The Rest is Just Sand

Dunes

A philosophy professor stood before his class with a few items on the table in front of him. He picked up a large glass jar and started to fill it with rocks.

The professor then asked his students. “Is the jar full?”

The students nodded their heads and agreed that the jar was full.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles, of course, rolled into the open areas between the rocks.

He then asked the students again. “Is the jar full?”

The students again nodded their heads and agreed that the jar was full.

The professor then picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. The sand filled up the remaining open areas of the jar.

He then asked once more. “Is the jar full?”

The students this time responded with a unanimous “Yes.”

“Now” said the professor. “I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The rocks are the important things – your family, your partner, your health, your children – 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” he continued. “there is no room for the pebbles or the rocks. 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. Play with your children. Take your partner out dancing. There will always be time to go to work, clean the house, give a dinner party, or fix the disposal.”

Take care of the rocks first – the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.

Schooled

Cartoon.png

One night four college students, instead of studying for tomorrow’s test, went out and partied – they had a really nice time.
In the morning, they hatched a plan to get out of taking a test. They covered themselves with grease and dirt and went to the dean’s office. Once there, they told the dean that the previous night there was a medical emergency. One of their friend had an accident and hence they had to rush to the hospital. On their way-back they had a flat tire and hence had to push the car back to their place.
The dean listened to their tale patiently, even though he could detect a slight hint of alcohol in their breath. After thinking for a couple of seconds the dean told them that they can take the test three days later. The students thanked the dean and left.
When the test day arrived the four students went to the dean, who put them in separate rooms for the test. They were okay with this since they had prepared well for the test. Then they saw the question paper, it had just 2 questions.
1) Your Name __________ (1 Mark)
2) Which tire burst? __________ (99 Marks)
(a) Front Left
(b) Front Right
(c) Back Left
(d) Back Right

How to set goals

Goal Setting.png

While some tasks are completed within a matter of a few seconds, others take a life time to achieve. But if you want to move through life, you need to set goals – else you will become a driftwood.

  1. Determine your goals: When planning life goals you need to ask yourself a question: where do you want to see yourself after 10 years, or maybe 15? A career life goal might be to become a programmer. A fitness goal might be to become fit.

Examples of specific goals:

  • I want to cut down junk food.
  • I want to learn Spanish.
  • I want to participate in 10K marathon.
  1. Break your goals into smaller constituents: Once you have decided your goals it is time to break it down into smaller goals, this way you will be able to track your progress also. For example, if you want to be fit you need to start eating healthy.
  1. Write short term goals: One you have decided what your main goal is and also divided it into smaller goals, it is time to write it down. This will not only make it harder for you to ignore but make you accountable.
  1. Move towards your larger goals: Use these small goals that you have made for yourself as a stepping stone to achieve your bigger goal.
  1. Adjust goals periodically: There is nothing constant in life, including life itself. Hence one should always be prepared to tweak his/her goals.

Always remember, a goal without a plan is just a wish.

The importance of setting goals in life

The importance of setting goals in life.jpg

The last post, Meaningless Goals, was about wasting time and energy chasing absurd and pointless targets. So it was only logical, or at-least this is what I thought, to talk about the importance of setting goals in life in this post.

So what exactly are goals?

Goals are the oxygen of our dreams, they give direction and meaning to life. Compelling us to lead a disciplined life and transforming our personality and outlook in a positive way.

Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible. – Tony Robbins

Here are my 5 reasons why setting goals is important in life:

  1. Achieving potential : Setting a goal means setting a target to strive towards. To accomplish this one needs to stretch beyond the normal. This helps the person look beyond the familiar routine and grow in life. Always remember, familiarity is the nemesis of growth.
  2. Creating focus : We all have potential to do something good in life. It is up to us to realize our potential and focus our abilities and talent in the right direction. Just like how sunlight can’t burn through anything without a magnifying glass focusing it, a person cannot achieve anything without focus.
  3. Taking control of your life : At some point of time we need to grow up and take control of our life. Meaning, not only should we hold ourselves responsible for our success but also for our failures. So instead of waiting for things to happen we need take charge and make things happen.
  4. Creating accountability : Having goals makes a person accountable, because rather than just talking a person is compelled to act. This self accountability makes the individual responsible for his/her successes or failures.
  5. Motivation : Setting goals helps a person connect with his/her innermost desires. Motivating and giving the person something to strive for. This motivation helps overcome the negative desires that cloud the mind, reconnects with the innermost desires and redirects the focus on accomplishing the goals.

Goals are simply tools that help funnel energy in the right direction. They help a person reach his/her potential and do something good, for oneself and for the community at large.

Little boy meets God

pradeepshrivastava

“Mama! Do you know where God lives?” Raghu asked his mother innocently.

Raghu’s mother, Sandhya, thought for a second and said. “No one knows where God lives. But he visits the park in the neighborhood sometimes on Sunday’s.”

“Today is Sunday!” Raghu spoke excitedly. “Will we be going to the park today?”

Sandhya pretended to think for a moment and said. “Okay. We will go to the park today. Tell your dad to get ready soon.”

“Okay.”

“Wait! When you meet God what are you going to offer him?”

“I don’t know.”

“I’ll pack pop-corn and sweet lemon juice.”

