The Art of Giving

“Rivers do not drink their own water, nor do tree eat their own fruit, nor do rain clouds eat the grains reared by them.

The wealth of the noble is used solely for the benefit of others?

Even after accepting that giving is good and that one must learn to give, several questions need to be answered..

The first question is –   when should one give?

One does not know really whether one will be there tomorrow to give!

The time to give therefore is – NOW. The next question is – ‘how much to give?’

One recalls the famous incident from history.   Maharaja Rana Pratap was reeling after defeat from the Moghuls. He had lost his army, he had lost his wealth, and most important he had lost hope, his will to fight.

At that time in his darkest hour, his erstwhile minister Bhamasha came seeking him and placed his entire fortune at the disposal of Rana Pratap.  With this, Rana Pratap raised an army and lived to fight another day.

The answer to this question how much to give is – “Give as much as you can”!

The next question is – what to give?

It is not only money that can be given. It could be a flower or even a smile.

It is not how much one gives but how one gives that really matters. When you give a smile to a stranger that may be the only good thing received by him in days and weeks!

“You can give anything but you must give with your heart!

One also needs answer to this question – whom to give?

Many times we avoid giving by finding fault with the person who is seeking. However, being judgmental and rejecting a person on the presumption that he may not be the most deserving is not justified.   ”Give without being judgmental!

Next we have to answer – ‘How to give?

Coming to the manner of giving, one has to ensure that the receiver does not feel humiliated, nor the giver feels proud by giving.

‘Let not your left hand know what your right hand gives?  Charity without publicity and fanfare is the highest form of charity. ‘Give quietly!

While giving let not the recipient feel small or humiliated. After all what we give never really belonged to us.  We come to this world with nothing and will go with nothing.  The thing gifted was only with us for a temporary period.  Why then take pride in giving away something which really did not belong to us?

Give with grace and with a feeling of gratitude.

What should one feel after giving?

We all know the story of Eklavya. When Dronacharya asked him for his right thumb as “Guru = Dakshina”.  He unhesitatingly cut off the thumb and gave it to Dronacharya.

There is a little known sequel to this story..

Eklavya was asked whether he ever regretted the act of giving away his thumb when he was dying.

His reply was “Yes! I regretted this only once in my life. It was when Pandavas  were coming in to kill Dronacharya who was broken hearted  on the false news of death of his son Ashwathama and had  stopped fighting.  It was then that I regretted the loss of my thumb.  If the thumb was there, no one could have dared hurt my Guru?  The message to us is clear.

Give and never regret giving!

And the last question is – ‘How much should we provide for our heirs?

Ask yourself, ‘Are we taking away from them the”gift of work? – a source of happiness!’

The answer is given by Warren Buffett:  “Leave your kids enough to do anything, but not enough to do nothing!

I would conclude by saying: let us learn the Art of Giving, and quoting Sant Kabir:

“When the wealth in the house increases, when water fills a boat, throw them out with both hands!  This is the wise thing to do!

Live simply. Love generously. Speak kindly.

The Gossip

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Spread like wildfire.

One branch

The next

Eating one leaf after another.

News catching the ears

Of those bent to other tasks.

And suddenly the whole world knew.

Our whole world knew.

It was as if we’d all been waiting.

Waiting for the moment that this news

This epic tale of love and possible pain

Would be brought to fruition within our ears and upon our tongues.

And we had to spread.

Had to tell.

Had to share with each other.

As if it were a message of hope and holiness

When in reality it was just gossip.

And even now.

I think of holding the blade above my tongue

Because I had to turn to whisper.

Had to leave my work and share.

But why.

I don’t understand why.

Why did I do this?

Why did I have to say these things?

Not bad,

Not good,

Just sharing news.

I wish I could have stayed.

Sat upon my seat a moment longer

Before I rushed to tell the others.

But I didn’t.

But perhaps

Perhaps next time I shall

Proud to be me

Yeah, I’m different

What do I care

At least I’m myself

And of you,

I am not scared.

You can try all you want.

But you can not hurt me

I don’t care what you say

Can’t you see Sticks and stones may break my bones

But your words will never hurt me

And even the I’m rubber and your glue

Everything you say bounces back to you.

