“If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I’m about to do today?”

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Hundred Gold Coins & Birbal

The wisdom of Birbal was unparalleled during the reign of Emperor Akbar. But Akbar’s brother in law was extremely jealous of him. He asked the Emperor to dispense with Birbal’s services and appoint him in his place. He gave ample assurance that he would prove to be more efficient and capable than Birbal. Before Akbar could take a decision on this matter, this news reached Birbal.

Birbal resigned and left. Akbar’s brother in law was made the minister in place of Birbal. Akbar decided to test the new minister. He gave three hundred gold coins to him and said, “Spend these gold coins such that, I get a hundred gold coins here in this life; a hundred gold coins in the other world and another hundred gold coins neither here nor there.”

The minister found the entire situation to be a maze of confusion and hopelessness. He spent sleepless nights worrying how he would get himself out of this mess. Thinking in circles was making him go crazy. Eventually, on the advice of his wife he sought Birbals help. Birbal said, “Just give me the gold coins. I shall handle the rest.”

Birbal walked the streets of the city holding the bag of gold coins in his hand. He noticed a rich merchant celebrating his son’s wedding. Birbal gave a hundred gold coins to him and bowed courteously saying, “Emperor Akbar sends you his good wishes and blessings for the wedding of your son. Please accept the gift he has sent.” The merchant felt honoured that the king had sent a special messenger with such a precious gift. He honoured Birbal and gave him a large number of expensive gifts and a bag of gold coins as a return gift for the king.

Next, Birbal went to the area of the city where the poor people lived. There he bought food and clothing in exchange for a hundred gold coins and distributed them in the name of the Emperor.

When he came back to town he organized a concert of music and dance. He spent a hundred gold coins on it.

The next day Birbal entered Akbar’s darbar and announced that he had done all that the king had asked his brother-in-law to do. The Emperor wanted to know how he had done it. Birbal repeated the sequences of all the events and then said, “The money I gave to the merchant for the wedding of his son – you have got back while on this earth. The money I spent on buying food and clothing for the poor – you will get it in the other world. The money I spent on the musical concert – you will get neither here nor there.” Akbar’s brother in law understood his mistake and resigned. Birbal got his place back.

Moral: The money you spend on friends is returned or reciprocated in some form or the other. The money spent on charity gets converted into blessings from God which will be your eternal property. The money spent on pleasures is just frittered away. So when you spend your money, think a little, if not a lot.

Keep Your Dream

I have a friend named Monty Roberts who owns a horse ranch in San Isidro. He has let me use his house to put on fund-raising events to raise money for youth at risk programs.

The last time I was there he introduced me by saying, “I want to tell you why I let Jack use my horse. It all goes back to a story about a young man who was the son of an itinerant horse trainer who would go from stable to stable, race track to race track, farm to farm and ranch to ranch, training horses. As a result, the boy’s high school career was continually interrupted. When he was a senior, he was asked to write a paper about what he wanted to be and do when he grew up.

“That night he wrote a seven-page paper describing his goal of someday owning a horse ranch. He wrote about his dream in great detail and he even drew a diagram of a 200-acre ranch, showing the location of all the buildings, the stables and the track. Then he drew a detailed floor plan for a 4,000-square-foot house that would sit on a 200-acre dream ranch.

“He put a great deal of his heart into the project and the next day he handed it in to his teacher. Two days later he received his paper back. On the front page was a large red F with a note that read, `See me after class.’

“The boy with the dream went to see the teacher after class and asked, `Why did I receive an F?’

“The teacher said, `This is an unrealistic dream for a young boy like you. You have no money. You come from an itinerant family. You have no resources. Owning a horse ranch requires a lot of money. You have to buy the land. You have to pay for the original breeding stock and later you’ll have to pay large stud fees. There’s no way you could ever do it.’ Then the teacher added, `If you will rewrite this paper with a more realistic goal, I will reconsider your grade.’

“The boy went home and thought about it long and hard. He asked his father what he should do. His father said, `Look, son, you have to make up your own mind on this. However, I think it is a very important decision for you.’ “Finally, after sitting with it for a week, the boy turned in the same paper, making no changes at all.

He stated, “You can keep the F and I’ll keep my dream.”

Monty then turned to the assembled group and said, “I tell you this story because you are sitting in my 4,000-square-foot house in the middle of my 200-acre horse ranch. I still have that school paper framed over the fireplace.” He added, “The best part of the story is that two summers ago that same schoolteacher brought 30 kids to camp out on my ranch for a week.” When the teacher was leaving, he said, “Look, Monty, I can tell you this now. When I was your teacher, I was something of a dream stealer. During those years I stole a lot of kids’ dreams. Fortunately you had enough gumption not to give up on yours.”

Moral: Don’t let anyone steal your dreams. Follow your heart, no matter what.   No Dream is too big or too small when one works hard to live it.  One should always try making dreams come true no matter what.