The three soon got ready and left for the park.

“If God decides to visit the park, he sits on either one of those three benches.” Sandhya said pointing towards the three empty benches.

Raghu started playing around the benches, while Sandhya and Rahul kept an eye on him from a distance.

Soon an old woman, with a slight limp, came and sat on one of the empty bench.

Raghu curiously started looked at her. The old woman observed him and smiled back at him.

Raghu silently sat next to the old woman and started observing the wrinkles on her face, which made her look all the more beautiful.

“Are you hungry?” Raghu asked. “I brought pop-corn and sweet lemon juice for you.”

“How did you know that it is my favourite?”

For the next 30 minutes the two laughed and talked.

“Where are your parents?” The old woman asked.

“There.” Raghu pointed in their direction and they waived back.

“Now go back to them.” The old woman said. She then kissed his forehead and happily left.

With a big smile Raghu returned back to his parents.

“So, did you meet God?” Rahul asked.

“Yes. God is a woman and she has pain in her right knee.” Raghu replied immediately.

When the old woman returned back to her home, there was a big smile on her face.

“You look very happy, met someone special today?” Her son enquired.

“I had pop-corn and sweet lemon juice with God. He is much younger than I thought and has a slight lisp.”

As we Hindus say about God’s presence, Yatra Tatra Sarvatra. Meaning that God is present, here there everywhere.

God is present everywhere. All we need to do is share our happiness and make others smile to feel him.

Doing good, does us good

handcuffed

To be doing good deeds is man’s most glorious task – Sophocles

There once lived a man who was very helpful and kindhearted. He would help someone even without asking them to pay him back. Owing to this habit of his, he did not have a lot of money, but he was able to live an agreeable and content life.

One day while he was walking on a dusty road, he saw a purse. He picked it up and noticed that the purse was empty.

“Yes this is my purse.” A beautiful young woman shouted, as she came running in his direction accompanied by a policeman.

“Where is my money?” The woman asked as tears ran down her cheeks.

“It was empty when I found it.” The man replied innocently.

“Please give me back my money. It is for my son’s medicines, he is very sick. He’s been like this since he was born, and he has no one but me to take care of him.” The woman begged.

woman-crying

The man thought. “She is a single mother, and she is definitely telling the truth. I should help this needy woman.”

“Take this.” The man said as he handed over all the money that he had.

The woman left and the policeman took the man for further questioning.

As the woman walked towards the medicine store she counted the money, only to realize that it was more than twice the money she was carrying in her purse.

A few days later, the woman was walking towards the same medical store to purchase medicines for her son when she realized that she is being followed by a man.

Fearing that she is again going to be robbed, like the last time. She tightly grabbed her purse against her chest and shouted. “Help! Help! This man is trying to rob me.”

Hearing her, a group of people immediately rushed towards the man and started beating him.

A policeman rushed to the scene and shouted. “Leave him! Leave him alone!”

Hearing the policeman’s words the crowd dispersed.

The woman observed the policeman’s face and realized that he was the same policeman whom she took along to inquire about her purse.

The woman then turned her attention towards the slightly bruised man sitting on the ground. “Look! He is the same person who robbed me last time.”

“He was not the one who stole your money. He is not a thief. But seeing your condition, and hearing about your son, he gave you whatever money he was carrying.” The policeman told.

“The only reason I was following you was to make sure that no one steals your money this time.” The man said, as the policeman helped him stand-up.

The woman felt ashamed for her actions and after a couple of seconds of silence, said. “Please don’t go anywhere. Come to our place, and have dinner. I am sure my son will enjoy your company.”

Sometimes in our anger, desperation or frustration we make wrong judgments. But if we get the opportunity to rectify our mistakes, we should not hesitate. Always be humble and kind towards others who are less fortunate.

5 realistic New Year resolutions

ny-resolutions

It is the same story around the globe. Every New Year people make a lot of commitments to themselves and to their friends and family. While everyone has a unique way of sharing their New Year resolutions with their loved ones, but it generally goes like this:

“I’ll join a gym.”

“I’ll completely stop eating junk food, and only eat healthy organic food.”

“I’ll make people notice myself at parties.”

“I’ll completely stop smoking.”

“I’ll definitely start jogging.”

Aren’t you tired of lying to yourself?

How about setting some realistic goals this year, here are my 5 suggestions.

  1. Visit 5 interesting places: I am sure there are a lot many places that you want to visit. Pick 5 places, spend a couple of days there, take a lot of photographs and create wonderful and life long memories.
  2. Learn a good party trick: Okay, even decent party trick would do the job. This will not only help you enjoy parties, but people will also start noticing you. So, you don’t need to remind them the next day that you actually did attend their party.
  3. Make world a better place: Start doing something nice and selfless for making this world a better place. Like start donating blood, sponsor a child, or at-least being considerate towards people belonging to other religion or race.
  4. Include fruits and vegetables in your diet: A drastic change in diet is not only difficult but in some cases not advisable. So why not take the middle-path and include fruits and vegetables in your diet, if you aren’t already having.
  5. Make a new friend every month: Why not start expanding your social circle. This will not only broaden your horizons, but you’ll find new ways to get the most out of life.

Happy New Year.JPEG