "And all this flying is very tiring. I'd like to just waddle around for a while."

So after thinking it over a while, Wally left the formation of wild ducks, made a sharp dive to the left, and headed for the barnyard. He landed among the tame ducks, and began to waddle around and quack merrily. He also started eating corn. The formation of wild ducks continued their journey South, but Wally didn't care. "I'll rejoin them when they come back North in a few months, he said to himself.

Several months went by and sure enough, Wally looked up and spotted the flock of wild ducks in formation, heading north. They looked beautiful up there. And Wally was tired of the barnyard. It was muddy and everywhere he waddled, nothing but duck doo. "It's time to leave," said Wally.

So Wally flapped his wings furiously and tried to get airborne. But he had gained some weight from all his corn-eating, and he hadn't exercised his wings much either. He finally got off the ground, but he was flying too low and slammed into the side of the barn.

He fell to the ground with a thud and said to himself, "Oh, well, I'll just wait until they fly south in a few months. Then I'll rejoin them and become a wild duck again."

But when the flock flew overhead once more, Wally again tried to lift himself out of the barnyard. He simply didn't have the strength. Every winter and every spring, he saw his wild duck friends flying overhead, and they would call out to him.

But his attempts to leave were all in vain. Eventually Wally no longer paid any attention to the wild ducks flying overhead. He hardly even noticed them. He had, after all, become a barnyard duck.

Look what happened to Wally. He thought he would just "check-it-out" for awhile and then leave when he wanted to. But he couldn't do it. Sin and bad habits are like that. It is a trap, and it has a way of changing us into people we don't even want to become. Eventually we lose touch with who we really are . We become barnyard ducks.

The Silversmith Story

One of the women offered to find out the process of refining silver and get back to the group at their next Bible Study.

That week, the woman called a silversmith and made an appointment to watch him at work. She didn't mention anything about the reason for her interest beyond her curiosity about the process of refining silver.

As she watched the silversmith, he held a piece of silver over the fire and let it heat up. He explained that in refining silver, one needed to hold the silver in the middle of the fire where the flames were hottest as to burn away all the impurities.

The woman thought about God holding us in such a hot spot; then she thought again about the verse that says: "He sits as a refiner and purifier of silver." She asked the silversmith if it was true that he had to sit there in front of the fire the whole time the silver was being refined.

The man answered that yes, he not only had to sit there holding the silver, but he had to keep his eyes on the silver the entire time it was in the fire. If the silver was left a moment too long in the flames, it would be destroyed.

The woman was silent for a moment. Then she asked the silversmith, "How do you know when the silver is fully refined?"

He smiled at her and answered, "Oh, that's easy -- when I see my image in it"

If today you are feeling the heat of the fire, remember that God has his eye on you and will keep watching you until He sees His image in you.

Pass this on right now. This very moment, someone needs to know that God is watching over them.

And, whatever they're going through, they'll be a better person in the end.

"Life is a coin. You can spend it anyway you wish, but you can only spend it once."

Divorce

One fine day, an old couple around the age of 70, walks into a lawyer's office.

Apparently, they are there to file a divorce.Lawyer was very puzzled, after having a chat with them, he got their story....

This couple had been quarreling all their 40 over yrs of marriage nothing ever seems to go right.They hang on because of their children, afraid that it might affect their up-bringing. Now, all their children have already grown up, have their own family, there's nothing else the old couple have to worry about, all they wanted is to lead their own life free from all these years of unhappiness from their marriage, so both agree on a divorce....

Lawyer was having a hard time trying to get the papers done, because he felt that after 40 yrs of marriage at the age of 70, he couldnt understand why the old couple would still want a divorce..

While they were signing the papers, the wife told the husband..

"I really love u, but i really cant carry on anymore, I'm sorry.."

"Its o.k, i understand.." said the husband. Lookin at this, the lawyer suggested a dinner together, just 3 of them,wife thought, why not, since they are still gonna be friends..

At the dining table, there was a silence of awkardness.

The first dish was roasted chicken, immediately, the old man took the drumstick for the old lady.."take this, its your favourite.."

Looking at this, the lawyer thought maybe theres still a chance, but the wife was frowning when she answer.."This is always the problem, you always think so highly of yourself, never thought about how I feel, dont you know that i hate drumsticks?"

Little did she know that, over the years, the husband have been trying all ways to please her, little did she know that drumsticks was the husband's favourite. Little did he know that she never thought he understand her at all, little did he know that she hates drummsticks even though all he wants is the best for her.

