Posted in Family and Society, Life, Personal Musings, poetry, Quotes, Work

Defining Achievement

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

From the cradle and over the growing years of school, education be it academics, sports or extracurricular always speak of making something out of one’s life. The achievements may be possible in any field that one loves or chooses to be in. Slowly as one evolves from childhood, through adolescence and young adulthood, the realization strikes that achievement or accomplishments encompasses numerous things, from concept to realistic purposes and materialistic targets. Yet eventually what matters the most is the inner self.

“If you were born without wings, do nothing to prevent them from growing.” Coco Chanel

Excellence in a chosen field or the given talent is a definite must. But the right chords are struck not only by scoring laurels, but also by finding oneself in the process. The scales have to be balanced between personal and professional life; between social life, friends, family as well as find personal time to grow, develop and progress.

“The roots of true achievement lie in the will to become the best that you can become.” Harold Taylor

While achievements and accomplishments are important in life; it varies depending on how one defines it. While for some accomplishment means writing a book, owning vintage cars or running an organization; for others it lie in running the family and the household or being in the garden. Let each one to their respective own. As the adage goes, “too much of honey causes unrest”, the same lies with how we live our lives. One knows when the balance is right, once when the inner peace blossoms. True achievements bring out the happiness and peace within. The latter is what makes life all the more precious and worth the while.

“I think self-discovery is the greatest achievement in life, because once you discover yourself and accept what you are, then you can fulfil your true potential and be happy.” Marco Pierre White

The Art of Achievement
You hold in your hand the camel’s-hair brush of a painter of Life. You stand before the vast white canvas of Time.
The paints are your thoughts, emotions and acts.
You select the colours of your thoughts; drab or bright, weak or strong, good or bad.
You select the colours of your emotions; discordant or harmonious, harsh or quiet, weak or strong.
You select the colours of your acts; cold or warm, fearful or daring, small or big.
You visualize yourself as the person you want to be.
You strive to make the ideal in your mind become a reality on the canvas of Time.
Each moment of your life is a brush stroke in the painting of your growing career.
There are the bold, sweeping strokes of one increasing, dynamic purpose.
There are the lights and shadows that make your life deep and strong.
There are the little touches that add the stamp of character and worth.
The art of achievement is the art of making life – your life – a masterpiece.
Wilferd A. Peterson

Posted in Daily, Life, Personal Musings, Photography Art, Quotes, Stories Around the World, Work

Dance through the Storm

“ Your attitude is like a box of crayons that color your world. Constantly color your picture gray, and your picture will always be bleak. Try adding some bright colors to the picture by including humor, and your picture begins to lighten up.” Allen Klein

Although the skies have been still cloudy and the roads are wet and slippery, with children clambering to escape outdoors and get wet with every opportunity that presents; the regular downpours don’t seem like a hindrance. The daily adult life, both at home and at work involves getting past the rain and into safety of the indoor world, regaling adventures in, around, about and out of the rain. The dark clouds outside need not necessarily darken the mood within, especially if one doesn’t allow it to happen.

“Our attitudes control our lives. Attitudes are a secret power working twenty-four hours a day, for good or bad. It is of paramount importance that we know how to harness and control this great force.” Tom Blandi

Like the rainy days, each one of us have our own “personal bad”. Whether it be the lack of material comfort, an uncomfortable job or family situations, ill health, difficult employer or simply being there at the wrong time; things will pass on. Yet never let those dark moments define or destroy the brightness that each day brings forth. Just as each one has their own “kettle of troubles”, it’s how one reacts hen the water boils that makes all the difference. From being irritated by the noise or rising steam to whistling out a tune from the “singing steam”; one’s attitude defines the circumstances more than “the reverse manner”.

“Attitude is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than what people do or say. It is more important than appearance, giftedness, or skill.” Charles Swindoll

There once was a woman who woke up one morning, looked in the mirror, and noticed she had only three hairs on her head.
‘Well’, she said, ‘I think I’ll braid my hair today?’
So she did and she had a wonderful day.
The next day she woke up, looked in the mirror and saw that she had only two hairs on her head. ‘H-M-M,’ she said, ‘I think I’ll part my hair down the middle today?’ So she did and she had a grand day.
The next day she woke up, looked in the mirror and noticed that she had only one hair on her head. ‘Well,’ she said, ‘today I’m going to wear my hair in a pony tail.’ So she did and she had a fun, fun day.
The next day she woke up, looked in the mirror and noticed that there wasn’t a single hair on her head. ‘YEA!’ she exclaimed, ‘I don’t have to fix my hair today!’
Attitude is everything.
Author Unknown

“A healthy attitude is contagious but don’t wait to catch it from others. Be a carrier.” Anonymous

Posted in Daily, Family and Society, Life, Personal Musings, Quotes, Reflections, Stories Around the World

Altering the Echoes

“We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.” Anais Nin

Working in an organization, one never realizes how much their actions and behaviour speaks out louder than the words they say. The former influence the opinion of others around oneself more than the latter. From a purely retrospective philosophical point, the behavior met to oneself is in parts an echo of how one behaves towards others. Although kindness should be echoed in thought, behaviour and actions at all times; one goes the extra mile to be kind to those who make them feel the same.

