Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Here is your gift!

Thanks for being a regular reader and follower of this Personal Development and Success blog. You have been motivating me to read, research, experiment and write by following the blog.

You have been instrumental in bringing out my passion for writing, sharing, adding value to my friends and giving back to society. I sincerely believe that I owe you a gift or two. I have been thinking for quite some time now as in what gift shall I give to my readers? My wonderful wife came with an idea, as always.
It has been years when I fell in love with reading great books and since then it has transformed my life and been contagious. My passion for reading has helped hundreds of people directly or indirectly. I believe the best friend to me is a person who gets me a copy of a great book (or even a title) which I have not read.  Christopher Dawson once said ‘The man who is fond of books is usually a man of lofty thoughts and of elevated opinions.’ Here is an attempt to make you a person of lofty thoughts and elevated opinions. Now it is time to reveal your gifts – two of my most admired books.
As a Man Thinketh by James Allen
Just get a glimpse of the content of this small and powerful book:
§ Every action and feeling is preceded by a thought.
§ Men do not attract what they want, but what they are.
§ Right thinking begins with the words we say to ourselves.
§ A man is literally what he thinks, his character being the complete sum of all his thoughts.
§ As the physically weak man can make himself strong by careful and patient training, so the man of weak thoughts, can make them strong by exercising himself in right thinking.
§ Cherish your visions. Cherish your ideals. Cherish the music that stirs in your heart, the beauty that forms in your mind, the loveliness that drapes your purest thoughts, for out of them will grow all delightful conditions, all heavenly environment, of these, if you but remain true to them your world will at last be built.
§ The soul attracts that which it secretly harbors, that which it loves, and also that which it fears. It reaches the height of its cherished aspirations. It falls to the level of its unchastened desires - and circumstances are the means by which the soul receives its own.
All in all, the book inspires to reach our highest potential and gives faith that we can do it. It is definitely a five star book.

The Ultimate Gift by Jim Stovall
Red Stevens was a self-made man who gave his family everything -- and ruined them in the process. Now, as his estate of oil companies and cattle ranches is divided among greedy and self-serving relatives, one member is singled out for something special: Red's great-nephew, Jason.
In a darkened room, isolated from the rest of his family, Jason is confronted by the image of his deceased great uncle on a video monitor. He finds out, he had to learn twelve lessons in next 12 months to get an unnamed inheritance (The Ultimate Gift) from his billionaire grandfather, he was not amused. But still he begins the journey - a 12 month quest for purpose and meaning in an empty life.
By the time he'd finished learning the imposed lessons, he'd become a different man. Ready to tackle the duties of running a multi-billion dollar trust, his plans for the year are once again derailed, this time by his pugnacious family. Not content with their cattle ranches and oil fields, his aunts, uncles and even his mother are determined to see every last dime entrusted to their own self-serving pockets. With none of the reluctance he initially showed for the The Ultimate Gift, he eagerly accepts the challenge and pushes himself to prove not only to his family and the court but the world, that with determination and the simple tenets of the The Ultimate Gift, anyone can lead The Ultimate Life.

The is a short cut to understand value of Work, Money, Friends, Learning, Problems, Family, Laughter, Dreams, Giving, Gratitude, Day and Love. This is another five star and one of my all time favorites.

Go get your copies and rock the world of your life.

Please do not forget to join the blog and write me a comment, once you get (and read) these two gifts. If you do not have time to visit bookstore, try; pay on delivery and avail heavy discounts too.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Walk with the wise!

Two frogs had lived in a village all their lives. They thought they would like to go and see the big city that was about ten miles away. They talked about it for a long time and at last they set off to see the city. Hurray!
The journey was more tiring than they expected, for they did not know much about travelling. Halfway between the village and the city there arose a mountain which had to be climbed. The frogs thought of resting for a while and fell into conversation. ‘We must be nearly there. Can you see the city?’ Asked one of them.
‘No,’ said the other frog; ‘but if I climb on your back I might be able to see it.’
So he climbed up on the back of the other frog to see the city.
Now when the frog put up his head, his eyes could only see what was behind and not what was in front. So he saw the village they had just left.
‘Can you see the city?’; asked the frog who was below.
‘Yes,’ answered the frog which had climbed up. ‘I can see it. It looks just like our village.’
Then the frogs thought that it was not worthwhile going any farther. They went back and told the frogs round the village that they had seen the city, and it was just like theirs. 
The moral of the story is clear- we must stand and walk with wiser people i.e. being like-minded or from same caste/ creed/ religion/ place is not a good reason to start a journey together. Instead we must strive to develop great wisdom, attitude and perspectives.