The Praying Hands

Back in the fifteenth century, in a tiny village near Nuremberg, lived a family with eighteen children. Eighteen! In order merely to keep food on the table for this mob, the father and head of the household, a goldsmith by profession, worked almost eighteen hours a day at his trade and any other paying chore he could find in the neighbourhood. Despite their seemingly hopeless condition, two of Albrecht Durer the Elder’s children had a dream. They both wanted to pursue their talent for art, but they knew full well that their father would never be financially able to send either of them to Nuremberg to study at the Academy.

After many long discussions at night in their crowded bed, the two boys finally worked out a pact. They would toss a coin. The loser would go down into the nearby mines and, with his earnings, support his brother while he attended the academy. Then, when that brother who won the toss completed his studies, in four years, he would support the other brother at the academy, either with sales of his artwork or, if necessary, also by labouring in the mines.

They tossed a coin on a Sunday morning after church. Albrecht Durer won the toss and went off to Nuremberg. Albert went down into the dangerous mines and, for the next four years, financed his brother, whose work at the academy was almost an immediate sensation. Albrecht’s etchings, his woodcuts, and his oils were far better than those of most of his professors, and by the time he graduated, he was beginning to earn considerable fees for his commissioned works.

When the young artist returned to his village, the Durer family held a festive dinner on their lawn to celebrate Albrecht’s triumphant homecoming. After a long and memorable meal, punctuated with music and laughter, Albrecht rose from his honoured position at the head of the table to drink a toast to his beloved brother for the years of sacrifice that had enabled Albrecht to fulfill his ambition. His closing words were, “And now, Albert, blessed brother of mine, now it is your turn. Now you can go to Nuremberg to pursue your dream, and I will take care of you.”

All heads turned in eager expectation to the far end of the table where Albert sat, tears streaming down his pale face, shaking his lowered head from side to side while he sobbed and repeated, over and over, “No …no …no …no.”

Finally, Albert rose and wiped the tears from his cheeks. He glanced down the long table at the faces he loved, and then, holding his hands close to his right cheek, he said softly, “No, brother. I cannot go to Nuremberg. It is too late for me. Look … look what four years in the mines have done to my hands! The bones in every finger have been smashed at least once, and lately I have been suffering from arthritis so badly in my right hand that I cannot even hold a glass to return your toast, much less make delicate lines on parchment or canvas with a pen or a brush. No, brother … for me it is too late.”

More than 450 years have passed. By now, Albrecht Durer’s hundreds of masterful portraits, pen and silver-point sketches, water colours, charcoals, woodcuts, and copper engravings hang in every great museum in the world, but the odds are great that you, like most people, are familiar with only one of Albrecht Durer’s works. More than merely being familiar with it, you very well may have a reproduction hanging in your home or office.

One day, to pay homage to Albert for all that he had sacrificed, Albrecht Durer painstakingly drew his brother’s abused hands with palms together and thin fingers stretched skyward. He called his powerful drawing simply “Hands,” but the entire world almost immediately opened their hearts to his great masterpiece and renamed his tribute of love “The Praying Hands.”

Moral: The next time you see a copy of that touching creation, take a second look. Let it be your reminder, if you still need one, that no one – no one – ever makes it alone!

Crows in the Kingdom

One day Emperor Akbar and Birbal were taking a walk in the palace gardens. It was a nice summer morning and there were plenty of crows happily playing around the pond. While watching the crows, a question came into Akbar’s head. He wondered how many crows were there in his kingdom.

Since Birbal was accompanying him, he asked Birbal this question. After a moment’s thought, Birbal replied, “There are ninety-five thousand four hundred and sixty-three crows in the Kingdom”.

Amazed by his quick response, Akbar tried to test him again, “What if there are more crows than you answered?” Without hesitating, Birbal replied, “If there are more crows than my answer, then some crows are visiting from other neighboring kingdoms”. “And what if there are less crows”, Akbar asked. “Then some crows from our kingdom have gone on holidays to other places”.

Moral: There is always a way if you think with ease.

Berani - Satu Renungan

Bangun, tegakan kepala dan badanmu!
Songsong ujian tersebut dengan lapang dada,
kerana dengan ujian yang semakin berat dan menyakitkan
akan menguji siapa kalian sebenarnya …

Jangan takut untuk kalah,
Jangan takut untuk jatuh, dan
Jangan takut untuk gagal ...
Apalagi takut untuk mati, …
Segalanya telah di atur dengan kehendakNya, …

Jangan takut dan ragu lagi …
Ibu pertiwi memerlukan kalian ...
Memanggil kalian …

Akan sangat memalukan bila anak anak dan penerus kita  
tahu bahwa kita bukanlah apa apa ...
Seorang pengecut, yang tak berani melakukan perubahan …
Akan sangat memalukan memiliki darah dari seorang PEJUANG
bila kita tidak berbuat hal yang positif serta memperjuangkannya …

Cari lah jalan hidup kalian yang terbaik
yang mampu kalian lakukan untuk sebuah perubahan,
bukan hanya semata-mata penuh harap dan doa sahaja …
Dapatkan kematian yang terhormat dengan amalimu … Until the end.

