Burnt biscuit

January 24, 2011

Straight to the story this time…. Thanks to my friend Murali Madhavan for forwarding this.  Happy reading… 

Mom liked to make dinner with extra care. And I remember one night in particular when she had made it after a long, hard day at work. That evening, mom placed a plate of eggs, sausage and extremely burned biscuits in front of dad. I remember waiting to see if anyone noticed.

All dad did was reach for his biscuit, smiled at mom and asked me how my day was at school. I don’t remember what I told him that night, but I do remember watching him smear butter and jelly on that biscuit and ate every bite.

When I got up from the table, I remember hearing mom apologize to dad for burning the biscuits. And I’ll never forget what he said: Honey, I love burned biscuits.

Later that night, I went to kiss Daddy good night and asked him if he really liked his biscuits burned. He wrapped me in his arms and said, “Your Momma put in a hard day at work today and she’s real tired. And besides – a little burnt biscuit never hurt anyone!” 

You know, life is full of imperfect things…..and imperfect people. I’m not the best at hardly anything, and I forget birthdays and anniversaries just like everyone else. 

What I’ve learned over the years is that learning to accept each others’ faults – and choosing to celebrate each other’s differences – is one of the most important keys to creating a healthy, growing, and lasting relationship. 

Because in the end, you are the master of your own life, to be happy or unhappy, to be positive or negative. 

We could extend this to any relationship. In fact, understanding is the base of any relationship , be it a husband-wife or parent-child or friendship.

Don’t put the key to your happiness in someone else’s pocket – keep it in your own.

Moral of the story – No one is perfect in this world. To build and maintain a relation it is important to appreciate the positives and ignore the negatives.

Have many wonderful moments…

Cheers…Saran

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Do not miss something called LIFE

January 12, 2011

Hi winners,

Glad to meet you all with another interesting and highly impacting short story.    definitely this will change your impression towards your closed ones.     Enjoy reading…..

THIS IS HOW WE MISS OUT SOMETHING CALLED “LIFE”

A boy was born to a couple after eleven years of marriage. They were a loving couple and the boy was the gem of their eyes. When the boy was around two years old, one morning the husband saw a medicine bottle open. He was late for office so he asked his wife to cap the bottle and keep it in the cupboard. His wife, preoccupied in the kitchen totally forgot the matter. The boy saw the bottle and playfully went to the
bottle fascinated by its color and drank it all. It happened to be a poisonous medicine meant for adults in small dosages. When the child collapsed the mother hurried him to the hospital, where he died. The mother was stunned. She was terrified how to face her husband. When the distraught father came to the hospital and saw the dead child, he looked at his wife and uttered just five words.          
 
QUESTIONS:

1. What were those five words ?

2. What is the implication of this story?


ANSWER:
The husband just said “I am with you Darling”

The husband’s totally unexpected reaction is a proactive behavior. The child is dead. He can never be brought back to life. There is no point in finding fault with the mother. Besides, if only he had taken time to keep the bottle away, this would not have happened… No one is to be blamed. She had also lost her only child. What she needed at that moment was consolation and sympathy from the husband. That is what he gave her.

If everyone can look at life with this kind of perspective, there would be much fewer problems in the world. “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”. Take off all your envies, jealousies, un-forgiveness, selfishness, and fears. And you will find things are actually not as difficult as you think.

MORAL OF THE STORY:

Sometimes we spend time in asking who is responsible or whom to blame, whether in a relationship, in a job or with the people we know. By this way we miss out something called L.I.F.E

Dear all, before you blame anyone just think again… you are blaming your loved one or somebody who has high regards on you.   You are not only going to  missing that person, you are going to miss your LIFE.   Please start changing your perception towards life and people.    

Have many wonderful moments…

cheers…Saran

 

 

Live every moment

January 7, 2011

Dear Winners,

My heartiest wishes to you all to have a bright and colourful year 2011.   Let all your aims, dreams and aspirations become achievements in this new year.  Let this new year blesses you and your family with abundant health, wealth and happiness.   At this wonderful start, let me share you an article that was sent to me by one of my colleague.  Enjoy reading and have many wonderful moments…

 
 
Open secret for staying YOUNG  

 1. Throw out nonessential numbers. This includes age, weight and height. Let the doctors worry about them. That is why you pay ‘them’.

2. Keep only cheerful friends.  The grouches pull you down.

3. Keep learning.  Learn more about the computer, crafts, gardening, whatever. Never let the brain idle. ‘An idle mind is the devil’s workshop.’
  
