Category : Self Development

Cremation

Cremation

Recently, I attended a funeral.

Indian custom dictates a long series of ‘last rites’. When the seemingly endless sequence of rituals ended after nearly an hour, the mortal remains were ceremonially consecrated to electric heat of the modern crematorium.

We waited outside for an hour, chatting aimlessly about various things – subliminally aware, all the while, about the event we were soon about to experience.

Finally, the time came.

A young man, bent a little with the weight of his burden, came out carrying a metal box by it’s handles. Each side of the square box measured about 18 inches, and it was 3 inches deep.

It contained all that was left of the man we once knew, respected and loved.

Cremation shifts many paradigms about what we value in life.

Everyone, no matter how great or small, rich or poor, young or old, powerful or weak, influential or ignored – everyone will be reduced to a box full of ash… literally!

Isn’t that a great perspective from which to focus on more than the merely physical?

Think outside the “box”!

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Limitless Possibility

Possibility

At the time I first saw it, the video of Susan Boyle’s performance at “Britain’s Got Talent” had been viewed 6 million times on YouTube. Just a few days later, it was at – hold on to your hat!over TWENTY FIVE MILLION views!

Wow. (For a double wow, see the view count today!)

When I first watched it, my mind was in turmoil. I hit ‘REPLAY’ three more times, and each time, a wave of strong emotion ran through me.

Predominant was that surge of sheer adrenaline that makes you want to stand up and scream at the top of your lungs:

“YES!”

It’s the primal, atavistic rooting for the underdog, the irrational desire to see passion triumph over logic, the excitement that we live vicariously through seeing someone else go for that impossible dream… and win!

When the audience rose to give Susan a standing ovation, I didn’t just see a middle-aged 47-year old house-wife receiving accolades for a superlative on-stage performance.

I saw validation of the relentless persistence of a determined dreamer who dared to follow her heart.

I saw the collective cheering of humanity for someone who stared down a cynical universe, and spat in its eye.

And I saw MY FUTURE.

Yours too. If you want that.

Because Susan showed me – and you – that it is NEVER ‘too late’ to shoot for the stars.

When Simon asked, before she sang, about her ambition to be famous: “Why hasn’t it worked out so far, darling?”

Susan answered:

“I’VE NEVER BEEN GIVEN THE CHANCE!”

Didn’t we ALL tell ourselves that at one time or another? And didn’t we then CHOOSE to shelve those dreams – forever?

And isn’t THIS our wake-up call?

Maybe you, like me, told yourself “But there are dreams that cannot be… And there are storms we cannot weather”

And then, perhaps, you buried that hope and desire and ambition that once burned in your soul deep inside you, brushed aside the restless spirit that rose up in stubborn rebellion from time to time, soothed the nagging voice that echoed in the silence of the night with the platitude,

“Later. Yes, later.”

Watching that video made me UNCOMFORTABLE. Because until now, I had an excuse. Now, I don’t.

The song Susan Boyle performed at BGT, ends with the words:

“Now life has killed the dream I dreamed”

My question to you is:

ARE YOU GOING TO LET IT?

Or are you going to fight FOR it to come true?

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Lyrics of “I Dreamed a Dream”

There was a time, when men were kind
And their voices were soft
And their words were inviting
There was a time, when love was blind
And the world was a song
And the song was exciting
There was a time it all went wrong

I dreamed a dream in time gone by
When hope was high and life worth living
I dreamed that love would never die
I dreamed that God would be forgiving

Then I was young and unafraid
And dreams were made and used and wasted
There was no ransom to be paid
No song unsung, no wine untasted

But the tigers come at night
With their voices soft as thunder
As they turn your hope apart
As they turn your dreams to shame

He slept a summer by my side
He filled my dreams with endless wonder
He took my childhood in his stride
But he was gone when autumn came

And still I dream he’d come to me
That we would live the years together
But there are dreams that cannot be
And there are storms we cannot weather

I had a dream my life would be
So different from the hell I’m living
So different now from what it seemed
Now life has killed the dream I dreamed

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“Why Are You So SCARED To Dream BIG?”

Dream Big

Over the years, I have been asked this question many times. It always evoked strong feelings – especially of defensiveness.

Until recently.

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Pareto’s 80-20 Rule

The principle named after Vilfredo Pareto spotlights the “law of the valuable few”.

Or stated differently, 20% of the things you try will bring 80% of your success.

There are 2 approaches to applying this principle.

#1 – Try 100 different things, so that you’ll hit upon the 20 that work.

#2 – Try and come up with only the 20 that will work.

But with approach #2, since Pareto principle will be at play even here, only 20% of your ‘best guesses’ will be right!

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Let’s Play ‘Doctor’

Let's Play Doctor

As kids, many people dream about becoming a doctor. Saving lives. Curing illness. Making a difference.

And then, something happens; interests change; life takes a different direction. But a deep yearning still remains of what might have been.

Well, let’s play ‘Doctor’. Imagine that you have become a doctor. A surgeon. You are at the operation table, scrubbed and gowned, standing over a patient, ready to begin a complex procedure.

Right at that moment, your cellphone rings. It’s your wife calling. What are you going to do?

Surgery begins. “Scalpel”, you call. Make an incision. The OR door swings open and another doctor runs in, excitedly sharing the breaking news of a stock market crash. What will you do?

The operation proceeds. It’s a tough case. Takes longer than you expected. You’re getting hungry. Thoughts of the hot, spicy snack they’ll be serving just about now in the canteen assail your mind. What will you do?

It’s nearly over. The repair is finished. All that remains is to make sure everything’s ok, then sew up the incision you made many hours ago. You’re tired. Bored. What are you going to do?

The reason I left these questions unanswered until now is simple. The answer is always the same.

You just KEEP GOING!

And going on until you’re all done. Till your patient is healthy and well. It doesn’t matter how long it takes, how hard it is, how tired or hungry or bored you are… you just keep going.

Now imagine you’re playing ‘doctor’ with whatever you’re doing today. It may be writing a book. Or building a website. Or cooking dinner. Or running your business. Or drafting sales copy. Or planning an ad campaign. Or playing with your daughter. Or driving over to visit your mom. Or helping your spouse clean up.

Are you going to go half-way down the path, and then turn back, or get distracted, or just stop because you’re too tired?

Or are you going to keep going on – until you’re done with it?

Think about your next project like an unfinished operation you’re performing as a surgeon. If you abandon it mid-way through, your ‘patient’ could die. Focus on getting it done. That way lies success and happiness – in anything.

Yes, even in being a doctor!

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