That night, both of them couldnt sleep, toss and turn, toss and turn...after hours, the old man couldnt take it anymore, he knows that he still loves her, and he cant carry on life without her, he wants her back, he wants to tell her, he is sorry, he wanted to tell her "i love you"...

He picks up the phone, starting dialing her number....ringing never stops..he never stop dialing....On the other side, she was sad, she couldn't understand how come after all these years, he still doesnt understand her at all, she loves him a lot, but she just cant take it anymore....phone's ringing, she refuses to answer knowing that its him..."whats the point of talking now that its over...i have ask for it and now i wanna keep it this way, if not i will lose face.."she thought...still ringing...she have decided to pull out the cord... Little did she remember, he have heart problems...

The next day, she received news that he had passed away...she rushed down to his apartment, saw his body, lying on the couch still holding on to the phone...he had a heart attack when he was still trying to get through her phone line....

As sad as she could be...she will have to clear his belongings...when she was looking thru the drawers, she saw this insurance policy, dated from the day they got married, with the beneficiary being her... And together in those file, there was this note...

"To my dearest wife, by the time you're reading this, I'm sure I'm no longer around, I bought this policy for you, though the amount is only $100k, I hope it will be able to help me continue my promise that i have made when we got married, I might not be around anymore, I want this amount of money to continue taking care of you, just like the way I will if I could have live longer. I want you to know Iwill always be around, by your side... I love you"

Tears flowed like river......

"When you love someone, let them know... You never know what will happen the next minute.... Learn to build a life together.. Learn to love each other.

The Message in a Bottle

A man was strolling along the beach one day when he spotted a bottle washed up on the shore. He went over and picked it up, and noticed a message in the bottle. He popped the cork out and inside was a weathered treasure map indicating that there was buried treasure to be found in the shallow waters below. But the man thought it was a hoax, so he slipped the map back in and threw the bottle back into the ocean...

A little later, another man was walking along the beach and the bottle had washed upon the shore. He too picked up the bottle, popped out the cork, and found the treasure map.

This man, however, was curious enough to wade into the water and hoped it was buried shallow enough to find. But once the cold ocean waters reached up to his thighs, he decided to quit. "This is not worth it!" he thought to himself. So he scrambled back to shore and chucked the bottle back into the ocean....

A third man was walking by the beach and noticed the bottle washed upon the shore. He went over, opened the bottle and found the map. The map looked authentic enough, and promised great treasure... So he got himself a small raft and set out into the ocean to claim the treasure..he rowed out far enough into the ocean where the "X" on the map was and to his surprise, he saw the glint of something shining in the waters below..he dove into the ocean and swam towards the shining object below..

He could see that there was something that looked like a treasure chest, but he couldn't quite reach it and the deeper he went, the greater the cold and pressure on his body and his mind..," I am about to lose my breath, and the longer i take, my raft might be swept away!", he thought. So the man decided to give up the hunt so he would ensure his own life and safety..when he reached the shore once more, he took the bottle from the raft and tossed it back into the ocean...

Finally, one more man was walking along the beach. He noticed the bottle, went over, popped it open, and was excited to find a map promising great treasure. He noticed someone had left a raft by the water's edge, so he took it and paddled out. He too, got far enough to where the "X" marks the spot, and squinted into the waters and saw the shadow and glint of the treasure below.

He took a deep breath and plunged into the waters. Like the man before him, the cold, darkness and pressure upon his senses increased as he got closer. He also realized that if he kept swimming, that he might lose his breath, the raft, and even his own life! But this treasure could be worth all the risk and he persisted. Just as he was about to give up, he grabbed the long chain that was binding the chest and pulled it up along with himself back to the surface.

He broke the surface of the water gasping and exhausted but with the treasure chest safely in his grasp. He paddled back to the shore, opened up the treasure chest and found what the map had promised--gold, and precious diamonds and jewels that would make him secure for the rest of his life.

A relationship with God is a similar treasure hunt. People hear the same message, but the way they receive it will determine the reward they might find. Eternal life is waiting for all those who are willing to take that risk to follow God all the way of life, where we find love, forgiveness and life everlasting.... for eternity.

Mistakes are opportunities

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Bagger's Rags

A beggar lived near the king's palace. One day he saw a proclamation posted outside the palace gate. The king was giving a great dinner. Anyone dressed in royal garments was invited to the party.

The beggar went on his way. He looked at the rags he was wearing and sighed. Surely only kings and their families wore royal robes, he thought. Slowly an idea crept into his mind. The audacity of it made him tremble. Would he dare?