6. The tears happen.   Endure, grieve, and move on. The only person, who is with us our entire life, is ourselves. Be ALIVE while you are alive.   

7. Surround yourself with what you love,  whether it’s family, pets, keepsakes, music, plants, hobbies, whatever. Your home is your refuge. 

8. Cherish your health:  If it is good, preserve it. If it is unstable, improve it. If it is beyond what you can improve, get help.  

9. Don’t take guilt trips.  Take a trip to the mall, even to the next county; to a foreign country but NOT to where the guilt is. 

Finally, always remember:
 “Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but  by the moments that take our breath away.   So live life to its fullest each day!! “ 

Cheers…. Saran.

Gratitude

October 22, 2010

Hi Winners,

This time I am publishing the article that has been forwarded by my colleague “Lakshminarayanan Sampath”.  

Gratitude, one of the important virtue that is given least importance in this corporate world.   Hope this article will make it intact in our minds.   Enjoy reading….

Organisations suffer not from lack of attention to detail as is believed, but from lack of gratitude.

When one enters an organisation he or she does so with a twinkle in the eye, dreams, aspirations and hope. Oftentimes, the chief architect does not recognise this. He or she believes that an employee joins to earn a living, and in so assuming forgets the very basic courtesy of thanking the one who has chosen to cast his or her lot with this organisation.

This is only the beginning, for the employee soon forgets that he or she joined the organisation to live out one’s lifetime. Now commences a journey of bickering, dissatisfaction and distaste.

A simple lesson learnt in childhood has been forgotten – gratitude. Where does gratitude fit into this journey? When you learn to feel thankful for all that you have, a good job, good colleagues, security, predictability, you suddenly recognise that you are blessed. There is a lot more certainty to your life than is available to a farmer who awaits the unpredictable rain. You wake everyday to a routine when several are unaware of what the morrow holds.

Perhaps it is good to sit down and write a gratitude note; one expressing deep thanks for all we have.

A father once escorted his young child to a slum to show him how lucky he was, as a child living with plenty. As they approached the slum the child noticed a small hut with many children playing outside. In front of the hut ran a small stream of sewage. It was a well-lit night and the stars where shining. Behind the hut the child noticed a large dump yard on which several dogs frolicked. The child had seen enough and wanted to return home.

The father was sure his child must have recognised how blessed he was. The child looked up at the father and said instead, “Thank you, Father, for showing me how poor we are.” The father did not understand and asked the child to explain.

The child said, “Father, there are so many children playing while I play alone. We have a compound wall to keep people out yet for the slum-dweller there is no wall to separate him from his friends. We have no little stream in front of our house and they have a rivulet. We only have a few electric bulbs to light up our house but the slum children have the whole star-studded night sky. We have no yard and they have a large dump. We have only one dog and they have so many. Thank you, Father, for showing me how poor we are!”

Such is true gratitude.

Gratitude is very liberating. When I feel a sense of gratitude I release myself from comparisons, from having to prove my worth, from having to be seen as the best. In organisations, competition and comparison exist because each one of us is trying to establish ourselves. When such thoughts grip us we have the need to prove ourselves and if we fall short of that we feel less of who we are. Organisations also foster this by encouraging performance comparison. While it is not incorrect to egg people on to perform, building comparisons hurt the collaborative and thanking process. Thus one does not acknowledge the other and believe it is the duty of one’s colleague to support them. Duty it might be, but can I not express gratitude for the support given? In placing a demand on the other, I lose respect for the other and consequently mutual respect is lost. Gaining mutual respect comes from thanking and being grateful.

Gratitude also builds self-esteem and enhances self-appreciation. Thus when I learn to appreciate myself, I learn to appreciate others; I thank them for adding value to my life and enriching it.

A church, once popular, had fallen on bad days with few people visiting. The chief abbot was very worried, so called together the four remaining priests to seek their counsel. There was a lot of anger that was expressed with one blaming the other for the poor turnout at the church.

The chief abbot was dismayed and decided to visit the neighbouring village and consult with the local rabbi. The rabbi was a wise old man and on hearing the abbot’s tale said he would ask God for guidance. The next day the abbot returned for advice. The rabbi said, “God says one of you is the chosen one.” The abbot rushed back to his church and summoned his colleagues telling them what he had heard.

While each of them heard the chief abbot, each one thought to himself: “I know that I am not the chosen one, perhaps it is one of my brothers. Let me, therefore, be more respectful to the others.”

By saying so, each one began to show deference to the other. Soon crowds started revisiting the church as they experienced true brotherhood.

