Sunday, November 16, 2008

The Tip

In the days when an ice cream sundae cost much less, a 10-year-old boy entered a hotel coffee shop and sat at a table. A waitress put a glass of water in front of him.

'How much is an ice cream sundae?' he asked.
'Fifty cents,' replied the waitress.

The little boy pulled his hand out of his pocket and studied the coins in it.
'Well, how much is a plain dish of ice cream?' he inquired.

By now more people were waiting for a table and the waitress was growing impatient.

'Thirty-five cents,' she brusquely replied.
The little boy again counted his coins.
'I'll have the plain ice cream,' he said.

The waitress brought the ice cream, put the bill on the table and walked away. The boy finished the ice cream, paid the cashier and left. When the waitress came back, she began to cry as she wiped down the table. There, placed neatly beside the empty dish, were two nickels and five pennies... her tip.

You see, he couldn't have the sundae, because he had to have enough left to leave her a tip.

In our daily lives, we get to meet many people who work painstakingly, help us & serve us in one way or another. They all are significant and deserve our attention and care, and the least we can do is smile and say "hello" to them.

Prepare 3 envelopes...

A fellow had just been hired as the new CEO of a large high tech corporation. The CEO who was stepping down met with him privately and presented him with three numbered envelopes. "Open one of these if you run up against a problem you don't think you can solve," he said.

Well, things went along pretty smoothly, but six months later, sales took a downturn and he was really catching a lot of heat. About at his wit's end, he remembered the envelopes.He went to his drawer and took out the first envelope. The message read, "Blame your predecessor." The new CEO called a press conference and tactfully laid the blame at the feet of the previous CEO. Satisfied with his comments, the press - and Wall Street - responded positively, sales began to pick up and the problem was soon behind him.

About a year later, the company was again experiencing a slight dip in sales, combined with serious product problems. Having learned from his previous experience, the CEO quickly opened the second envelope. The message read, "Reorganize." This he did, and the company quicly rebounded. After several consecutive profitable quarters, the company once again fell on difficult times. The CEO went to his office, closed the door and opened the third envelope. The message said, "Prepare three envelopes."

Sunday, November 9, 2008

We'll See

Once upon a time, there lived a farmer, who didn't have a lot of money and, instead of a tractor, he used an old horse to plow his field.

One afternoon, while working in the field, the horse dropped dead. Everyone in the village said, "Oh, what a horrible thing to happen." The farmer said simply, "We'll see." He was so at peace and so calm, that everyone in the village got together and, admiring his attitude, gave him a new horse as a gift.

Everyone's reaction now was, "What a lucky man." And the farmer said, "We'll see."
A couple days later, the new horse jumped a fence and ran away. Everyone in the village shook their heads and said , "What a poor fellow !"
The farmer smiled and said, "We'll see."

Eventually, the horse found his way home, and everyone again said, "What a fortunate man."
The farmer said,"We'll see."

Later in the year, the farmer's young boy went out riding on the horse and fell and broke his leg. Everyone in the village said, "What a shame for the poor boy." The farmer said, "We'll see."

Two days later, the army came into the village to draft new recruits. When they saw that the farmer's son had a broken leg, they decided not to recruit him.
Everyone said, "What a fortunate young man."
The farmer smiled again and said, "We'll see."

There's no use in overreacting to the events and circumstances of our everyday lives. Many times what looks like a setback, may actually be a gift in disguise. And when our hearts are in the right place, all events and circumstances are gifts that we can learn valuable lessons from.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Wealth, Success or Love?

A woman came out of her house and saw three old men with long white beards sitting in her front yard. She did not recognize them. She said, "I don't think I know you, but you must be hungry. Please come in and have something to eat."

"We do not go into a house together," they replied. "Why is that?" she wanted to know. One of the old men explained, "His name is Wealth," said pointing to one of his friends, and said, pointing to another one, "He is Success, and I am Love." Then he added, "Now go in and discuss with your husband which one of us you want in your home."