He made his way back to the palace. He approached the guard at the gate. "Please, sir, I would like to speak to the king."

"Wait here," the guard replied. In a few minutes, he was back. "His majesty will see you," he said, and led the beggar in.

"You wish to see me?" asked the king.

"Yes, your majesty. I want so much to attend the banquet, but I have no royal robes to wear. Please, sir, if I may be so bold, may I have one of your old garments so that I, too, may come to the banquet?"

The beggar shook so hard that he could not see the faint smile that was on the king's face. "You have been wise in coming to me," the king said. He called to his son, the young prince. "Take this man to your room and array him in some of your clothes."

The prince did as he was told and soon the beggar was standing before a mirror, clothed in garments that he had never dared hope for.

"You are now eligible to attend the king's banquet tomorrow night," said the prince. "But even more important, you will never need any other clothes. These garments will last forever."

The beggar dropped to his knees. "Oh, thank you," he cried. But as he started to leave, he looked back at his pile of dirty rags on the floor. He hesitated. What if the prince was wrong? What if he would need his old clothes again. Quickly he gathered them up.

The banquet was far greater than he had ever imagined, but he could not enjoy himself as he should. He had made a small bundle of his old rags and it kept falling off his lap. The food was passed quickly and the beggar missed some of the greatest delicacies.

Time proved that the prince was right. The clothes lasted forever. Still the poor beggar grew fonder and fonder of his old rags. As time passed people seemed to forget the royal robes he was wearing. They saw only the little bundle of filthy rags that he clung to wherever he went. They even spoke of him as the old man with the rags.One day as he lay dying, the king visited him.

The beggar saw the sad look on the king's face when he looked at the small bundle of rags by the bed.Suddenly the beggar remembered the prince's words and he realized that his bundle of rags had cost him a lifetime of true royalty. He wept bitterly at his folly. And the king wept with him.

When we put our faith in God, we must let go of the sin in our life, and our old ways of living.

I can sleep when the wind blows

Years ago, a farmer owned land along the Atlantic seacoast.

He constantly advertised for hired hands. Most people were reluctant to work on farms along the Atlantic . They dreaded the awful storms that raged across the Atlantic , wreaking havoc on the buildings and crops.

As the farmer interviewed applicants for the job, he received A steady stream of refusals.

Finally, a short, thin man, well past middle age, approached the farmer. "Are you a good farm hand?" the farmer asked him. "Well, I can sleep when the wind blows," answered the little man.

Although puzzled by this answer, the farmer, desperate for help, Hired him. The little man worked well around the farm, busy from dawn to dusk, and the farmer felt satisfied with the man's work.

Then one night the wind howled loudly in from offshore. Jumping out of bed, the farmer grabbed a lantern and rushed next door to the hired hand's sleeping quarters. He shook the little man and yelled, "Get up! A storm is coming! Tie things down before they blow away!"

The little man rolled over in bed and said firmly, "No sir. I told you, I can sleep when the wind blows."

Enraged by the response, the farmer was tempted to fire him on the spot. Instead, he hurried outside to prepare for the storm.

To his amazement, he discovered that all of the haystacks had been covered with tarpaulins. The cows were in the barn, the chickens were in the coops, and the doors were barred.

The shutters were tightly secured. Everything was tied down.

Nothing could blow away. The farmer then understood what his hired hand meant, so he also returned to his bed to sleep while the wind blew.

When you're prepared, spiritually, mentally, and physically, you have nothing to fear. Can you sleep when the wind blows through your life?

Peace of Mind

Once Buddha was walking from one town to another town with a few of his followers. This was in the initial days. While they were traveling, they happened to pass a lake. They stopped there and Buddha told one of his disciples, “I am thirsty. Do get me some water from that lake there.”

The disciple walked up to the lake. When he reached it, he noticed that right at that moment, a bullock cart started crossing through the lake. As a result, the water became very muddy, very turbid. The disciple thought, “How can I give this muddy water to Buddha to drink!”

So he came back and told Buddha, “The water in there is very muddy. I don’t think it is fit to drink.” After about half an hour, again Buddha asked the same disciple to go back to the lake and get him some water to drink. The disciple obediently went back to the lake.

This time too he found that the lake was muddy. He returned and informed Buddha about the same. After sometime, again Buddha asked the same disciple to go back.

The disciple reached the lake to find the lake absolutely clean and clear with pure water in it. The mud had settled down and the water above it looked fit to be had. So he collected some water in a pot and brought it to Buddha.