When gratitude is demonstrated true comradeship flows as a consequence.

In recent times we saw exemplary work done by Tata group Chairman Mr Ratan Tata in the aftermath of the heinous terrorist attack in Mumbai and on the Taj Mahal Hotel which is owned by the Tatas. This was the most trying period in the life of the organisation. Senior managers including Mr Tata participated in funeral after funeral over the three days that were most horrible. Mr Tata himself visited the families of all the 80 employees who, either through death or injury, were affected and himself asked the families and dependents – what they wanted him to do. The settlement for every deceased member ranged from Rs 36-85 lakh in addition to several other benefits such as full last salary and medical facility for life for the family and dependents, complete responsibility for the education of their children and dependents and many such things.

How was such passion created within the organisation that its employees and employer went beyond the call of duty? How and why did they behave the way they did? The organisation is clear that it is not something that someone can take credit for. It is not training and development initiative that created such behaviour. It has to do with the DNA of the organisation, with the way the Tata culture exists and above all with the situation that prevailed that time – being grateful and valuing everything and everyone.

The whole approach was that the organisation would spend several hundred crores re-building the property; thus expressing gratitude and value for its biggest asset – its employees. An employee was valued even when he/she ceased to exist, by providing lifelong for the family, thereby true gratitude was expressed.

Thus organisations that want to build alignment among their members can attempt to recognise the good that it has, value and celebrate it.

Then, slowly but surely, the energy will spread and from a position of poverty both people and the organisation will move towards appreciating the abundance and bounty surrounding it.

The power of Appreciation

September 9, 2010

An interesting elf’s tale from “Chicken Soup for the Soul”.  It highlights the power of appreciation.  Start appreciating people, this can make a huge difference in their life.  Enjoy reading….. My heartiest wishes for Ramzan and Ganesh Chathurthi…

It was six o’clock at the mall, and I was as exhausted as an elf on Christmas Eve. In fact, I was an elf and it was Christmas Eve. That December of my sixteenth year, I’d been working two jobs to help my parents with my school tuition and to make a little extra holiday money. My second job was as an elf for Santa to help with kids’ photos. Between my two jobs, I’d worked twelve hours straight the day before; on Christmas Eve, things were so busy at Santaland that I hadn’t even had a coffee break all day. But this was it — only minutes more, and I’d have survived!

I looked over at Shelly, our manager, and she gave me an encouraging smile. She was the reason I’d made it through. She’d been thrown in as manager halfway through the season, and she’d made all the difference in the world. My job had changed from stress-filled to challenging. Instead of yelling at her workers to keep us in line, she encouraged us and stood behind us. She made us pull together as a team. Especially when things were their craziest, she always had a smile and an encouraging word. Under her leadership, we’d achieved the highest number of mall photo sales in California.

I knew it was a difficult holiday season for her — she’d recently suffered a miscarriage. I hoped she knew how great she was and what a difference she’d made to all her workers, and to all the little children who’d come to have their pictures taken.

Our booth was open until seven; at six, things started to slow down and I finally took a break. Although I didn’t have much money, I really wanted to buy a little gift for Shelly so that she’d know we appreciated her. I got to a store that sold soap and lotion just as they put the grate down. “Sorry, we’re closed!” barked the clerk, who looked as tired as I was and didn’t sound sorry at all.

I looked around and, to my dismay, found that all the stores had closed. I’d been so tired I hadn’t noticed.

I was really bummed. I had been working all day and had missed buying her a present by one minute.

On my way back to the Santa booth, I saw that Nordstrom was still open. Fearful that they, too, would close at any moment, I hurried inside and followed the signs toward the Gift Gallery. As I rushed through the store, I began to feel very conspicuous. It seemed the other shoppers were all very well-dressed and wealthy — and here I was a broke teenager in an elf costume. How could I even think I’d find something in such a posh store for under fifteen dollars?

I self-consciously jingled my way into the Gift Gallery. A woman sales associate, who also looked as if she’d just stepped off a fashion runway, came over and asked if she could help me. As she did, everyone in the department turned and stared.

As quietly as possible, I said, “No, that’s okay. Just help somebody else.”

She looked right at me and smiled. “No,” she said. “I want to help you.”

I told the woman who I was buying for and why, then I sheepishly admitted I only had fifteen dollars to spend. She looked as pleased and thoughtful as if I’d just asked to spend $1500. By now, the department had emptied, but she carefully went around, selecting a few things that would make a nice basket. The total came to $14.09.