“All the people sent to us are our reflection. And they are sent so that we, looking at these people, correct our mistakes, and when we correct them, these people either change too or leave our lives.” Boris Pasternak

While the tendency to put the fault on the other side of the fence is high especially when pertaining to wrong behaviour; the “why it happened” part may have something to do with what was done by the receiver of the deed some time before. True that people make mistakes and change over; but the consequence of the previous actions still leave an after effect felt sooner or later. To man up and face them, reflects the “new and real character of the person involved”. As one learns to correct themselves from the situations that mirror their own faults; learning to forgive, forget and accept the echoes returned helps one move forward on in life, making new memories and leaving clear and better footprints behind.

“Life is an echo. What you send out comes back. What you sow, you reap. What you give, you get. What you see in others, exists in you.” Zig Ziglar

There is a story about a father and his young son who were walking through the mountains. Suddenly, the son fell, hurting his leg on a rock. He screamed, ‘AAhhhh!’ To his surprise, he heard a voice repeating, ‘AAhhhh!’ This made him even more curious. So, he yelled, ‘Who are you?’ Back came the same answer, ‘Who are you?’Feeling a bit perturbed by this response, he yelled out, ‘Coward!’ Back came the same reply, ‘Coward!’

He looked at his father and asked: ‘What’s going on?’ His father smiled and said: ‘Son, pay attention.’Looking across the valley, his father yelled to the mountain, ‘I admire you!’ The voice answered: ‘I admire you!’ Again the man cried out: ‘You are a champion!’ The voice replied, ‘You are a champion!’ The boy was amazed, but he was very confused. So, his father explained…

‘You are only hearing an echo, the sound of our voices bouncing back from the mountains. However, this really is how life works. It returns to you what you think, say and do! Our lives are a reflection of our thoughts and actions. If you want more love in your world, create more love in your heart. If you want to be treated with kindness, treat others with kindness. If you want more competence on your team, become more competent.
This relationship applies to everything, in all aspects of life. Life will give to you, everything you give to it, only it will give you even more in return. Your life is not ever a coincidence. Each moment is a reflection of you!’ The son listened and grew in understanding, and through the following years, he witnessed the truth of these words in his life!
Author Unknown (


Posted in Daily, Life, Personal Musings, poetry, Quotes, Work

From Sand to Pearl

“Nobody is exempt from the trials of life, but everyone can always find something positive in everything even in the worst of times.” Roy T. Bennett

Imagine waking up on the busy week days with no electricity in the house. From breakfast to lunch to be made ready and ironing not possible; the day starts off with a feeling of incompleteness marked by irritation. While commuting, the long unexpected long traffic jams increases the probability of being late for the kid’s school as well as office, driving the sense of irritation stronger and higher. Other instances like waiting for the teller in the long queue, till the point when it is one’s turn, midday break is due; or when during major retail and wholesale shopping queues are merged when cash counter machines default; or when one is stuck in the elevator, getting late for a meeting and a power outage happens. There are many more instances that can fill a page, wherein one is forced to bitten by the irritation bug and is helpless to do anything about it.

“If you are irritated by every rub, how will you be polished?” Rumi

What one fails to realize many a time, is that although the situation may be beyond our control, the reaction to it is in our hands. Being human, the feel of irritation will happen; yet how to face it, use it, temper it down and master the situation to one’s benefit will go a long way in changing the entire scenario, either in the short or the long run. Like the fire that brightens the silver and gold; one can get better of the common day hindrances. Those situations that may initially seem like a blight on the day, can be worked out and later be used to refine oneself to become a better human.

“I’ve found that worry and irritation vanish into thin air the moment I open my mind to the many blessings i possess.” Dale Carnegie

The Oyster
There once was an oyster whose story I tell,
who found that some sand had got into his shell.

It was only a grain, but it gave him great pain,
for oysters have feelings although they’re so plain.

Now, did he berate the harsh workings of fate
that brought him to such a deplorable state?

Did he curse at the government, cry for election,
and claim that the sea should have given him protection?

No – he said to himself as he lay on a shell,
since I cannot remove it I shall try to improve it.