So do yourself a favor and stop while your ahead

Because I know I’m better alive than dead

One more

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One scream

Escapes my lips

What happened

How’d it get to this?

One more scar

Bleeds and welts

No one could guess

How I felt

One more minute

I’ll give up

One more second Is preparation enough

One step

One word

One wound

One day

One tear

One scream

One scar

One minute

One second

This is how long it takes for someone to be thrown over the edge.

One hug

It brightens up my day

I smile and laugh

Nothing to say

One smile

Big as the sun

Can turn a gray day

Into one full of sun

One compliment

Straight from the heart

Keeps my world

From falling apart

One letter

Written to me

Makes it easier

For me to see

One more friend

Makes me smile

Something I haven’t done

In a while

One more dream

Keeps me alive

Shows me that

I can survive

One more day

I guess I’ll see

What it has

In store for me

One more minute

I’ll be alright

One more second

I guess I’ll fight

One hug

One smile

One compliment

One letter

One friend

One day

One minute

One second

This is all it takes to save a life.

So will you save me or turn away

Just think first about what you’re going to say.

Now I believe in me

I’m losing myself trying to compete with everyone else instead of just being me.

Don’t know where to turn. I’ve been stuck in this routine. 

I need to change my ways, instead of always being weak

I don’t wanna be afraid, I wanna wake up feeling beautiful today and know that I’m okay cause everyone’s perfect in unusual ways

So you see, I just wanna believe in me

The mirror can lie, doesn’t show you what’s inside and it, it can tell you you’re full of life.

It’s amazing what you can hide Just by putting on a smile

I don’t wanna be afraid. 

I wanna wake up feeling beautiful today and know that I’m okay cause everyone’s perfect in unusual ways

So you see, I just wanna believe in me

I’m quickly finding out.

I’m not about to break down

Not today

I guess I always knew

That I had all the strength to make it through

Not gonna be afraid

I’m going to wake up feeling beautiful today and know that I’m okay cause everyone’s perfect in unusual ways

So you see, now, now I believe in me.

Now I believe in me.

Fall

You may see me struggle but you won’t see me fall. 

Regardless if I’m weak or not I’m going to stand tall. 

Everyone says life is easy but truly living it is not.

Times get hard, people struggle and constantly get put on the spot. 

I’m going to wear the biggest smile  even though I want to cry. 

I’m going to fight to live  even though I’m destined to die and even though it’s hard and I may struggle through it all.  

You see me struggle, You will NEVER see me fall.

Shadows

With every spotlight, There is a shadow.

Are they really that scary?

They’re just unknown.

I find shadows more comfortable than the light.

In light, you are blinded, exposed no where to hide.

But the shadows You can hide in the darkness

Rely on instincts

Trust the unknown

The shadows aren’t evil,

Just misunderstood 

So would you rather be put on the Spotlight or hide in the ever peaceful Shadows

What Does Success Mean to You?

Success is one of those concepts that we all understand, and yet, in reality it means something different to each individual. What might represent financial abundance to you might represent poverty to someone like Donald Trump.

Your concept of being physically fit is probably not the same as that of an elite Olympic athlete. While swimming a quarter of a mile might represent your new personal best, to someone about to swim the English Channel it doesn’t mean much.

Identify what being successful means to you!

To be successful in any endeavor the first thing we need to do is to identify exactly what success in that area means to you personally. Your pattern of achievement will follow your definition. Many people focus on being successful in just one area of their life such as relationships or business. That’s probably why it is so common to see those who are very successful in one area, but struggling in others.

Another thing that can happen when pursuing success is that we choose to make a conscious trade off by neglecting one or more aspects of life in order to succeed in another. For example, workaholics don’t generally have the most meaningful family lives. Everyone at work may see them as extremely successful, but is that how their families are likely to feel?

On the other side of the spectrum we might find a very devoted family man who excels at being a husband and father, but struggles to make ends meet. While he has succeeded in an area that a workaholic has not, his attainment probably doesn’t bring him much recognition from the business community.