The woman went in and told her husband what was said. Her husband was overjoyed.
"How nice!" he said. "since that is the case, let us invite Wealth. Let him come in and fill our home with wealth!" His wife disagreed. "My dear, why don't we invite Success?" Their daughter-in-law was listening from another corner of the house. She jumped in with her own suggestion: "Would it not be better to invite Love? Our home will then be filled with love!" "Let us heed our daughter-in-law's advice," said the husband to his wife." Go out and invite Love to be our guest."

The woman went out and asked the three old men, "Which one of you is Love? Please come in and be our guest." Love got up and started walking toward the house. The other two also got up and followed him. Surprised, the woman asked Wealth and Success: "I only invited Love, why are you coming in?"

The old men replied together: " If you had invited Wealth or Success, the other two of us would have stayed out, but since you invited Love, wherever he goes, we go with him.
Wherever there is Love, there is Wealth and Success!!!"

"Where there is pain, we wish you peace and mercy. Where there is self-doubting, we wish you a renewed confidence in your ability to work through it. Where there is tiredness, or exhaustion, we wish you understanding, patience, and renewed strength. Where there is fear, we wish you love, and courage."

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Struggle a Little - Then Fly !

A man found a cocoon of a butterfly, that he brought home.

One day a small opening appeared he sat and watched the butterfly for several hours. It struggled to force its body through that little hole. Then it seemed to stop making any progress. It appeared as if it had gotten as far as it could and it could go no farther.

So the man decided to help the butterfly. He took a pair of scissors and snipped off the remaining bit of the cocoon. The butterfly then emerged easily, but, it had a swollen body and small, shriveled wings. He continued to watch the butterfly, he expected that, at any moment, the wings would enlarge and the body would contract. Neither happened!

In fact, the butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around with a swollen body and shriveled wings. It was never able to fly.

The man acted with well-intentioned kindness but he didn't understand the consequences. The restricting cocoon and the struggle required to get through the tiny opening, were nature's way of forcing fluid from the body of the butterfly once it achieved its freedom from the cocoon.

Sometimes struggles are exactly what we need in our life. If we were to go through life without any obstacles, it would cripple us. We would not be as strong as we could have been and we could never fly.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Two Wolves

One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people. He said,"My son,the battle is between two wolves inside us all.

One is Evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.

The other is Good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith."

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: "Which wolf wins?"

The old Cherokee simply replied, "The one you feed."

Each person creates the inner peace or discord that flows out into the world. We cannot create world peace if we are riddled with inner conflict, hatred, doubt, or anger. We radiate the feelings and thoughts that we hold inside, whether we speak them or not. Whatever is splashing around inside of us is spilling out into the world, creating beauty or discord with all other circles of life.

When Forrest Gump met St.Peter

The day finally arrived : Forrest Gump died and went to Heaven. He stood at the Pearly Gates, met by St.Peter himself.

St.Peter said. "Well, Forrest, it's certainly good to see you. We have heard a lot about you. But I must inform you that the place is filling up fast, and we've been administering an entrance examination for everyone. The test is short and you have to pass before you can get into heaven. The questions are:

1) What days of the week begin with the letter T?
2) How many seconds are there in a year?
3) What is God's first name?"

Forrest said, "Well the first one- how many days in the week begin with the lettter "T"? That one's easy. That'd be Today and Tomorrow."
The saint's eyes opened wide and he exclaimed, "Forrest, that's not what I was thinking; but, I'll give you credit for that answer."

"How about the second one?" asked St.Peter... "How many seconds in a year?"
"Now that one's harder," replied Forrest,"but I thunk and thunk and guess the only answer can be twelve."
Astounded, St.Peter said, "Twelve? Twelve? Forrest, how in Heaven's name could you come up with twelve seconds in a year?"
"Shucks, there's gotta be twelve: January 2nd, February 2nd, March 2nd,..."
"Hold it," interrupted St.Peter. "I see where you're going with this, and I'll have to give you credit for that one, too.