Now the years have rolled around, as the years always do.
and he came to his ultimate destiny, a stew.

And the small grain of sand that had bothered him so,
was a beautiful pearl all richly aglow.

Now the tale has a moral, for isn’t it grand,
what an oyster can do with a morsel of sand?

What couldn’t we do if we’d only begin,
with some of the things that get under our skin?

Author Unknown

Posted in Family and Society, Life, Personal Musings, Stories Around the World

Missed Out

In one of the recent birthday celebrations, one of the party games was to ask the blindfolded person was asked to to guess what was wrapped in the paper by feeling out the package through tactile methods. While some got their guesses right, many went way off track; which was the fun of the game. Introspectively one plays a lot of the “blind guesses in life”.

“Blessings sometimes show up in unrecognizable disguises.” Janette Oke

One of the perils of engaging the human mind is that it thinks way off track than the reality. When in a conundrum, the human mind brings more things to imagination than the reality. Consequently a lot is lost in life as one is too busy wildly speculating, instead living in the present. On the other hand, when one waits for events to unfold and see what is at hand; the blessings enjoyed would be many.

“Learn to get in touch with the silence within yourself, and know that everything in life has purpose. There are no mistakes, no coincidences, all events are blessings given to us to learn from.” Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

Unfortunately the human mind learns most through certain regrets in life. Then it may be too late to change things and get back on track. Each one of us have been given the gift of the present. Instead of guessing out whether we will receive what we have always asked for; continue to put in one’s best shot in life. Doing the latter, would result in better blessings or gifts, more that one may have dreamed of. Losing out on the blessings due to one’s pride, arrogance, blind expectations or insecurities can result in opportunities being missed, lost relationships and precious time wasted. Although by the time, hindsight, regrets and remedial measures may be taken, it may be too late to do them.

“Sometimes we don’t realize the blessings we have until we no longer have them. Appreciate all the blessings in your life, take none for granted.” Catherine Pulsifer

A young man was getting ready to graduate from university. For a long time he had admired a beautiful sports car in a dealers showroom and knowing his father could well afford it, he told his Dad that was all he wanted. As his graduation day approached the young man began looking for signs that his father had bought the car. Finally on the morning of his graduation, his father called him into his study. His father told him how proud he was to have such a fine son and he told him how much he loved him. He handed his son a beautifully wrapped gift box. Curious, but somewhat disappointed, the young man opened the box and found a lovely leather bound Bible with the young man’s name embossed in gold. Angry, he raised his voice to his father and said, ‘With all your money you give me a Bible?’ and then stormed out of the house, leaving the Bible.

Many years passed and the young man was very successful in his own business. He had a beautiful home and wonderful family, but realised his father was very old and thought perhaps he should go to him as he had not spoken to him since that graduation day. Before he could make arrangements, he received a telegram telling him that his father had passed away and had willed all his possessions to his son so he needed to come home and take care of things. When he arrived at his father’s house sadness and regret filled his heart. He began sorting through his fathers papers and saw the still new Bible just as he had left it years ago.

With tears in his eyes he opened the Bible and began to turn the pages. His father had carefully underlined a verse . . . Matthew – 7:11, ‘And if ye, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your heavenly Father which is in Heaven give to those who ask him?’As he read these words a car key dropped from the back of the Bible. It had a tag with the dealers name and on the tag was the date of his graduation and the words paid in full.
How many times do we miss out on blessings because they are not packaged as we expected?
Author Unknown (


Posted in Daily, Family and Society, Personal Musings, Quotes, Stories Around the World, Work

The Way We Phrase Them

“But words are things, and a small drop of ink,
Falling like dew, upon a thought, produces
That which makes thousands, perhaps millions, think.”
– George Gordon, Lord Byron

Reasoning with a child especially of the preschool years, or getting out of their earnest request for their wishes is never easy. The reason being simply is the way they put across their choices with words. From the initial demand of “I want that” to requests pleading “may I please have it” to outright tantrums and then finally the round-about way. The latter is the most difficult one to get out of. The “round-about” ways include “If I would get that new cycle, then I’ll be able to spend less television time and more play”, “new roller blades translates as more exercise” or “the more ice cream and the more veggies trade” and so on. During most of these occasions, what strikes me as most remarkable is their way with words as they put across what they want.

“You can change the course of your life with your words.” Anonymous

The age old conflict of the “pen or the sword being mighty”, it’s the essence of the words that have the power over both. The way we say things have a powerful effect. While positive words leave a good feeling behind, besides changing many perspectives for the better along the way; negative words can have a drastic impact as well. For instance the negative emotions especially at the work place; to put across one’s anger, from direct hurtful words to pointed polite reminders or snide remarks, there are different ways to express out the emotion. Although in doing so, the task may or mayn’t be done; but more than that the bitter taste of the words have the potency to darken the mood of the day. What we say matters. The way we say matters. The “how” we say matters.