Buddha looked at the water, and then he looked up at the disciple and said,” See what you did to make the water clean. You let it be…. and the mud settled down on its own – and you got clear water.

Your mind is also like that! When it is disturbed, just let it be. Give it a little time. It will settle down on its own. You don’t have to put in any effort to calm it down. It will happen. It is effortless.”

What did Buddha emphasize here? He said, “It is effortless.” Having ‘Peace of Mind’ is not a strenuous job; it is an effortless process!

In life everything goes on. Keep Going. Have a peaceful Life!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Bob Dosen't pay

One fine day, a bus driver went to the bus garage, started his bus and drove of along his route. No problems for the first few stops- a few people got on, a few people got off and things went generally well.

At the next stop, however, a huge bulk of a Bob got on, six feet five built quite like a wrestler. He glared at the conductor and said, " Bob doesn't pay" and sat down at the back.

Conductor did not argue with the Bob, but he wasn't happy about it. The next day the same thing happened. Bob got on the bus and made a show of refusing to pay, and sat down. And the next day, and the next.

This grated the bus driver who started losing sleep over the manner in which the Bob was taking advantage of the poor conductor.Finally the conductor could not stand the Bob any longer. So! he signed up for a bodybuilding , Karat, Judo and all that good stuff.

By the end of that summer, he has become quite strong What's more, he really fellt good about himself. So!, on the next Monday when the Bob once again got on the bus and said" Bob doesn't pay" the conductor stood up and glared back at the Bob and screamed, " And why not?"

With a surprise look on his face, Bob replied " Bob has a bus pass"

The moral of the story- Be sure there is a genuine issue before trying to work hard to solve it.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Chicken

Once upon a time, there was a large mountainside, where an eagle's nest rested. The eagle's nest contained four large eagle eggs. One day an earthquake rocked the mountain causing one of the eggs to roll down the mountain, to a chicken farm, located in the valley below. The chickens knew that they must protect and care for the eagle's egg, so an old hen volunteered to nurture and raise the large egg.

One day, the egg hatched and a beautiful eagle was born. Sadly, however, the eagle was raised to be a chicken. Soon, the eagle believed he was nothing more than a chicken. The eagle loved his home and family, but his spirit cried out for more. While playing a game on the farm one day, the eagle looked to the skies above and noticed a group of mighty eagles soaring in the skies. "Oh," the eagle cried, "I wish I could soar like those birds." The chickens roared with laughter, "You cannot soar with those birds. You are a chicken and chickens do not soar."

The eagle continued staring, at his real family up above, dreaming that he could be with them. Each time the eagle would let his dreams be known, he was told it couldn't be done. That is what the eagle learned to believe. The eagle, after time, stopped dreaming and continued to live his life like a chicken. Finally, after a long life as a chicken, the eagle passed away.

The moral of the story: You become what you believe you are; so if you ever dream to become an eagle follow your dreams, not the words of a chicken.

Mental Chain

Most people are like the circus elephant. Have you ever seen a giant elephant in an indoor arena tied to a little wooden stake. That huge creature can pick up two thousand pounds with its trunk, yet it calmly stays tied. Why?

When that elephant was just a baby, and not very strong, it was tied by a huge chain to an iron stake that could not be moved. Regardless of how hard it tried, it could not break the chain and run free. After it a while it just gave up. Later, when it is strong, it never attempts to break free. The "imprint" is permanent. "I can't! I can't!' it says.

There are millions of people who behave like this creature of the circus. They have been bound, tied and told "You'll never make it," so many times they finally call it quits. The may have dreams, but the "imprinting" keeps pulling them back.

Today, eliminate the source of your limitations. When you mentally break free, the boundaries will be removed from your future.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Echo

"A son and his father were walking on the mountains.

Suddenly, his son falls, hurts himself and screams: "AAAhhhhhhhhhhh!!!"

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

Curious, he yells: "Who are you?"

He receives the answer: "Who are you?"

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

The voice answers: "I admire you!"

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

He receives the answer: "Coward!"

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

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

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

The voice answers: "You are a champion!"

The boy is surprised, but does not understand.

Then the father explains: "People call this ECHO, but really this is LIFE.

It gives you back everything you say or do.

Our life is simply a reflection of our actions.

If you want more love in the world, create more love in your heart.

If you want more competence in your team, improve your competence.

This relationship applies to everything, in all aspects of life;

Life will give you back everything you have given to it."

God had given the ducks wings with which to fly

A parable is told of a community of ducks waddling off to duck church one Sunday to hear their duck preacher. After they waddled into the duck sanctuary, the service began and the duck preacher spoke eloquently of how God had given the ducks wings with which to fly.

