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, 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 Family and Society, Life, Personal Musings, poetry, Quotes, Reflections

Reality….Over The Years

“A person is formed by experiences. The past is a blind sculptor. To deny that artist his masterwork is to mock your own experience.” Jim Starlin

One of the biggest reality checks of being an adult is that one has to battle with a host of consequences, decisions, situations and regrets often moving along as a chain of sorts. At times, they may not be in one’s hands but a lot dependent as an outcome of the actions of others. Yet those actions incite the reaction in one, which has the drastic consequences. Thereby the cycle gets initiated and events set in motion.

“The truth is, we all face hardships of some kind, and you never know the struggles a person is going through. Behind every smile, there’s a story of a personal struggle.” Adrienne C. Moore

Reality is, no matter how hard one tries; how careful or pleasant one attempts to be, there are bound to be many “ups” and “downs” in the short time that we have on earth. The way how one handles them and moves on, is what matters the most. While sometimes we may be able to figure out things or set a pattern; there would be never be a hard and fast rule that would ensure everything would be done by the right way.

“He who knows no hardships will know no hardihood. He who faces no calamity will need no courage. Mysterious though it is, the characteristics in human nature which we love best grow in a soil with a strong mixture of troubles.” Harry Emerson Fosdick

The beauty of time, is that it helps us to grow and learn from the past for the future. Mistakes or struggles, at times in a similar manner may happen time and again, but learning to overcome them makes all the difference. As proved through the tests of time over centuries and as history has shown man; eventually we will overcome and things would make sense at the end; as long as one never loses hope.

“And then things would be fine. Then I’d be fine.” Sarah J. Maas

As we grow up, we learn that even the one person that wasn’t supposed to ever let you down probably will.
You will have your heart broken probably more than once and it’s harder every time.
You’ll break hearts too, so remember how it felt when yours was broken.
You’ll fight with your best friend.
You’ll blame a new love for things an old one did.
You’ll cry because time is passing too fast, and you’ll eventually lose someone you love.
So take too many pictures, laugh too much, and love like you’ve never been hurt because every sixty seconds you spend upset is a minute of happiness you’ll never get back.
Don’t be afraid that your life will end, be afraid that it will never begin.
Author Unknown

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

Of Own Niche

“Don’t set your goals by what other people deem important.” Jaachynma N.E. Agu

Leafing through the high school year book and the annual school magazine, recollections of the younger days resurface to mind. From photographs with class teachers, medal winners of sports, academic and cultural snaps to the articles written by juniors, seniors and classmates bring out the nostalgia. Those days the aspirations were to be successful in life, have fun and do what we love to do.

“What we love to do in life”

Many a time, the daily grind forces us to be something that one doesn’t want to be, especially career wise. Whether it be an artist trapped in accounting, a writer trapped in the office network, a musician taking salesman post for a living; all these are required when one needs to earn their bread and butter. However, the gifted talents should never be wasted. Yet pursuing something that is completely out of one’s league is alarmingly dangerous not only to them, but to other colleagues. While attaining a basic education and graduation is important; let it not drive one to kill their own originality and become something that one never was. Each one is gifted with a special talent. While it may necessary to engage in the working network to earn the daily living; let those God-given talents never be wasted but worked on, no matter how small the progress be and let one’s work shine and speak for themselves.

“Every man has a specific skill, whether it is discovered or not, that more readily and naturally comes to him than it would to another, and his own should be sought and polished. He excels best in his niche – originality loses its authenticity in one’s efforts to obtain originality.” Criss Jami