A broader definition of being successful

While any level of accomplishment, in any area of life, can be gratifying, I prefer a much broader and more balanced version of being successful. I would rather raise the level of my whole life experience than pursue billionaire status while everything else falls by the wayside. Life should be viewed as a synergistic adventure where goals in one area contribute to the whole. My concept is actually one of synergistic success.

So when we think of living a truly successful life, we are really talking about having a reasonable measure of success in many different areas. For that to be a reality, it’s absolutely vital that we establish a definition for what it means to succeed in each of those areas and then analyze how succeeding in that area can contribute to the other areas. This is the only way that we can gauge our progress without throwing everything else out of balance.

Aspects of being synergistically successful

If you were to list the various important areas of your life that you would like to keep in balance, what would you include? The reason I am writing this article is not to give you my definition of whole life success, but to encourage you to think about what synergistic success means to you personally.

What areas of life matter most to your broader version of being successful? For you to feel like a totally successful person, what elements would need to be included? If you are willing to take the time to actually define your personal vision of a successful life, then you can design a plan that contributes to that vision. If you ignore this step, you may end up neglecting the most important areas of your life in pursuit of a mirage.

How do you measure success?

People tend to measure success by the results that they can see. Sadly, many people consider material wealth as the most accurate indicator of a successful person. When you look for signs of success, what do you see? Do you consider the wonderful husband and father of modest means who is well liked and appreciated by everyone he knows as successful? How about the very wealthy person who makes everyone around him miserable, but drives a Rolls Royce Phantom and lives in a 27 room mansion?

It is important to realize that successful is not so much something that we do, it’s something we become. First we succeed on the inside, in our minds, and then we can become successful on the outside. So before you go chasing the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, why not take the time to figure out exactly what success means to you?

How much money would it take for you to feel successful?

How do you value relationships compared to income?
The lines are open!

You Have Multiple Personalities Inside of You

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Inside each and every one of us lies multiple personalities. Not in a ‘dissociative order’ kind of way, rather different personalities in different areas of our lives, and each of these areas have different characteristics, in effect multiple personalities.

These personalities fight among themselves for superiority and we tend to favour one type depending on how we feel.

Let me give you an example here:

The two personalities most of us have experienced.

We’ve all been in the place when we want to get fitter in our lives. So the two types of personalities we’ll call them Mr(s) Fit and Mr(s) Unfit.

We might have gone through most of our lives being relatively fit, we played sports at school, we carried that on and played with a local team, or we went out jogging after work. Then life kinda got in the way. We got married, had kids, got a job working all hours and Mr(s) Fit pretty much faded away and Mr(s) Unfit took over.

Then one day we look in the mirror and let out a little squeal ‘Jesus, when did I develop that stomach?’ or ‘When the hell did I get so much cellulite?’ or ‘When did the bingo wings happen?’ and Mr(s) Fit comes shooting up from the grave and says ‘I’m here, and it’s time to get fit again. Now, get your lardy ass back to the gym, we’re going on a fitness regime.’ Dutifully, you join the gym and get all pumped up, and for two weeks you’re going great guns. You’ve lost a few pounds, which keeps you motivated, you’re going out jogging at 6am, and going to the gym 3 nights per week. Then life happens again, you’ve got to work late and miss the gym one night, it’s raining at 6am when you’re going for a jog and Mr(s) Unfit says, ‘come on, you can miss it one morning, it’s not going to kill you.’ Pretty soon, Mr(s) Unfit has taken over again and you’re back to square one.

This fight goes on for years, with Mr(s) Fit coming to the fore every now and again, but Mr(s) Unfit just waits in the wings ready to come back harder and stronger than ever before ‘You’re too old for all this.’; ‘You shouldn’t have to work so hard at this, take a break.’; ‘Go on, one cake isn’t going to harm you is it?’. You get the picture. And that’s one of two types of personalities we have inside of us, each fighting for superiority.

We have multiple personalities fighting inside us all the time: Mr(s) Lazy Ass vs Mr(s) Productive, Mr(s) Manager vs Mr(s) Entrepreneur, Mr(s) Procrastinator vs Mr(s) Get Things Done, Mr(s) Disorganised vs Mr(s) Organised, along with 10s of others.