Let's go on with the next and final question. Can you tell me God's first name?"
"Sure" Forrest replied, "its Andy."
"Andy?!" exclaimed an exasperated and frustrated St.Peter. "OK, I can understand how you came up with your answers to my first two questions, but just how in the world did you come up with the name of Andy as the first name of God ?"
"That was the easiest one of all," Forrest replied.


St.Peter opened the Pearly Gates and said: "Run, Forrest, Run."

Monday, October 13, 2008

The 99 Club

Once upon a time, there lived a King who, despite his luxurious lifestyle, was neither happy nor content.

One day, the King came upon a servant who was singing happily while he worked. This fascinated the King and he asked the servant, "Why are you so happy?" The man replied,"Your Majesty, I am nothing but a servant, but my family and I don't need too much - just a roof over our heads and warm food to fill our tummies."

The King was not satisfied with his reply and sought the advise of his most trusted advisor. The advisor said, "Your majesty, I believe that the servant has not been made part of The 99 Club."
"The 99 Club? And what exactly is that?", the King enquired. The advisor suggested that to know more about the club, he must leave a bag of 99 gold coins at servant's doorsteps.

When the servant found the bag and opened it, he let out a great shout of joy...So many gold coins. However, after counting them he wondered, "What could have happened to the last gold coin? Surely, no one would leave 99 coins!"

He looked everywhere he could, but that final coin was elusive. Finally, exhausted, he decided to work hard to earn that extra coin and complete his collection. Soon, his life changed : he was overworked, horribly grumping, started complaining about trivial matters and he stopped singing while he worked.

When the King saw this, he asked his advisor about his servant's drastic transformation.

The advisor replied, " Your servant has now joined The 99 Club. It is a club for those people who have enough to be happy but they are never contented. They keep telling themseleves: "Let me get that one final thing and then I'll be happy for life."

We can be happy, even with little in our lives, but the minute we're given something bigger and better, we want even more! We lose our sleep, our happiness, we hurt people around us: all these as a price for our growing needs and desires. That's what joining The 99 Club is all about."

Monday, October 6, 2008

Touching Lives

It was a sports stadium. Eight children were standing on the track to participate in the running event.
* Ready !
* Steady !
* Bang !!!

With the sound of toy pistol, all eight girls started running. Hardly have they covered ten to fifteen steps, one of the smaller girls slipped and fell down. Due to bruises and pain she started crying. When other seven girls heard this sound, stopped running, stood for a while and turned back, they all ran back to the place where the girl fell down. One among them bent, picked and kissed the girl gently and enquired 'Now pain must have reduced'. All seven girls lifted the fallen girl, pacified her, two of them held the girl firmly and then all seven joined hands together and walked together and reached the winning post. Officials were shocked. Clapping of thousands of spectators filled the stadium. Many eyes were filled with tears and perhaps it had reached the GOD even!

I haven't cooked up this story for my readers. YES. This actually happened in Hyderabad (India), recently! The sport was conducted by National Institute of Mental Health. All these special girls had come to participate in this event and they are Spastic children. Yes, they were mentally challenged. What did they teach this world?

Teamwork? Humanity? Equality among all !

Let's just not live for ourselves. Help others who are in need. Let's give them a reason to smile.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Get The Midas Touch

A group of researchers put some coins in the coin return slots of public pay phones and then watched the people who made calls to see if they would reach in to check if there was any change that someone before them forgot.

Whenever a person retrieved the coins from the money return slot, one of the researchers walked up to the person and said that they think that they left some money in the phone, by chance, notice any money in the slot? 97% of the people who took money from the coin slot said no, that they hadn't found any money in the phone. They lied.