He pounded the pulpit with his beak and said, “With these wings, there is nowhere we ducks can not go!

”There is no God-given task we ducks cannot accomplish!

”With these wings we no longer need walk through life. We can soar high in the sky!”

Shouts of “Amen!¨ were quacked throughout the duck congregation.

The duck preacher concluded his message by exclaiming, “With our wings we can fly through life! WE CAN FLY!!!!¨

More ducks quacked out loud “AMEN!” in response.

Every duck loved the service.

In fact all the ducks that were present commented on what a wonderfully convicting message they had heard from their duck preacher....and then they left the church and waddled all the way home.

Too often we waddle away from worship the same way we waddled in....unchanged.

LUCK MATTERS

With a pile of 300 resumes on his desk and a need to pick someone quickly, my boss told me to make calls on the bottom 50 and toss the rest.

"Throw away 250 resumes?" I asked, shocked.

"What if the best candidates are in there?"

"You have a point," he said.

"But then again, I don't need people with bad luck here."

Marvelous Answer

Real story happened with famous Heart Surgeon Lt. Dr. Nitu Mandke. He had done many heart operations.

A mechanic was removing the cylinder heads from the motor of a car when he spotted the famous heart surgeon in his shop, who was standing off to the side, waiting for the service manager to come to take a look at his car.


The mechanic shouted across the garage, "Hello Doctor! Please come over here for a minute."

The famous surgeon, a bit surprised, walked over to the mechanic.


The mechanic straightened up, wiped his hands on a rag and asked argumentatively, "So doctor, look at this. I also open hearts, take valves out, grind 'em, put in new parts, and when I finish this will work as a new one. So how come you get the big money, when you and me is doing basically the same work?"

The doctor leaned over and whispered to the mechanic...
.
.
.
.
"TRY TO DO IT WHEN THE ENGINE IS RUNNING".

Story re-written

Story re-written

Once upon a time, there was a software engineer who used to develop programs on his Pentium machine, sitting under a tree on the banks of a river. He used to earn his bread by selling those programs in the Sunday market.

One day, while he was working, his machine tumbled off the table and fell in the river.

Encouraged by the Panchatantra story of his childhood (the woodcutter and the axe), he started praying to the River Goddess.

The River Goddess wanted to test him and so appeared only after one month of rigorous prayers. The engineer told her that he had lost his computer in the river.

As usual, the Goddess wanted to test his honesty.

She showed him a match box and asked, "Is this your computer?" Disappointed by the Goddess' lack of computer awareness, the engineer replied, "No."

She next showed him a pocket-sized calculator and asked if that was his.

Annoyed, the engineer said "No, not at all!!"

Finally, she came up with his own Pentium machine and asked if it was his.

The engineer, left with no option, sighed and said "Yes."

The River Goddess was happy with his honesty.

She was about to give him all three items, but before she could make the offer, the engineer asked her, "Don't you know that you're supposed to show me some better

computers before bringing up my own?"

The River Goddess, angered at this, replied, "I know that, you stupid donkey!

The first two things I showed you were the Trillennium and the Billennium, the latest computers from IBM!".

So saying, she disappeared with the Pentium!!

Moral: If you're not up-to-date with technology trends, it's better keep your mouth shut and let people think you're a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.

Lakshmi Mittal - Success Story

Lakshmi Mittal - Success Story
Born: June 15, 1950, Sadulpur, Rajasthan, India.

Age: 59

Country Of Citizenship: India

Residence: London , United Kingdom, Europe & Russia

Religious stance: Hinduism

Occupation: Chairman & CEO of Arcelor Mittal

Net worth: $51.0 billion USD

Fortune: Inherited and growing

Source: Steel

Industry: Manufacturing

Website: mittalsteel.com

Marital Status: Married, 2 children

Education: St Xavier's College Calcutta, Bachelor of Arts / Science.

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Lakshmi Narayan Mittal (born June 15, 1950) is a London-based Indian billionaire industrialist, born in Sadulpur Village, in the Churu district of Rajasthan, India, and residing in Kensington, London. He is the fifth richest person in the world, with a personal fortune of US$32.0 billion according to Forbes 500.The Financial Times named Mittal its 2006 Person of the Year. In May 2007, he was named one of the "100 most influential people" by Time magazine.