The store was closing; as she rang up the purchase, the lights were turned off.

I was thinking that if I could take them home and wrap them, I could make them really pretty but I didn’t have time.

As if reading my mind, the saleslady asked, “Do you need this wrapped?”

“Yes,” I said.

By now the store was closed. Over the intercom, a voice asked if there were still customers in the store. I knew this woman was probably as eager to get home on Christmas Eve as everybody else, and here she was stuck waiting on some kid with a measly purchase.

But she was gone in the back room a long time. When she returned, she brought out the most beautiful basket I’d ever seen. It was all wrapped up in silver and gold, and looked as if I’d spent fifty dollars on it — at least. I couldn’t believe it. I was so happy!

When I thanked her, she said, “You elves are out in the mall spreading joy to so many people, I just wanted to bring a little joy to you.”

“Merry Christmas, Shelly,” I said back at the booth. My manager gasped when she saw the present; she was so touched and happy that she started crying. I hoped it gave a happy start to her Christmas.

All through the holidays, I couldn’t stop thinking about the kindness and effort of the saleswoman, and how much joy she had brought to me, and in turn to my manager. I thought the least I could do was to write a letter to the store and let them know about it. About a week later, I got a reply from the store, thanking me for writing.

I thought that was the end of it, until mid-January.

That’s when I got a call from Stephanie, the sales associate. She wanted to take me to lunch. Me, a fifteen-dollar, sixteen-year-old customer.

When we met, Stephanie gave me a hug, and a present, and told me this story.

She had walked into a recent employee meeting to find herself on the list of nominees to be named the Nordstrom All-Star. She was confused but excited, as she had never before been nominated. At the point in the meeting when the winner was announced, they called Stephanie — she’d won! When she went up front to accept the award, her manager read my letter out loud. Everyone gave her a huge round of applause.

Winning meant that her picture was put up in the store lobby, she got new business cards with Nordstrom All-Star written on them, a 14-karat gold pin, a 100-dollar award, and was invited to represent her department at the regional meeting.

At the regional meeting, they read my letter and everyone gave Stephanie a standing ovation. “This is what we want all of our employees to be like!” said the manager who read the letter. She got to meet three of the Nordstrom brothers, who were each very complimentary.

I was already a little overwhelmed when Stephanie took my hand. “But that’s not the best part, Tyree,” she said. “The day of that first store meeting, I took a list of the nominees, and put your letter behind it, with the 100-dollar bill behind that. I took it home and gave it to my father. He read everything and looked at me and said, “When do you find out who won?”

“I said, ‘I won, Dad.’”

“He looked me right in the eye and said, ‘Stephanie, I’m really proud of you.’”

Quietly, she said, “My dad has never said he was proud of me.”

I think I’ll remember that moment all my life. That was when I realized what a powerful gift appreciation can be. Shelly’s appreciation of her workers had set into motion a chain of events — Stephanie’s beautiful basket, my letter, Nordstrom’s award — that had changed at least three lives.

Though I’d heard it all my life, it was the Christmas when I was an elf — and a broke teenager — that I truly came to understand that the littlest things can make the biggest difference.

Follow your Dreams

September 6, 2010

I had recently came across a wonderful short story on pursuing your dream.   It is very short and Crisp.   Enjoy reading…..

There were once 2 brothers who lived on the 80th level. On coming home one day, they realized to their dismay that the lifts were not working and that they have to climb the stairs home.

After struggling to the 20th level, panting and tired, they decided to abandon their bags and come back for them the next day. They left their bags then and climbed on. When they have struggled to the 40th level, the younger brother started to grumble and both of them began to quarrel. They continued to climb the flights of steps, quarreling all the way to the 60th floor.

They then realized that they have only 20 levels more to climb and decided to stop quarreling and continue climbing in peace. They silently climbed on and reached their home at long last. Each stood calmly before the door and waited for the other to open the door. And they realized that the key was in their bags which was left on the 20th floor.

This story is reflecting on our life…many of us live under the expectations of our parents, teachers and friends when young. We seldom get to do the things that we really like and love and are under so much pressure and stress so that by the age of 20, we get tired and decided to dump this load.

Being free of the stress and pressure, we work enthusiastically and dream ambitious wishes. But by the time we reach 40 years old, we start to lose our vision and dreams. We began to feel unsatisfied and start to complain and criticize. We live life as a misery as we are never satisfied. Reaching 60, we realize that we have little left for complaining anymore, and we began to walk the final episode in peace and calmness.