Call him Johnnie Martin, a young Canadian boy. He was the son of a carpenter, and his mother worked as a housekeeper. They lived frugal lives, saving their money for the day when they could send their son to college. Johnnie had reached the second year in high school when the blow fell. A psychologist attached to the school called the young man, just reached sixteen, into his private office and this is what he said. ‘Johnnie, I’ve been studying your marks and I’ve gone over your various tests in motor and sensory impressions – your physical examination. I’ve made a very careful study of you and your achievements.’ ‘I’ve been trying hard,’ put in Johnnie. ‘That’s just the trouble.’ said the psychologist. ‘You have worked very hard indeed – but it has not helped. You just don’t seem able to get ahead in your studies. You’re just not cut out for it, and for you to remain in high school would, in my opinion, be a waste of time.’ The boy buried his face in his hands. ‘This will be hard on my mother and father,’ he said. ‘Their one idea is for me to be a college man.’ The psychologist laid his hand on the boy’s shoulder. ‘People have different kinds of talents, Johnnie,’ he said. ‘There are painters who were never able to learn the multiplication table, and engineers who can’t sing on key. But every one of us has something special – and you are no exception. Some day you will find what your special gift is and when you do, you will make your parents very proud of you.’ Johnnie never went back to school. Jobs were scarce in town, but he managed to keep busy mowing the lawns of the householders and puttering in their flower-beds. And then a curious thing happened. Before long his customers began to notice that Johnnie had what they called a ‘green thumb’. The plants he tended grew and blossomed, and the rose trees blossomed. He fell into the habit of making suggestions for re-arranging the tiny front-yard landscapes. He had an eye for colour and could make surprising combinations that pleased the eye.

One day while he was down town he happened to notice a stretch of unused land behind the city hall. Chance or fate or whatever you may like to call it brought one of the town’s alderman round the corner just at that moment. Impetuously the boy said, ‘I can make a garden out of this dump, if you’ll let me.’ ‘The town’s got no money for frills,’ said the alderman. ‘I don’t want any money for it,’ said the boy – ‘I just want to do it.’
The alderman, being a politician, was astounded to find anyone who did not want money, under any and all circumstances. He took Johnnie into an office, and when the young man came out he had the authority to clean up the public eyesore. That very afternoon he borrowed extra tools and seeds and soil. Someone gave him a few young trees to plant. When others heard of it they offered rose-bushes and even a hedge. Then the town’s leading manufacturer heard of it, and volunteered to supply some benches. Before long the dreary old dump had become a little park. There were grassy lawns and little curving walks and restful seats and little house for birds. All the towns people were talking about what a lovely improvement the young man had made. But it was also a kind of show window for Johnnie. People saw the result of his skill and knew him for a natural landscape gardener.

That was twenty five years ago. Today Johnnie is the head of a prosperous business in landscape gardening. His customers extend into neighbouring provinces. Johnnie still cannot speak French or translate Latin, trigonometry is unknown to him. But colour and light and lovely prospects are his bread and butter. His aging parents are proud of Johnnie, for he is not only a success – a man of affairs and a member of the best clubs in town – he has also made his part of the world a lovelier place to live in. Where ever he and his men go, they spread beauty before the eyes of people.
Source – Modern Parables by Fulton Oursler. First published in 1951

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 Daily, Family and Society, poetry, Quotes, Reflections, Work

Deep Within

“The gem cannot be polished without friction, nor man perfected without trials.” Chinese Proverb

While stepping into primary school, the enjoyment of the preschooler or kinder-gardener child is at times, marred by the sudden fear of how will school be, will their pre-school friends be there and above all, will one survive. Similar emotions resurface on entering middle school and high school. During each step, there is a constant surge of excitement on attaining the next level, albeit marked by the shadows of fear. During the later high school years, choices, decisions and plans have to be made, on how one wants to shape out their individual lives. From then on, the daily grind involves a battle of fears and uncertainties in own potential as well as the world around one.

“Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you’re doing the impossible.” Francis of Assisi

While attending the graduation of children of family friends, the emotions across many “graduated faces” all echoed the above sentiments. Looking back on own struggles, difference and growth in life largely involves believing in oneself. During the struggle for the better, emotions range from determination, intermittent fear and insecurity as well as hopes continuously flit in and out. The degree of how much one gives in to the “negative emotions” than the positive ones, all changes the outlook, the effort and ultimately the outcome.

“Turn your wounds into wisdom.” Oprah Winfrey

Each individual has the potential to be better than the other at something or the other. Talents are unique in manner, form, presentation and outcome. While others may view facets of these; the entire picture is viewed by the individual alone. That alone makes the big difference for it settles the restlessness in one’s mind, body and soul. The journey in life moves forward by keeping all the senses in motion. For happiness, peace and contentment to touch one’s life, learning to conquer their inner world made of fears, temporary obstacles, insecurities and the like, makes the “better parts of life” attainable and worth every effort to get them.