Lakshmi spent his first years in India, living with his extended family on bare floors and rope beds in a house built by his grandfather. His family, from the Marwari Aggarwal castel, was from humble roots; his grandfather worked for the Tarachand Ghanshyamdas Poddar firm, one of the leading Marwari industrial firms of pre-independence India. They eventually moved to Calcutta where his father, Mohan, became a partner in a steel company and made a fortune.

Lakshmi was a keen student and his classmates knew him as a sharp student who was good with numbers. He graduated at the top from St. Xavier's College in Calcutta (Now known as Kolkata) with a Bachelor of Commerce degree in Business and Accounting in 1969.

Lakshmi Mittal began his career working in the family's steelmaking business in India, and in 1976, when the family founded its own steel business, Mittal set out to establish its international division, beginning with the buying of a run-down plant in Indonesia. Shortly afterwards he married Usha, the daughter of a well-to-do moneylender. In 1994, due to differences with his father and brothers, he branched out on his own, taking over the international operations of the Mittal steel business, which was already owned by the family. The family of Mittal never spoke to the public about the reasons for the split, although, there were rumors it was due to financial instablity between the brothers.

Controversy erupted in 2002 as Plaid MP Adam Price exposed the link between U.K. prime minister Tony Blair and steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal in the Mittal Affair, also known as 'Garbagegate' or Cash for Influence. Mittal's LNM steel company, registered in the Dutch Antilles and maintaining less than 1% of its 100,000 plus workforce in the U.K., sought Blair's aid in its bid to purchase Romania's state steel industry. The letter from Blair to the Romanian government, a copy of which Price was able to obtain, hinted that the privatisation of the firm and sale to Mittal might help smooth the way for Romania's entry into the European Union.

The letter had a passage in it removed just prior to Blair's signing of it, describing Mittal as "a friend."

In exchange for Blair's support Mittal, already a Labour contributor, donated £125,000 more to Labour party funds a week after the 2001 U.K. General Elections, while as many as six-thousand Welsh steelworkers were laid off that same year, Price and others pointed out. Mittal's company, then the fourth largest in the world, was a "major global competitor of Britain's own struggling steel industry, Corus, formerly known as British Steel." Corus and Valkia Limited were two of the primary employers in south Wales, particularly in Ebbw Vale, Llanwern, and Port Talbot.

Since 2005, Mittal has been the richest person residing in the United Kingdom. He is the President of the Board of Directors and CEO of Arcelor Mittal; Arcelor Mittal is the world's largest producer of steel, with assets in France, Belgium, Romania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, South Africa, Poland, Czech Republic, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Canada, Bulgaria, United States and Brazil. On July 13, 2005 it was announced that he had donated £2 million to the Labour Party, and on January 16, 2007 it was announced that he had donated a further £3 million. Although Mittal has been living abroad for many years, he claims he will remain an Indian.

In March 2007, Mittal was reported to be the 5th wealthiest person in the world by Forbes Magazine (up from 61st richest in 2004). The Mittal family owns 44% of Arcelor Mittal, the world's largest steel company. His residence at 18-19 Kensington Palace Gardens was bought from Formula One car racing boss Bernie Ecclestone in 2004 for £57.1 million ($105.7 million), the world's highest price ever paid for a house. Formerly, this house was the residence of Paul Reuter, the founder of the Reuters news service.

Mittal has two children. His son, Aditya Mittal, is the CFO of Arcelor Mittal. Mittal paid over £30 million to host his daughter Vanisha's wedding celebration in Vaux le Vicomte on 22 June 2004 and an engagement ceremony at the Palace of Versailles on 20 June 2004, the world's most expensive wedding ever. He even hosted a Bollywood night where superstars like Rani Mukerji, Saif Ali Khan, Shahrukh Khan and Aishwarya Rai performed. Kylie Minogue also sang on stage.

Mittal's house in Kensington, London is decorated with marble taken from the same quarry that supplied the Taj Mahal. The extravagant show of wealth has been deemed the "Taj Mittal."

Recently, Mittal has emerged as a leading contender to buy Barclays Premiership clubs Wigan and Everton, but has so far refused to comment.

As of 8th October 2007, the 44.79% stake which the Mittal family have in Arcelor-Mittal was worth $47.159 billion dollars, down from $48.4 billion in late September. This makes him the world's 5th wealthiest man after Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Carlos Slim and Ingvar Kamprad. As of 11th October 2007, his stake was worth $50.56 billion dollars, making him the fifth person in the world to have more than $50 b wealth.

After witnessing India win only one medal, bronze, in the 2000 Olympics, and one medal, silver, at the 2004 Olympics, Mittal decided to set up Mittal Champions Trust with U$9 million to support 10 Indian athletes with world-beating potential.