With the next group of money grabbers, then the researchers changed thier approach.
Now, instead of asking the way they did before, when they asked the people who had taken the money out of the coin return slot if they had noticed any money in the slot, the researchers lightly touched the people on the arm or shoulder. Ready for this?

95% of the people who had been touched said that, yes, they had found some coins in the slot, and gave it to the researcher.

From 97% dishonesty to 95% honesty....
And the only variable was the touch on the arm.
Now why would that be?

Well, when we like people and when they like us, we touch them and they touch us... either with hugs, pats on the back, hand holding, ticking, high-fiving, wrestling, kissing, a quick rub, a massage... lots of different ways.
Sure... to show approval and to celebrate, we touch. Its just automatic... built into us. And we love it.

So, when the researchers touched the people they were studying while they asked them if they found any change in the coin slot, the people immediately felt more comfortable and closer to the researcher...Instantly closer. All because of a touch.

So, what's the lesson?

If you want to gain trust and familiarity, try a gentle and familiar touch and you will get your way and persuade others to your way of thinking a whole lot more often.
People will most definitely respond positively if a touch is innocent enough and not sleezy.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Attitude Determines Altitude

The story is told of a woman who during the war went to live with her husband in camp on the Mojave Desert.
She simply hated the place; the heat was almost unbearable, 125 degrees in the shade, the wind blew incessantly, and there was sand- sand everywhere.
Finally, in desperation she wrote to her parents in Ohio that she couldn't stand it another minute and was coming home.
Quickly came the reply by airmail from her father - just the two familiar lines:
"Two men looked out from the prison bars... one saw the mud, the other saw stars."
The daughter did some real thinking, not only with the intellect but also with her heart. She decided to stick to her post.
She made friends with the natives, learned to love the country, and eventually wrote a book about it.
The desert hadn't changed, but her attitude had. Because she listened with her heart to the words her father sent, a whole New World opened up to her.

So, the next time you have a problem -- at home or at work, big or small -- decide to manage your attitude toward it. Try changing your beliefs about the problem. When you change your beliefs, you also change the consequences of the situation.

Unlike some things in life, we can choose our outlook. Sometimes we just need a reminder that happiness can often simply be a result of choosing attitudes.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

The Magical Mustard Seed

There is an old Chinese tale about a woman whose only son died.In her grief, she went to the holy man and asked,"What prayers, what magical incantations do you have to bring my son back to life?"

Instead of sending her away or reasoning with her, he said to her, "Fetch me a mustard seed from a home that has never known sorrow.We will use it to drive sorrow out of your life." The woman went off at once in search of that magical musturd seed.

She came first to a splendid mansion, knocked at the door, and said, "I am looking for a home that has never known sorrow. Is this such a place? It is very important to me". They told her,"You have certainly come to the wrong place ," and began to describe all the tragic things that recently had befallen them. The woman said to herself, "Who is better able to help these poor, unfortunate people than I, who have had misfortune of my own?" She stayed to comfort them, then went on in search of a home that had never known sorrow. But wherever she turned, in hotels, and in other places, she found one tale after another of sadness and misfortune.

The woman became so involved in helping others cope with their sorrows that she eventually let go of her own. She would later come to understand that it was the quest to find the magical mustard seed.

Don't spend your life brooding over sorrows and mistakes. Don't be one who never gets over things.

No one has everything and everyone has something of sorrow intermingled with the gladness of life. The trick is to make the laughter outweigh the tears.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

A Little Kindness

Here's a true story of a little boy who thirsts for attention.

There was a little boy who was perplexed about life.It seems he could not help doing things that would call attention to his antics. He would get things and he would do things that would irk the other kids in the boarding school where he was studying.
Whenever something was amiss, it became prevalent for everyone to surmise that he would be the culprit.
One evening, in the place where he lived , he unexpectedly recieved a pack of fried salted peanuts from the person in authority.
The bag of peanuts in hand, the little boy stood in awe, he did not know what to say.
He could not believe that he was worth this much attention without him doing anything at all!
He went back to his sleeping quarters feeling happy and in a daze....
Shortly, he came out of his room and he in turn, surprised the kind Peanut Giver with a "gift" of his own.
He gave the Peanut Giver the "gift" -wrapped in a white paper saying softly: "I found this." Then he timidly walked away.