The Dichotomy of life

It’s easy to spot the different personalities in each of us in every thing we do in life. Sometimes I go into work and I’m super productive and can get my work done in half the time it normally takes, and then other days I just can’t be bothered and tell myself I’ll be able to do it tomorrow.

So there are always two types of personalities inside of us, in each area of our lives, and there are many different areas.

So what do we do to be the person we really want to be?

Knowing who you want to be

A lot of the time we are unconscious of the dominant personalities in our lives. So we have to become aware of the dominant personalities. We do this by asking ourselves questions:

  • Am I generally a productive person?
  • Am I a good parent?
  • Am I organised?
  • Am I a good manager?
  • Am I assertive?

Think just now about some of the areas where you wished you were better. I am sure you’ve said to yourself ‘I wish I am was more like them, they are so organised.’ or ‘I wish I could be as assertive as them, they are so much more respected.’ So go ahead just now and think about some of the areas you’d like to do better in.

Conscious effort

Now that you’ve gotten some of the different personalities in mind and know which personality you’d like to dominate your thinking, it’s time to take some action.

As an example, say you want to be more organised in life but Mr(s) Disorganised is the dominant personality, you have to fight Mr(s) Disorganised and do something every single day that will frustrate them: Tidy the house for half hour each day instead of leaving it for one particular day of the week, get your birthday calendar organised every month so you never miss a birthday again (one of my previous downfalls), Organise a to do list at work that you must complete to stop you feeling overwhelmed, tidy you work space every day, organise the desktop on your computer so you’re not constantly trying to find files and programs. You see what I mean here.

After a few weeks of doing something every day to bring forth the dominant personality you want in your life, the other personality will fade into the background. But beware, they are just waiting in the wings ready for an opportunity to pounce and snatch dominance again. You’ve got to be strongest in your weakest moments, when you can do that you will quickly become the person you really want to be.

Small moves Ellie, small moves

In the movie ‘Contact’ starring Jodie Foster as Ellie Arroway her father Ted Arroway, played by David Morse, is helping his young daughter find a signal on a short wave radio. She complains that she’s not picking up any signal as she turns the dial in wide arcs, searching desperately for someone out there who’s listening.

“Small moves, Ellie. Small moves.” he tells her.

She turns the dial more slowly, carefully, click by click, and picks up a signal in Pensacola, Florida. Ellie is overjoyed.

So it is with life; Small moves. I wouldn’t try and get all the dominant personalities you want in your life straight away. I would pick 3 of the most important type of personality you would like to have and focus on them solely for a few months. Once you’ve mastered a few, you can then start to pick up the pace and focus on other areas of your life you’d like to change and bring forth new dominant personalities in your life.

Let your commenter come out in you and leave a comment below

First Impressions, Last Perceptions

It intrigues me to observe how we all form opinions in different ways and sometimes they are based on something so completely random. 

I like just about everyone. It takes a lot for me not to see the good in people. I may not be best friends with everyone, but I’m not usually quick to judge. I want to hear their stories. The stories that are always changing. What I thought when I first meet someone is rarely the same after we get to know each other. Always evolving….

It’s personality that makes us all different. It makes us valuable to give perspectives.
 
Fun is good. But you never know what can come of a playful moment, a misspoken sentence, an outfit you wear or a tweet you send. What perception do people have of you and how did they get there?
 
We create these images of people based on our interaction or on what we hear from other people. It’s not always fair, but when it happens, you need to take note and decide what your next step will be.
 
Since I started paying attention, I’ve heard people say things like:
 
  • I wouldn’t hire someone who wears those short/tight dresses in a professional setting.
  • I wouldn’t date a guy who has ever cheated on someone.
  • I wouldn’t want to work with someone who drinks that much.
  • That person isn’t a very good presenter. I’m surprised he made it to the director level.
  • I don’t have much respect for someone who says they hate to read.
  • I wouldn’t marry someone who already has a child.
So many comments once I started paying attention. It’s not easy to hear things about yourself that you don’t feel are true, but sometimes you need to make some changes while also staying true to yourself.
 
But life is subjective so sometimes your next step is to do nothing. To take the information under consideration and make note of it in the future. Monitor how people are perceiving your brand and figure out if something needs to be changed to get you where you want to go. But never lose who you really are along the way.