For Comic Relief 2007, he matched the money raised (~£1 million) on the celebrity special BBC programme, The Apprentice.

Learning to Dance in the Rain

An excerpt from
Learning to Dance in the Rain
by Mac Anderson and BJ Gallagher
The date was July 16, 2008. It was late in the afternoon and I was sitting in my hotel room in Louisville, Kentucky. I was scheduled to speak that evening for the Kentucky Association of School Administrators (KASA). I was a little "down in the dumps." I hadn't gotten to exercise lately because of my traveling schedule and recently I'd experienced some mild bouts of vertigo (that inner ear condition that can cause the room to start spinning.) You got it...speaking and "spinning" are not good partners!
My keynote presentation was scheduled for 7:00 PM, but I had been invited to show up at 6:00 to see a performance they said I'd enjoy. Little did I know that I was about to see something I would never forget.
They introduced the young musician. Welcome...Mr. Patrick Henry Hughes. He was rolled onto the stage in his wheelchair, and began to play the piano. His fingers danced across the keys as he made beautiful music.
He then began to sing as he played, and it was even more beautiful. For some reason, however, I knew that I was seeing something special. There was this aura about him that I really can't explain and the smile...his smile was magic!
About ten minutes into Patrick's performance, someone came on the stage and said..."I'd like to share a 7-minute video titled, The Patrick Henry Hughes story." And the lights went dim.
Patrick Henry Hughes was born with no eyes, and a tightening of the joints which left him crippled for life. However, as a child, he was fitted with artificial eyes and placed in a wheelchair. Before his first birthday, he discovered the piano. His mom said, "I could hit any note on the piano, and within one or two tries, he'd get it." By his second birthday, he was playing requests (You Are My Sunshine, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star). His father was ecstatic. "We might not play baseball, but we can play music together."
Today, Patrick is a junior at the University of Louisville. His father attends classes with him and he's made nearly all A's, with the exception of 3 B's He's also a part of the 214 member marching band. You read it right...the marching band! He's a blind, wheelchair-bound trumpet player; and he and his father do it together. They attend all the band practices and the half-time performance in front of thousands. His father rolls and rotates his son around the field to the cheers of Patrick's fans. In order to attend Patrick's classes and every band practice, his father works the graveyard shift at UPS. Patrick said..."My dad's my hero."
But even more than his unbelievable musical talent, it was Patrick's "attitude of gratitude" that touched my soul. On stage, between songs, he would talk to the audience about his life and about how blessed he was. He said, "God made me blind and unable to walk. BIG DEAL! He gave me the ability...the musical gifts I have...the great opportunity to meet new people."
When his performance was over, Patrick and his father were on the stage together. The crowd rose to their feet and cheered for over five minutes. It gave me giant goose bumps!
My life was ready to meet Patrick Henry Hughes. I needed a hero, and I found one for the ages. If I live to be a hundred, I'll never forget that night, that smile, that music, but most importantly, that wonderful "attitude of gratitude."
I returned to Chicago and shared Patrick's story with my wife, my friends, and our team at Simple Truths. About two weeks later, I received a letter from a friend. He said, "Mac, I don't know who said it, but I think you'll love this quote."
"Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass...
it's about learning how to dance in the rain!"
I thought...that's it! We all face adversity in our life. However, it's not the adversity, but how we react to it that will determine the joy and happiness in our life. During tough times, do we spend too much time feeling sorry for ourselves, or, can we, with gratitude...learn how to dance in the rain?
It almost sounds too simple to feel important, but one word...gratitude, can change your attitude, thus, your life, forever. Sarah Breathnack said it best...
"When we choose not to focus on what is missing from our lives but are grateful for the abundance that's present....we experience heaven on earth."

Be a Believer to be an Achiever

The professor stood before his class of 30 senior molecular biology students, about to pass out the final exam. 'I have been privileged to be your instructor this semester, and I know how hard you have all worked to prepare for this test. I also know most of you are off to medical school or grad school next fall,' he said to them.

'I am well aware of how much pressure you are under to keep your GPAs up, and because I know you are all capable of understanding this material, I am prepared to offer an automatic 'B' to anyone who would prefer not to take the final.'

The relief was audible as a number of students jumped up to thank the professor and departed from class. The professor looked at the handful of students who remained, and offered again, 'Any other takers? This is your last opportunity.' One more student decided to go.