“The pessimist complains about the wind, the optimist expects it to change and the realist adjusts the sails.” William Arthur Ward

There’s nothing you cannot do
There’s nothing to fear, you’re as good as the best.
As strong as the mightiest, too.
You can win in every battle or test.
For there’s no one just like you.

There’s only one you in the world today.
So nobody else, you see.
Can do your work in as fine a way.
You’re the only you there’ll be.

So face the world, and all life is yours.
To conquer and love and live.
And you’ll find the happiness that endures.
In just the measure you give.

There’s nothing too good for you to possess.
Nor heights where you cannot go.
Your power is more than belief or guess.
It is something you have to know.

There is nothing to fear, you can and you will.
For you are the invincible you.
Set your foot on the highest hill.
There’s nothing you cannot do.
Author Unknown

“The most beautiful people I’ve known are those who have known trials, have known struggles, have known loss, and have found their way out of the depths.” Elizabeth Kübler-Ross

Posted in Daily, Life, Personal Musings, poetry

Reality of the Frequent “Cannot”

“Opportunities will come and go, but if you do nothing about them, so will you.” Richie Norton

One of the most frequently encountered on assigning any project at the high school age group is the word “can’t”. Those “cannot”s revolve around the excuses of lack of time, to increased work load, less fun time, more effort required and so on. The resonance of “cannot”s increases almost in proportional to the effort or inconvenience caused. While in school life, “the cannot”s are heard maximum when asked to help in household chores, baby sit, accompany on hospital visits or grocery shopping; adult life “cannot”s echo almost a similar vein albeit largely increasing the responsibility level.

“Whenever you are asked if you can do a job, tell ’em, ‘Certainly I can!’ Then get busy and find out how to do it.” Theodore Roosevelt

Little does one realize the potential havoc caused by that word or emotion “can’t”. From an opportunity to learn or do something new, grow in responsibility, bond together, chance on new avenue of opportunities and so on; are all lost at that single word “can’t”. While can’t may be really necessary at certain points in life; frequently indulging them will result in more loss than gain in the long run.

“Never say that you can’t do something, or that something seems impossible, or that something can’t be done, no matter how discouraging or harrowing it may be; human beings are limited only by what we allow ourselves to be limited by: our own minds. We are each the masters of our own reality; when we become self-aware to this: absolutely anything in the world is possible. Master yourself, and become king of the world around you. Let no odds, chastisement, exile, doubt, fear, or ANY mental virii prevent you from accomplishing your dreams. Never be a victim of life; be it’s conqueror.” Mike Norton

Can’t is the worst word that’s written or spoken;
Doing more harm here than slander and lies;
On it is many a strong spirit broken,
And with it many a good purpose dies.
It springs from the lips of the thoughtless each morning
And robs us of courage we need through the day:
It rings in our ears like a timely sent warning
And laughs when we falter and fall by the way.

Can’t is the father of feeble endeavour,
The parent of terror and half hearted work;
It weakens the efforts of artisans clever,
And makes of the toiler an indolent shirk.
It poisons the soul of the man with a vision,
It stifles in infancy many a plan;
It greets honest toiling with open derision
And mocks at the hopes and the dreams of a man.

Can’t is a word none should speak without blushing;
To utter it should be a symbol of shame;
Ambition and courage it daily is crushing;
It blights a man’s purpose and shortens his aim.
Despise it with all of your hatred of error;
Refuse it the lodgement it seeks in your brain;
Arm against it as a creature of terror,
And all that you dream of you someday shall gain.

Can’t is the word that is for to ambition,
An enemy ambushed to shatter your will;
Its prey is forever the man with a mission
And bows but to courage and patience and skill.
Hate it, with hatred that’s deep and undying,
For once it is welcomed ’twill break any man;
Whatever the goal you are seeking, keep trying
and answer this demon by saying: ‘I can.’
-Edgar A. Guest