Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Optimist and The Pessimist

Christian D Larson defines optimist and pessimist excellently. After reading the definitions one can clearly understand why the optimist succeeds in life and why the pessimist fails in his life. You need not consult astrologers about your future. See where you fit in the descriptions. You can know the status of your future instantly. If you don't like the possible outcome, you have the choice to alter yourself accordingly. Read and know yourself.


The Optimist and The Pessimist

The optimist lives under a clear sky; the pessimist lives in a fog.

The pessimist hesitates, and loses both time and opportunity; the optimist makes the best use of everything now, and builds themselves up, steadily and surely, until all adversity is overcome and the object in view realized.

The pessimist curbs their energies and concentrates their whole attention upon failure; the optimist gives all their thought and power to the attainment of success, and arouses their faculties and forces to the highest point of efficiency.

The pessimist waits for better times, and expects to keep on waiting; the optimist goes to work with the best that is at hand now, and proceeds to create better times.

The pessimist pours cold water on the fires of their own ability; the optimist adds fuel to those fires.

The pessimist links their mind to everything that is losing ground; the optimist lives, thinks and works with everything that is determined to press on.

The pessimist places a damper on everything; the optimist gives life, fire and go to everything.

The optimist is a building force; the pessimist is always an obstacle in the way of progress.

The pessimist lives in a dark, soggy unproductive world, the optimist lives in that mental sunshine that makes all things grow.

- Christian D Larson

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Seeing Red !

A king once challenged a zen master to explain the concept of heaven and hell. But the monk replied with scorn. "You're nothing but a fool. I can't waste my time with the likes of you".

The king flew into a rage and pulling his sword, yelled, "I could kill you for your words".

"That is hell" the monk replied calmly.

Startled at seeing the truth in what the master pointed out about the fury that had him in its grip, the king calmed down, sheathed his sword and bowed, thanking the monk for the insight.

"And that is heaven" said the monk.

Anger is a temporary madness which leads one to permanent hell. If someone insults you and you feel angry, always remember that you have become a slave. That man is your master; he insulted you and he manipulated your anger. Many people think thatventing anger gets rid of it. But actually expressing your anger does not reduce it and may, in fact build it again.

Anger is often inflamed by the thoughts we think when we are provoked. (Who does he think he is to treat me like that?). The longer we think about what has made us angry, the more 'good reasons' and self justifications for being angry. Because brooding fuels anger's flames.

Seeing things differently douses these flames. We must think differently to find justification for the behaviour (Eg: May be he's having a tough day). That line of thought short-circuits the build up of rage. Redford Williams, a psychiatrist at Duke University recommends use of self awareness to catch cynical or hostile thoughts as they arise and write them down. Once angry thoughts are captured this way, they can be challenged and reappraised, though this approach works better before anger has escalated to rage.

Sometimes the best thing you can do about anger is nothing. Going for a long walk, deep breathing and active exercise change the body's physiology from high arousal of anger to a low-arousal state and also these activities distract from whatever triggered the anger.

Don't be in a hurry to act when angry. Take time to think and find ways to cool down. As Aristotle said "Anyone can become angry - that is easy. But to be angry with the right person, to the right degree, at the right time, for the right purpose, and in the right way - that is not easy".


(Published in Hindu 7-9-2001)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Treasure your time

If you had an angel that credited to your account each morning a sum of Rs. 86,400 that carried over no balance next day and every night cancelled whatever the amount you had failed to use during the day, what would you do? You would draw out every rupee everyday using it to your advantage. Well, you have such an angel and it's name is Time. Every morning it credits you with 86,400 seconds. Every night it rules off as lost whatever of this you have failed to invest in good purpose. It carries over no balances. It allows no overdrafts. If you fail to use the day's deposit the loss is yours. There is no going back.

Time is valuable, indispensable, unique and a scarce resource. By wasting your time you are losing a part of your life. If you want to use your precious time 100 per cent, here are a few tips.

Keep a daily to-do list, set priorities and establish deadlines for all your tasks. Break down your tasks into manageable parts. Put all the jobs in order. Cross your bridges one at a time. Setting priorities helps you to know where you are at all times and what you should do next.

Do not allow paper to pile up on your table. Distinguish between filing and piling. A clumsy desk will spoil the mood, and add to the confusion. Moreover hunting for a pen or a stapler for half an hour can be maddening.

Days can be wasted in getting out of tasks we should not have taken on in the first place. So never say "yes" on the spur of the moment. Take a little time to think before saying "yes". Don't listen to useless, long, one-way talk. Learn to interrupt politely saying :"Excuse me, but I am late for an appointment". Someone once said to Winston Churchill :"I don't think I ever told you about my grandson". Churchill replied, "No my dear fellow, you didn't. And I cannot tell you how grateful I am".

Television robs us of precious time and makes most of us dull. Don't watch mindlessly anything that comes on the screen.

In his book Time Lock Ralph Keyes says, "We cannot control most of life's nagging delays. We can control our response to them, with a simple change of perspective. Standing in line, waiting for a delayed flight, even being stuck in traffic can be regarded as 'found time'." Get in the habit of carrying a pen and papers. In the 'found time' you can write to your friends and relatives. Or read a book.

Treasure your time and use every minute efficiently.

(Published in The Hindu on 04-05-2001)

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The Man in the Glass

This man is the most important person. Don't miss him. Don't neglect him. Listen what he says. Be truthful him. It is the only possible meaningful thing in your life. I liked this poem very much. Because it underlines the meaning of life. Read and enjoy the poem. And don't forget the lesson...


The Man in the Glass

When you get what you want in your struggle for self
And the world makes you king for a day,
Just go to the mirror and look at yourself
And see what that man has to say

For it isn't your father or mother or wife
Whose judgment upon you must pass
The fellow whose verdict counts most in your life
Is the one staring back from the glass

You may be like Jack Horner and chisel a plum
And think you're a wonderful guy.
But the man in the glass says you're only a bum
If you can't look him straight in the eye.

He's the fellow to please - never mind all the rest,
For he's with you clear to the end.
And you've passed your most dangerous, difficult test
If the man in the glass is your friend.

You may fool the whole world down the pathway of years
And get pats on the back as you pass.
But your final reward will be heartache and tears
If you've cheated the man in the glass.

- Dale Wimbrow, 1895-1954

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Positive Perspective

We cannot alter the facts of life. But we can always select the way of seeing the facts of our life. It is in our hands and it is the determining factor of joys and sorrows. Recently I came across the following passage from the net and it highlighted the above truth. It inspired me and I hope it will inspire you also.

Positive Perspective

Look around you and you will be amazed at what you see. We take so much for granted because we focus on the parts of our lives that are hard or unfulfilled. But if we really stop to look at what we have...we are truly blessed. Others would only dream to have what we take for granted.

• The homeless person wishes to have that little house you wish were bigger.

• That parents who lost their son would do anything to deal with that defiant child.

• The Father that cannot feed his three kids would love to go to the job you hate.

• The man riding his bicycle 10 miles to work wishes to have the two-wheeler you want to trade in.

• That lonely woman would love that man that forgets to take out the garbage or doesn't pick up after himself.

• That orphan child wouldn't mind the mother that makes him clean his dirty room.

• The crippled adolescent would love to climb that flight of stairs you dread.

• The woman in the hospital dying of cancer wishes to rush home after work to cook her family a meal.

You see it's all in how we look at things. If we start to look at our lives with the right perspective and focus on the blessings, we will be filled with gratitude. To focus on what we have and not on what we don't is the best way to live. Further, this perspective of focusing on blessings would automatically become the stepping stone to further success, instead of complacency.

- Source Unknown