Seven students remained. The professor closed the door and took attendance. Then he handed out the final exam. There were two sentences typed on the paper:

'Congratulations, you have just received an 'A' in this class. Keep believing in yourself.'

I never had a professor who gave a test like that. It may seem like the easy way out of grading a bunch of exams, but it's a test that any teacher in any discipline could and should give. Students who don't have confidence in what they've learned are 'B' students at best.

The same is true for students of real life. The 'A' students are those who believe in what they're doing because they've learned from both successes and failures. They've absorbed life's lessons, whether from formal education or the school of hard knocks, and become better people.

Those are the people who you look for when you're hiring or promoting, and the ones you keep if you're downsizing. Your organisation needs their brand of thinking.

Psychologists say that by the age of two, 50 percent of what we ever believe about ourselves has been formed; by age six, 60 percent, and at eight years, 80 percent. Wouldn't you love to have the energy and optimism of a little kid? There is nothing you couldn't do or learn or be.

But you're a big kid now, and you realise you have some limits. Don't let the biggest limit be yourself. Take your cue from Sir Edmund Hillary, the first person to reach the summit of Mount Everest: 'It's not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves.'

Believing in yourself comes from knowing what you are really capable of doing. When it's your turn to step up to the plate, realise that you won't hit a homerun every time. Baseball superstar Mickey Mantle struck out more than 1,700 times, but it didn't stop him from excelling at baseball. He believed in himself, and he knew his fans believed in him.

Surround yourself with positive people - they know the importance of confidence and will help you keep focused on what you can do instead of what you can't. Who you surround yourself with is who you become.

Never stop learning! I would work this advice into every column if I could; it's that important. Don't limit yourself only to work-related classes, either. Learn everything about every subject that you can. When you know what you're talking about, it shows.

Be very careful not to confuse confidence with a big ego. If you want people to believe in you, you also have to believe in them. Understand well that those around you also have much to contribute, and they deserve your support. Without faith in yourself and others, success is impossible.

At the end of a particularly frustrating practice one-day, a football coach dismissed his players by yelling, 'Now all you idiots, go take a shower!' All but one player headed toward the locker room. The coach glared at him and asked why he was still there.

'You told all the idiots to go, Sir,' the player replied, 'and there sure seems to be a lot of them. But I am not an idiot.'

Confident? You bet. And smart enough to coach that team some day.

Moral: Believe in yourself, even when no one else does.



Written by Harvey Mackay

Author of the New York Times bestsellers

'Swim With The Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive' and 'Pushing The Envelope.'

The Perfect Heart

The Perfect Heart ....

One day a young man was standing in the middle of the town proclaiming that he had the most beautiful heart in the whole valley.

A large crowd gathered and they all admired his heart for it was perfect. There was not a mark or a flaw in it.

Yes, they all agreed it truly was the most beautiful heart they had ever seen. The young man was very proud and boasted more loudly about his beautiful heart. Suddenly, an old man appeared at the front of the crowd and said,

"Why your heart is not nearly as beautiful as mine." The crowd and the young man looked at the old man's heart. It was beating strongly, but full of scars, it had places where pieces had been removed and other pieces put in, but they didn't fit quite right and there were several jagged edges.

In fact, in some places there were deep gouges where whole pieces were missing.

The people stared -- how can he say his heart is more beautiful, they thought? The young man looked at the old man's heart and saw its state and laughed. "You must be joking," he said. "Compare your heart with mine, mine is perfect and yours is a mess of scars and tears."

"Yes," said the old man, "yours is perfect looking but I would never trade with you. You see, every scar represents a person to whom I have given my love - I tear out a piece of my heart and give it to them, and often they give me a piece of their heart which fits into the empty place in my heart, but because the pieces aren't exact, I have some rough edges, which I cherish, because they remind me of the love we shared. Sometimes I have given pieces of my heart away, and the other person hasn't returned a piece of his heart to me.

These are the empty gouges -- giving love is taking a chance. Although these gouges are painful, they stay open, reminding me of the love I have for these people too, and I hope someday they may return and fill the space I have waiting. So now do you see what true beauty is?"

The young man stood silently with tears running down his cheeks. He walked up to the old man, reached into his perfect young and beautiful heart, and ripped a piece out.

He offered it to the old man with trembling hands. The old man took his offering, placed it in his heart and then took a piece from his old scarred heart and placed it in the wound in the young man's heart. It fit,

But not perfectly, as there were some jagged edges. The young man looked at his heart, not perfect anymore but more beautiful than ever, since love from the old man's heart flowed into his. They embraced and walked away side by side.