Biarkan kita hdup dalam sebuah memori yang indah
bagi setiap insan yang mengenali kita …
Itulah erti jiwa pejuang yang sesungguhnya …
Ketauladanan yang baik untuk mereka yang ditinggalkannya …


Monday, January 2, 2017

Quotes for Jan 2017 - Part 2

Cerita Diri Aku

Kata Fikiran (Menteri) Aku ...

Hidup ini sementara.
Tujuan aku atas dunia ini untuk mendapat keredhaan Tuhan
Hidup ini perlu beri yang terbaik
Hidup ini perlu ada harta
Hidup ini perlu ada ilmu
Hidup ini perlu ada sahabat
Hidup ini perlu ada matlamat agar aku tidak buang masa

Kata Perasaan (Genie) Aku ...

Sesaklah hidup ini!
Banyak sangatlah masalah!

Kata Pilihan (Raja) Aku ...

Jauhi dosa!
Dekati Pahala!
Utamakan Memberi dari Menerima!
Wahai 'Fikiran Aku', Utamakanlah Ilmu!
Wahai 'Perasaan Aku', Tenanglah Kau!
Wahai 'Hati Aku', Utamakanlah Perintah Tuhan kita!
Wahai 'Tindakan Aku', Turutilah Kata Aku!

Kata Tindakan (Rakyat) Aku ...

Wahai 'Hati Aku', akan aku turuti Kata Kau!
Selesaikan apa yang perlu diselesaikan sebelum tinggalkan dunia ini!

Quotes for Jan 2017 - Part 1

Satu Fikir Di Awal 2017

Beberapa hari yang lepas, seorang sahabat bertanya kepada saya, ‘Saya sedar bahawa keadaan emosi saya sangat kuat mempengaruhi mindset saya. Soalnya bagaimana saya perlu mentadbir emosi saya?”

Soalan di atas nampak mudah tetapi bila soalan ini diajukan, saya terkedu sebentar kerana inilah yang sedang saya alami. Emosi saya sering kacau sejak kebelakangan ini dan atas sebab itu mindset saya selalu menjadi negatif. Soalnya bagaimana harus hal ini ditangani?

Langkah Pertama

Sedarlah bahawa keadaan emosi kita itu tidak lain hanyalah lambang apa yang sedang kita fikirkan atau mindset kita. Dalam kata lain;

Emosi sedih lambang fikiran yang negatif -  Payah capai apa yang dihajati.
Emosi gembira lambang fikiran  yang positif – Mudah capai apa yang dihajati

Langkah Kedua

Ubahlah apa yang difikirkan kearah yang lebih positif. Senang bercakap untuk ubah fikiran ke arah yang lebih positif tetapi bagaimana untuk mengubah fikiran dan bagaimana untuk mengekalkan fikiran ke arah yang lebih positif tersebut? Caranya ialah dengan menetapkan matlamat untuk diri sendiri.

Ramai yang mungkin mengeluh bila saya mengutarakan pendapat ini. Kenapa? Sebab ramai yang gagal menetapkan matlamat tersebut. Persoalannya mengapa? Inilah ada kerana secara psikologinya, penetapan matlamat dan usaha untuk mencapai matlamat tersebut memerlukan mereka mengorbankan kebiasaan mereka. Dalam kata lain, mereka perlu keluar dari zon selesa.

Mereka terperuk dalam zon selesa kerana mereka hanya fokus kepada apa yang mereka bakal hilang dan tidak fokus kepada apa yang bakal mereka perolehi seperti mencapai matlamat tersebut, mendapat pengalaman dan ilmu dari usaha penetapan dan pencapaian matlamat tersebut dan lain-lain lagi.

Langkah Ketiga

Bilamana matlamat telah ditetapkan dan mula diusahakan, maka ianya akan membantu fikiran menjadi positif dan kekal dalam keadaan positif. Pada ketika itu, bukankah emosi kita akan jadi gembira? Bila kita gembira, bukankah itu memudahkan mencapai matlamat? Fikirkan …


Saya mulai sedar tidak perlu saya melayan perasaan saya lagi kerana ianya akan menyebabkan saya menjadi makin huru hara dalam hidup ini tetapi saya akan jadikan emosi saya hanya sebagai pedoman untuk memperbaiki cara fikir saya agar hidup saya terurus dan tidak membuang masa!

Itulah, sebagai resolusi tahun baru ini, saya mahu melihat tugas baru saya bukan sebagai satu beban (emosi mudah menjadi sedih) tetapi melihat tugas saya sebagai peluang untuk  belajar dan membangunkan sebuah bisnes (emosi mudah menjadi gembira). Bukankah ini bakal memudahkan saya mencapai matlamat saya? Anda bagaimana?

I Welcome You ... 2017!