We think that there is nothing left to disappoint us, only to realize that we could not rest in peace because we have an unfulfilled dream …… a dream we abandoned 60 years ago.

So what is your dream? Follow your dreams, so that you will not live with regrets.

How to be Creative

August 13, 2010

Very often I hear one question from my friends and colleagues, “How to be Creative?”    On hearing that I would ask them to read a book(One of my favourite) “A Whack on the side of the head! By Roger Von Oech”.    Luckily I found another article that summarises the key essesnse from this book.    Now you don’t need to buy that book(it is very old and rarely available).  I had placed them below.   Definetly it will boost you Creative thinking.   Enjoy reading….

Why be creative?

I can think of two important reasons.

The first is change. When new information comes into  existence and circumstances change, it is no longer possible to solve today’s problems with yesterday’s solutions.

The second reason for generating new ideas is that it’s a lot of fun. We need a way to generate new ideas. Creative thinking is that means, and like its biological counterpart, it is also pleasurable.

What is creative thinking?

What makes the creative person tick? The creative person wants to be a know -it-all. He wants to know about all kinds of things. Because he never knows when these ideas might come together to form new ideas. It may happen six months or six years down the road. But he has faith that it will happen.

Mental locks

Why don’t we think something different more often? There are two main reasons. The first is that we don’t need to be creative for most of what we do. The second reason why we don’t think something different more often – most of us have certain attitudes, which lock our thinking into the status quo and keep us thinking more of the same.

The author calls these attitudes mental locks. There are ten mental locks in particular which I have found to be especially hazardous to our thinking:

1.      “The Right Answer”

Much of our educational system has taught us to look for the one right answer. This approach is fine for some situations, but many of us have a tendency to stop looking for alternative right answers after the first one has been found. This is unfortunate because often it’s the second or third, or tenth right answer that is what we need to solve a problem in an innovative way.

Tip #1: A good way to be more creative is to look for the second right answer.  There are many ways to pursue this answer, but the important thing is to do it.

Tip #2: The answer you get depends on the questions you ask. Play with your wording to get different answers. One technique is to solicit plural answers.  Another is asking questions that whack people’s thinking.

2.      “That’s not logical!”

Logical is an important creative thinking tool. Its use is especially appropriate in the practical phase of the creative process when you are evaluating ideas and preparing them for action. When you are searching for ideas however, excessive logical thinking can short-circuit your creative process.

Tip #1: For more and better ideas, I prescribe a good dose of soft thinking in the germinal phase, and a hearty helping of hard thinking in the practical phase.

3.      “Follow the Rules”

Creative thinking is not only constructive, it is also destructive. You often have to break out of one pattern to discover another one. So be responsive to change and be flexible with the rules. Remember, breaking the rules wont necessarily lead to creative ideas, but its one avenue.

Tip #1: Play the revolutionary and challenge the rules – especially the ones you use to govern your day-today activities.

Tip #2: Remember that playing the revolutionary also has its dangers. Looking back on the decision, sometimes it goes too far.

Tip#3 : Have rule -inspecting and rule-discarding sessions within your organization. You may even find some motivational side benefits in this activity – finding and eliminating outmoded rules can be a lot of fun.

4.      “Be Practical”

This world has been built by practical people who knew how to get into a germinal frame of mind, listen to their imaginations, and build on the ideas they found there.

Tip #1: Each of you has an “artist” and a “judge” within you. The openminded attitude of the artist typifies the kind of thinking you use in the germinal phase when you are generating ideas. The evaluative outlook of the judge represents the kind of thinking you use in the practical phase when

preparing ideas for execution.

Tip #2: Be a magician. Ask “what if” questions and use the provocative answers you find as stepping-stones to new ideas.

Tip #3: Cultivate your imagination. Set aside time everyday to ask yourself what-if questions. Although the likelihood that any given “what-if” question will lead to a practical idea is not high, the more often you practice this activity the more productive you’ll become.

5.      “Avoid Ambiguity”

Most of us have heard to “avoid ambiguity” because of the communication problems it can cause. This is an especially good idea in practical situations where the consequences of such misunderstandings would be serious.

Tip #1: Take advantage of the ambiguity on earth. Look at something and think about what else it might be.

Tip #2: Try to use humour to put you or your group in a creative state of mind.

6.      “To Err is Wrong”

There are places where errors are inappropriate, but the germinal phase of the creative process isn’t one of them. Errors are a sign that you are diverging from the well-traveled path.

Tip#1: If you make an error, use it as a stepping-stone to some new idea you might not have otherwise discovered.