Was the money really found by the little boy?
Did the Peanut Giver make a big mistake???

The Peanut Giver would like to think that the little boy felt he was valued, so he was encouraged to do good, so he did the right thing.

Mother Teresa of Calcutta said:


Friday, August 8, 2008


An old man lived in a certain part of London, and he would wake up every morning and go to the subway.He would get the train right to Central London , and then sit at the street corner and beg.He would do this every single day of his life.He sat at the same street corner and begged for almost 20 years.

His house was filthy, and a stench came out of the house and it smelled horribly.The neighbours could not stand the smell anymore, so they summoned the police officiers to clear the place.The officiers knocked down the door and cleaned the house.There were small bags of money all over the house that he had collected over the years.

The police counted the money, and they soon realized that the old man was a millionaire.They waited outside his house in anticipation to share the good news with him.When he arrived home that evening, he was met by one of the officiers who told him that there was no need for him to beg anymore as he was a rich man now, a millionaire!

He said nothing at all; he went into his house and locked the door.The next morning he wake up as usual, went to the subway, got into the tram, and sat at the street corner and continued to beg.

Obiviously, this old man had no great plans, dreams or anything significant for his life.So,what do we learn from this story?

We learn nothing from this story other than staying focussed on the things we enjoy doing, commitment.We should remain true to our course; which may mean committing yourselves to things that people around you would normally disapprove, let nothing distract us from being happy, let nothing else determine our fate, but ourselves.

What makes us happy is what matters in the end, not what we acquire.


Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The Challenge

Once,a poor farmer had the misfortune of owing a lot of money to a money lender.The money lender who was old,ugly and above all cunning , fancied the farmer's beautiful young daughter. So , he proposed that he would forgo the farmer's debt if he could marry his daugther. Both farmer and his daughter were horrified by this idea.

The money lender then suggested that they let the Providence decide the matter.He picked up two pebbles from the pebbles strewn-path on which they were standing and put them in his money bag.He asked the girl to pick up one pebble from the bag.
-> If she picked up white pebble,she need not marry the money lender and her father's debt would be forgiven.
-> If she picked up black pebble, her father's debt would be forgiven but she'll have to marry the money lender.
-> But if she refuses to pick any pebble, her father would be thrown into a jail.

However, just before he had hurriedly put the pebbles in his bag ,the sharp-eyed girl noticed that both the pebbles which he picked up were black.He then asked the girl to pick up a pebble from the bag.

Now,put yourself in her shoes.What would you have done if you were the girl? Three solutions may strike your mind:
-> Girl should refuse to pick up a pebble.
-> Girl should pick up a pebble.If it happens to be a black pebble,she would sacrifice herself to save her father from his debt and imprisonment.
->Girl should show that both the pebbles in his bag were black and expose the money lender as a cheat.

The first two solutions ,though they appear to be logical,may be ruled out.The third solution might expose the cunningess of the money lender,make him face some minor punishnment,but would still not help his father's cause.What should be done,then???

Here's what the girl did:
She picked up a pebble and without looking at it ,she fumbled and let it fall onto the pebble strewn path where it became lost among other pebbles."Oh,how clumsy of me!",she said."But if you look into the bag for the other pebble,you can tell which pebble I picked up."
Since,the remaining pebble is black,it must be assumed that she picked up white one.And since,the money lender dared not admit his dishonesty,the girl changed what seemed an impossible situation into an extremely fruitful one.

This story helps us in appreciating the diference between lateral and logical thinking.Most problems we face in life do have a solution.It is how we approach them ,which matters.Keeping our nerves at calm in the times of peril can help in accomplishing any mammoth task.