My mother taught me the same thing during my childhood in little different manner. She used to caution me, ‘If you want to become wise, you must walk with wiser. The person you are befriending with must have something or the other to teach you (and so do you to add value to his life) otherwise the friendship will make none of you better.’ Truly, he who walks with the wise grows wise but a companion of fools suffers harm. To walk with a person implies love and attachment; and it is impossible not to imitate those we love. So we say, ‘Show me his company and I will tell you the man. Let me know the company he keeps and I shall easily guess his moral character.’ Please do not get me wrong, I do not mean we consider ourselves superior and cut off with the people whom we label as inferior. Don’t label people. Be generous to all and try to give what you can – spread the knowledge & the joy around’.

The point is to identify few role models and great persons you adore. You can call them your close friends or may be call them, your personal board of advisors or counselors. This is a group you can trust upon in times when you need guidance & love and you can visit when you need peace of mind. Let me give you a thumb rule to measure greatness of a person (including yours) and you can measure others on this before befriending with them. Destiny of a person is defined by the books he reads, people he associates himself with and the words he speaks. Hence always try to know what books does the person reads, what kind of people he associates himself with and does he speak language of love, hope & commitment or is it full of hatred, despair and negation? I know a revolutionary who read every available book on Gandhi, came to India and met with as many people as he could who were associated with the Mahatma, visited all the places Gandhi spent time at. He tried to follow the principles, imitate the words of this supple man in loin cloth and just refused to walk against the values of humanity. He went on to become the great – Martin Luthar King Jr.

We are not dogs. We are human beings and the greatest blessing which we enjoy is - freedom to choose. We are free to choose the books we read (or don’t read at all), the people we associate with and the words we speak. Remember, good choice always brings good results.  

Let’s be humble and teachable.  Let’s choose godly influences for our lives. Let’s avoid the bad ones. With God’s grace, let’s walk with the wise and leave footprints on good paths for others to follow.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Don't give up!

A big, fat frog and a little frog fell into a milk pail with tall slippery sides. They swam and swam for hours to get out. Exhausted the big frog moaned, ‘Little brother frog, I am giving up!’ and he sank to the bottom of the pail.
The little frog thought, ‘If I give up I will die for sure, so I must keep on swimming’. Two hours passed and the little frog thought he could do no more. But as the thought of his dead brother frog, he roused his will saying, ‘To give up is certain death. I will keep on paddling until I die. I will not give up trying, for while there is life there is still hope’.
Intoxicated with determination, the little frog kept on paddling. After hours, when he felt paralyzed with fatigue and could paddle no more, he suddenly felt a big lump under his feet. His incessant paddling had churned the milk into butter! Standing on the butter mound with great joy, the little frog leaped from the milk pail to freedom.

We all are in slippery milk pail of life, trying to get free from obstacles and succeed in the battle like the two frogs. Most people give up trying and fail like the big frog. But we must learn to persevere in our efforts towards one goal, as the little frog did. 

This is a very crucial key for you if you want to succeed. Success will never come automatically. You must work incessantly and never give up if you desire for success. If you insist, keep on your hard work, in the end, the success will be yours. You must know that this is the spirit that you need to succeed in your life. Allow me to give you an example here.
If you took a hammer and hit the wall inside a house, what will happen? Nothing will happen, what you will get is just a loud “bang!” But what if you keep on hitting and hitting the very same wall? You will get a huge hole in the end; you can even make the whole house collapse with just a hammer. A lot of people who pursue for success give up in the end. And they waste a lot of their precious time the moment they give up. Why did I say so? Let me gives you a metaphor.
Imagine that there is a stone in front of you. You keep on hitting it until it breaks. If the stone breaks after you hit it for the 20 times, do you think that it is the 20th times that made the stone breaks? Absolutely not! The 1st to the 19th times, do contribute to break that stone. This is what happens in real life. Many people hit the stone until half way, say 10th times and they found that the stone is not breaking, they give up and stop hitting it. Then they search for other stone and hit it again. They keep on hitting and hitting, again, the stone never breaks and they give up again. Thus they waste the time and energy of hitting the first 10 times and get no result.
A quitter will never win and a winner will never quit.
Well, don’t worry if you fail because nobody will remember your failures after you succeed. Don’t believe in me? Look back at Thomas Edison, what do you think about him the moment you hear his name? I’m sure you will not think about his 10,000 failures instead the immediate thought is - he was a great man who gave light to the world.
Share your own personal story when you did not give up and emerged as a winner at last.