“If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.” Nelson Mandela

For those days, when we think silence speaks louder than words; at times they may do; but when those words which should be spoken aren’t said, misunderstandings may happen, sometimes reversible; or not. It’s so easy to break, but difficult to repair whether they be people, time or relationships.

Words when born out of concern, kindness, humaneness, love and understanding have the brightness to turn the most stark, dull or difficult occasions into stepping stones as well bring courage to brave the darkness and survive. Yet words when in haste, when in anger, thoughtless or out of tune to the situation and scenario, have the potential to destroy and impair beyond the perceived boundaries.

Words and communication are a gift. While on one hand we have the gift of the using the right words at the right times, the other deep end is either ceaseless chatter, verbal diarrhea, thoughtless and hurtful talk. Being at both ends, that of the sender and the receiver, will teach us through experience and lessons that words can change one’s live, no matter how small or big it may be.

“For me, words are a form of action, capable of influencing change. Their articulation represents a complete, lived experience.” Ingrid Bengis

One day a blind man was sitting on the steps of a building with a hat near his feet and a sign saying: “I am blind, please help.”
One person passed by and stopped. He saw a disabled person who had only a few coins in his hat. He threw him a couple of coins and, without his permission, wrote new words on the tablet. He left her a blind man and left.
By the end of the day, he returned and saw that the hat was full of coins. The blind man recognized him step by step and asked if he was the person who had rewritten the tablet. The blind also wanted to know exactly what he wrote. He replied:
– Nothing that would be wrong. I just wrote it a little differently.
He smiled and left.
A new inscription on the plate was: “It’s spring now, but I can’t see it.”

“There is something about words. In expert hands, manipulated deftly, they take you prisoner. Wind themselves around your limbs like spider silk, and when you are so enthralled you cannot move, they pierce your skin, enter your blood, numb your thoughts. Inside you they work their magic.” Diane Setterfield

Posted in Daily, Family and Society, Life, poetry, Quotes, Reflections

At the Next Chapter

“Attitude is a choice. Happiness is a choice. Optimism is a choice. Kindness is a choice. Giving is a choice. Respect is a choice. Whatever choice you make makes you. Choose wisely.” Roy T. Bennett

With one of the extended members of the family entering into the “college” phase of their life, stepping out of the “home nest” becomes a must in order to enter the accepted college. As the young adolescent enters the “independent phase” maturing into the young adult; adapting to the new environment, doing well both in academics and social life, making wise decisions and moving on comfortably in life is the prayer in the mind of every family elder, especially parents.

“Do what is right, not what is easy nor what is popular.” Roy T. Bennett

Being solely independent for the first time in college life may be slightly scary where one is uncertain of the next step or what may happen. Yet staying true to the own conscience, doing right, being fair, understanding, kind as well as practical helps in the transition from home to college. Meeting various fellow individuals with different perspectives and personalities may seem a bit daunting at first, especially for the pure introverts. Yet believe in oneself and the goodness of life; things mayn’t seem so difficult then. Situations will arise, judgement and opinions will be made, either within or out loud by society. Be kind when judging for those shoes may be worn by oneself at some other point of life.

“Judge tenderly, if you must. There is usually a side you have not heard, a story you know nothing about, and a battle waged that you are not having to fight.” Traci Lea Larussa

Be kind. Be just. Think well. Do one’s own best. Be prepared for the worst. When yours truly had attended college and “dorm life” for the first life, these were the first few pieces of advice received. Following these basic guidelines will help later in life as well. Life is there to make memories, receive new teachings, learn, undergo experiences to remember as well as to make mistakes, forgive and learn from the “bad moments”. The journey is complete when one learns to use the downhills to view the uphills. The path was never easy but that’s what makes the travel beautiful and meaningful.

“Life is about accepting the challenges along the way, choosing to keep moving forward, and savoring the journey.” Roy T. Bennett

Going out into the world from the threshold of the earth
Do not deprive yourself of good thoughts, –
Do not judge strictly and unequivocally,
And do not rush down to look down.

Understand: maybe something did not understand
You’re in a strange, very difficult fate.
Or outta – in the pursuit of truth?
Did pride leap at you?

Maybe before you invade the soul,
You forgot to look in the eyes?
Very rarely we know how to listen,
Very few are able to endure.

Do not judge unequivocally and strictly –
Keep the joy of your heart.
Do not judge: we all walk under God,
All are His beloved children.
-Rus Svyataya