Tip #2: Strengthen your “risk muscle”. Everyone has one, but you have to exercise it or else it will atrophy. Make it appoint to take at least one risk every twenty-four hours.

Tip #3: Remember these two benefits of failure: First, if you do fail, you learn what doesn’t work. And second, the failure gives you an opportunity to try a new approach.

7.      “Play is Frivolous”

If necessity is the mother of invention, play is the father. Use it to fertilize your thinking.

Tip #1: The next time you have a problem – play with it.

Tip #2: If you don’t have a problem, take the time to play anyway. You may find some new ideas.

Tip #3: Make your work place a fun place to be.

8.      “That’s not my area ”

Specialization is a fact of life. To function in this world, you have to narrow your focus and limit your field of view. When you’re trying to generate new ideas, however, such information -handling attitudes can limit you.

Tip #1: Develop the hunter’s attitude, the outlook that wherever you go, there are ideas waiting to be discovered.

Tip #2: Don’t get so busy that you lose the free time necessary for idea hunting. Schedule hunting time into your day and week. Little side excursions can lead to new hunting grounds.

Tip #3: Look for analogous situations. Often problems similar to yours have been solved in other areas.

9.      “Don’t be Foolish”

Some people are so closely married to their ideas that they put them up on a pedestal. It’s difficult, however, to be objective if you have a lot of ego tied up in your idea.

Tip #1: Occasionally, let your “stupid monitor” down, play with fool, and see what crazy ideas you can come up with.

Tip #2: Recognize when you or others are conforming or putting down the fool. Otherwise, you may be setting up a “groupthink” situation.

Tip #3: May the FARCE be with you.

10.  “I’m not creative!”

The world of though and action overlap. What you think has a way of becoming true.

Tip #1: Whack yourself into trying new things and building on what you find – especially the small ideas. The creative person has the self –faith that these ideas will lead somewhere.

Creativity is the duty of Right Brain, in my next post I’ll mention few simple activities that can activate the Right brain.    

Have many wonderful moments and happy weekend…..

Stay Hungry Stay Foolish – Steve Jobs

August 9, 2010

Dear winners,

I had gone through lot of challenging moments and new initiatives that had really dragged a long away from updating this blog.   Now I had taken a firm decision to continue this motivating mission at any cost.    This time I had picked up the motivating speech delivered by Steve Jobs'(Apple and Pixar studios founder and CEO).     It will be too long but it is highly inspirational.  Enjoy and get inspired.

Steve Jobs’ Convocation Speech (Stanford)

Delivered 12 June 2005, Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA

Thank you.

I’m honored to be with you today for your commencement from one of the finest universities in the world. Truth be told, I never graduated from college, and this is the closest I’ve ever gotten to a college graduation. Today, I want to tell you three stories from my life. That’s it. No big deal. Just three stories.

The first story is about connecting the dots. I dropped out of Reed College after the first six months, but then stayed around as a drop-in for another 18 months or so before I really quit. So why did I drop out? It started before I was born. My biological mother was a young, unwed graduate student, and she decided to put me up for adoption. She felt very strongly that I should be adopted by college graduates, so everything was all set for me to be adopted at birth by a lawyer and his wife except that when I popped out they decided at the last minute that they really wanted a girl.    So my parents, who were on a waiting list, got a call in the middle of the night asking, “We’ve got an unexpected baby boy; Do you want him?” They said, “Of course.” My biological mother found out later that my mother had never graduated from college and that my father had never graduated from high school. She refused to sign the final adoption papers. She only relented a few months later when my parents promised that I would go to college. This was the start in my life.

And 17 years later I did go to college. But I naively chose a college that was almost as expensive as Stanford, and all of my working-class parents’ savings were being spent on my college tuition. After six months, I couldn’t see the value in it. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life and no idea how college was going to help me figure it out. And here I was spending all of the money my parents had saved their entire life.

So I decided to drop out and trust that it would all work out okay. It was pretty scary at the time, but looking back it was one of the best decisions I ever made. The minute I dropped out I could stop taking the required classes that didn’t interest me, and begin dropping in on the ones that looked far more interesting.   It wasn’t all romantic. I didn’t have a dorm room, so I slept on the floor in friends’ rooms. I returned coke bottles for the five cent deposits to buy food with, and I would walk the seven miles across town every Sunday night to get one good meal a week at the Hare Krishna temple. I loved it. And much of what I stumbled into by following my curiosity and intuition turned out to be priceless later on. Let me give you one example: Reed College at that time offered perhaps the best calligraphy instruction in the country. Throughout the campus every poster, every label on every drawer, was beautifully hand calligraphed. Because I had dropped out and didn’t have to take the normal classes, I decided to take a calligraphy class to learn how to do this. I learned about serif and san serif typefaces, about varying the amount of space between different letter combinations, about what makes great typography great. It was beautiful, historical, artistically subtle in a way that science can’t capture, and I found it fascinating.   None of this had even a hope of any practical application in my life. But ten years later, when we were designing the first Macintosh computer, it all came back to me.

And we designed it all into the Mac. It was the first computer with beautiful typography. If I had never dropped in on that single course in college, the “Mac” would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts. And since Windows just copied the Mac, it’s likely that no personal computer would have them.  If I had never dropped out, I would have never dropped in on that calligraphy class, and personal computers might not have the wonderful typography that they do. Of course it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college.   But it was very, very clear looking backwards 10 years later. Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even when it leads you off the wellworn path, and that will make all the difference.

My second story is about love and loss.   I was lucky I found what I loved to do early in life. Woz¹ and I started Apple in my parents’ garage when I was 20. We worked hard, and in 10 years Apple had grown from just the two of us in a garage into a two billion dollar company with over 4000 employees. We’d just released our finest creation the Macintosh a year earlier, and Ihad just turned 30. 

And then I got fired. How can you get fired from a company you started? Well, as Apple grew we hired someone who I thought was very talented to run the company with me, and for the first year or so things went well. But then our visions of the future began to diverge and eventually we had a falling out. When we did, our Board of Directors sided with him. And so at 30, I was out. And very publicly out. What had been the focus of my entire adult life was gone, and it was devastating.

I really didn’t know what to do for a few months. I felt that I had let the previous generation of entrepreneurs down –that I had dropped the baton as it was being passed to me. I met with David Packard and Bob Noyce and tried to apologize for screwing up so badly. I was a very public failure, and I even thought about running away from the valley. But something slowly began to dawn on me: I still loved what I did. The turn of events at Apple had not changed that one bit. I had been rejected, but I was still in love. And so I decided to start over.

I didn’t see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.

During the next five years, I started a company named NeXT; another company named Pixar, and fell in love with an amazing woman who would become my wife.   Pixar went on to create the world’s first computer animated feature film, Toy Story, and is now the most successful animation studio in the world. In a remarkable turn of events, Apple bought NeXT, and I retuned to Apple, and the technology we developed at NeXT is at the heart of Apple’s current renaissance. And Laurene and I have a wonderful family together.

I’m pretty sure none of this would have happened if I hadn’t been fired from Apple. It was awful tasting medicine, but I guess the patient needed it. Sometime life sometimes life’s going to hit you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith. I’m convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You’ve got to find what you love.

And that is as true for work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking and –don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking don’t settle.

My third story is about death.

When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: “If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you’ll most certainly be right.” It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I’ve looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.

Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.

About a year ago I was diagnosed with cancer. I had a scan at 7:30 in the morning, and it clearly showed a tumor on my pancreas. I didn’t even know what a pancreas was. The doctors told me this was almost certainly a type of cancer that is incurable, and that I should expect to live no longer than three to six months. My doctor advised me to go home and get my affairs in order, which is doctor’s code for “prepare to die.”

It means to try and tell your kids everything you thought you’d have the next 10 years to tell them in just a few months. It means to make sure everything is buttoned up so that it will be as easy as possible for your family. It means to say your goodbyes.

I lived with that diagnosis all day. Later that evening I had a biopsy, where they stuck an endoscope down my throat, through my stomach into my intestines, put a needle into my pancreas and got a few cells from the tumor. I was sedated, but my wife, who was there, told me that when they viewed the cells under a microscope the doctors started crying because it turned out to be a very rare form of pancreatic cancer that is curable with surgery. I had the surgery and, thankfully, I’m fine now.

This was the closest I’ve been to facing death, and I hope it’s the closest I get for a few more decades. Having lived through it, I can now say this to you with a bit more certainty than when death was a useful but purely intellectual concept: No one wants to die.

Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It’s Life’s change agent.

It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it’s quite true.

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice.

And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

When I was young, there was an amazing publication called The Whole Earth Catalogue, which was one of the “bibles” of my generation. It was created by a fellow named Stewart Brand not far from here in Menlo Park, and he brought it to life with his poetic touch. This was in the late 60s, before personal computers and desktop publishing, so it was all made with typewriters, scissors, and Polaroid cameras. It was sort of like Google in paperback form, 35 years before Google came along. It was idealistic, overflowing with neat tools and great notions.

Stewart and his team put out several issues of The Whole Earth Catalog, and then when it had run its course, they put out a final issue. It was the mid1970s, and I was your age. On the back cover of their final issue was a photograph of an early morning country road, the kind you might find yourself hitchhiking on if you were so adventurous. Beneath it were the words: “Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.” It was their farewell message as they signed off. Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish. And I’ve always wished that for myself. And now, as you graduate to begin a new, I wish that for you.

Stay Hungry.    Stay Foolish.

Thank you all very much.

You are extremely blessed

September 27, 2009

Hi Winners,

I am extremely happy in meeting you all again after a long gap, I was researching on lot of schools for my Son’s next venture.    Finally I had chosen a school in alwarpet and tomorrow is his first day (I feel as if its my first day).   I am more puzzled, thrilled and eager to see his first day.

This time I bring you with some important facts that I had read in one of the website.   On reading these facts you will definetly feel that you are one of the most blessed one in this world.    Don’t feel bad for small things and happenings.   Life had given you lot of things to enjoy.    Enjoy reading this.

If we could shrink the earth’s population to a village of precisely 100 people, with all the existing human ratios remaining the same, it would look something like the following.  There would be:

  • 57 Asians
  • 21 Europeans
  • 14 from the Western Hemisphere, both north and south
  • 8 would be Africans
  • 52 would be female
  • 48 would be male
  • 70 would be non-white
  • 30 would be white
  • 70 would be non-Christian
  • 30 would be Christian
  • 89 would be heterosexual
  • 11 would be homosexual
  • 6 people would possess
  • 59% of the entire world’s wealth and all 6 would be from the United States.
  • 80 would live in substandard housing
  • 70 would be unable to read
  • 50 would suffer from malnutrition
  • (ONE)1 would be near death
  • (ONE)1 would be near birth
  • (ONE)1 (yes, only 1) would have a college education
  • (ONE)1 (yes, only 1) would own a computer.

When one considers our world from such a compressed perspective, the need for acceptance, understanding and education becomes glaringly apparent.

And, therefore . . .

  • If you have food in the refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof overhead and a place to sleep, you are richer than 75% of this world.
  • If you woke up this morning with more health than illness, you are more blessed than the million who will not survive this week.
  • If you have money in the bank, in your wallet, and spare change in a dish someplace, you are among the top 8% of the world’s wealthy.
  • If you can attend a church meeting without fear of harassment, arrest, torture, or death, you are more blessed than three billion people in the world.
  • If you have never experienced the danger of battle, the loneliness of imprisonment, the agony of torture, or the pangs of starvation, you are ahead of 500 million people in the world.
  • If you hold up your head with a smile on your face and are truly thankful, you are blessed because the majority can, but most do not.
  • If you can read this message, you are more blessed than over two billion people in the world who cannot read at all.

As you read this and are reminded how life is in the rest of the world, remember just how blessed you really are!    Feel blessed for your current state in this world and enjoy it.

Have many wonderful moments.

cheers,

Saran.

Choices in life

September 11, 2009

Hi Winners,

This time I present you with a story that talks about the choices that are available to you in every moment of your life, and their real priorities.   Enjoy reading…..

A professor stood before her Philosophy 101 class and had some items in front of her. When the class began, wordlessly, she picked up a very large and empty jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls.

She then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was. So the professor picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. She shook the jar lightly.

The pebbles, of course, rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. She then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

The professor then picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar.  Of course, the sand filled up everything else. She then asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with a unanimous – yes.

The professor then produced two cans of liquid chocolate from under the table and proceeded to pour the entire contents into the jar effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.

“Now,” said the professor, as the laughter subsided, “I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life.

The golf balls are the important things – – your family, your spouse, your health, your children, your friends, your favorite passions – – things that if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.

“The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house, your car.”

“The sand is everything else – – the small stuff.”

“If you put the sand into the jar first,” she continued, “there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for your life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important to you.

Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. “Take care of the golf balls first the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.”

One student raised her hand and inquired what the chocolate represented.

The professor smiled. “I’m glad you asked. It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there’s always room for chocolate!”

So whenever you had been provided with series of activities to be execute, just chose the activities that makes your life and of course others’ life happier and prioritise the other things later.

Have a wonderful weekend with lot of wonderful moments. 

Cheers,

Saran.

“Life is full of choices and it is indeed your decision that makes your life happy or sad”