Friday, November 29, 2013

DETATCHMENT





















Pic.: Manoj Nair

When I was small, I used to hear the Father in my church telling us this story about Jesus. A rich man, once, asks Jesus: “I have been obeying all the Commandments. What more should I do to enter the Kingdom of God?”

Jesus looks at the man for a while and replies: “Leave behind all your wealth and come with me.”

The man becomes sad and walks away.

Jesus, then, tells the crowd: “It’s as difficult for a rich man to enter into the Kingdom of God as it is for a camel to walk through the eye of a needle.”

The story was very interesting. But, I never fully understood the message, till very recently.

There was this man, who had, long back, borrowed some money from me in his difficult days. Then, many years passed by; he kept breaking his promises. He would promise me, and, when the day came, he would fail, yet again. I would get angry, mad… often, scream and shout in others’ presence. But, it had no effect. It would disturb me… I didn’t know how to deal with the situation… My mind was searching for a way out…

Then, one day, in one of the Workshops I had attended, the speaker made this impromptu comment to drive home the point, that, ‘we had the power to choose our happiness’. He asked the audience, “What will you do with your debtor, who keeps dodging you on and on, and you fail in every attempt to recover your money?”

No one seemed to agree with what the speaker said: “You have the choice to write off the debt, if peace is dearer to you!”

But, I agreed…

I wrote off my debt, then and there!



GERALD D”CUNHA

P.S.:


In 1990, THE DAWN CLUB had published a small book by the title – ‘The Zest’. It had carried some eighteen short and medium-sized passages written by me. The book instantly became one of our very popular books; and, eventually, it was reprinted several times.

We guess, one of the main reasons for its popularity was that it spoke to the reader in ‘first person’… He felt as though he was talking to himself… a soliloquy. Yes, the reader could instantly connect to the voice in the book… and, the message simply seeped into his heart!

The above passage – ‘DETACHMENT’ – is a popular passage from the book.


Thursday, November 28, 2013

CONTRIBUTION






















Pic.:Rajiv Sharma


One day, I asked myself:

Is my life contributing anything?


To my surprise, I found that I was too busy ‘playing’,

still indulging in those ‘loose talks’ with my friends,

still using my parents as my crutches,

and still expecting the world to make my life worthwhile…

I was disturbed to see how comfortably I had embraced such a life,

how worthless it had been!



It was only when I realized, deep within me,

that, I had at least some good things to contribute…

yes, it was only when I embraced such a zest for life –

I sensed that spring of motivation within me. 



GERALD D’CUNHA

P.S: 

In 1990, THE DAWN CLUB had published a small book by the title – ‘The Zest’. It had carried some eighteen short and medium-sized passages written by me. The book instantly became one of our very popular books; and, eventually, it was reprinted several times.

We guess, one of the main reasons for its popularity was that it spoke to the reader in ‘first person’… He felt as though he was talking to himself… a soliloquy. Yes, the reader could instantly connect to the voice in the book… and, the message simply seeped into his heart!

The above passage – ‘CONTRIBUTION’ – is a popular passage from the book.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

STANDING OVATIONS

















Pic.: Anand Ashokan




On one Sunday, in my Public Speaking session, I got a standing ovation. I felt I was on top of the world. The next Sunday, my speech fell flat. Someone else got the standing ovation. I felt defeated, sad…

Better sense dawned on me, soon.

Is winning the cup the only purpose in life? I asked myself. If so, where is Carl Lewis now? Where is Martina Navratilova? Where is Henry Ford and where is Queen Elizabeth? What went wrong with Ben Johnson, Maradona, Mike Tyson and Michael Jackson?

I had immensely liked Marlon Brando in some of his great movies. But, when I read, later, about the hell he was going through, I felt disturbed. Same thing about Rajan Pillai. I had admired his rise to power and lifestyle…

The other day, I overheard two young boys arguing about another fallen tycoon. One said, “The tycoon died like a dog.” The other said, “So what? He lived like a king!”

It, really, made me think!

Being on top can never, never, never be permanent. The only place to go from the top is DOWN! Yes, they say, the legends live on. But, they all learn to come down and accept their fall gracefully. But, the ones who think they are invincible, invariably, go crashing down!

I will never consider myself successful, till I haven’t learnt to accept my defeats gracefully…

Yes, every Sunday is different. I will never take my Standing Ovations too seriously.



GERALD D’CUNHA


P.S.:

In 1990, THE DAWN CLUB had published a small book by the title – ‘The Zest’. It had carried some eighteen short and medium-sized passages written by me. The book instantly became one of our very popular books; and, eventually, it was reprinted several times.

We guess, one of the main reasons for its popularity was that it spoke to the reader in ‘first person’… He felt as though he was talking to himself… a soliloquy. Yes, the reader could instantly connect to the voice in the book… and, the message simply seeped into his heart!

The above passage – ‘STANDING OVATIONS’ – is a popular passage from the book.



Tuesday, November 26, 2013

DECISIONS















Pic.: Neerja Panchal


A decision is some definite resolve that we make in our minds. We decide to do or not to do. And, such simple state of mind has so much power to influence the state of our affairs, the quality of our lives, and, above all, our destinations...

For so many years, I dreamed of so many things. But, when it came to achieving them, nothing took off the launching pad. I realized my handicap: my habit of procrastination. I avoided making decisions, because, I avoided responsibility. Things were quite comfortable, so I feared change, consequences. It was the classic Arjuna Syndrome. The whole Gita was written to explain the importance of making up our minds, of getting up and doing things – instead of just thinking on and on.

Later, I did mark these moments in the lives of my heroes: the night Gautama left his palace, the chilly night when young Gandhi was thrown out of a train compartment in South Africa; the night Christ prayed for courage in the Gethsemane Garden; the day the young girl Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu (Mother Teresa) decided to leave Loreto to walk among the poorest of the poor… There are many, many more.

Taking a major decision is like proclaiming one’s own liberation. There is so much power and magic packed in it, that the world begins to wonder, where the hell the strength comes from!

Too often, we aren’t capable of taking a major decision, unless and until some unpleasant circumstances force us to do so, unless and until we are driven to the wall…

Yes, in my case, it happened so!



GERALD D’CUNHA


P.S.:

In 1990, THE DAWN CLUB had published a small book by the title – ‘The Zest’. It had carried some eighteen short and medium-sized passages written by me. The book instantly became one of our very popular books; and, eventually, it was reprinted several times.

We guess, one of the main reasons for its popularity was that it spoke to the reader in ‘first person’… He felt as though he was talking to himself… a soliloquy. Yes, the reader could instantly connect to the voice in the book… and, the message simply seeped into his heart!

The above passage – ‘DECISIONS’ – is a popular passage from the book.


Monday, November 25, 2013

I DON'T KNOW

















Pic.: Mehul Bhuva



Am I supposed to know everything under the sun?

Why under the sun, I don’t think I am supposed to know everything even in my own field.

I am, certainly, supposed to get myself well-informed. But, what is the limit? I believe, no matter how much I know, I must still have the ability and grace to say, “I don’t know.”

Very often, I used to find it difficult to say this simple “I don’t know” and put on a brave front and go on faking…

After indulging in such an act I would feel disturbed, angry and depressed. It used to damage my self-esteem, further.

Today, I have learnt to say gently, “I don’t’ know”. I feel nice after I say so… I sense, that the other person feels more comfortable with me. And, certainly, I find it as an opportunity to learn more.

Not knowing everything is not a sin. It, once again, signifies that we are human beings – imperfect, and ever eager to learn.

To say “I don’t know”, when we really do not, requires a high self-esteem.



GERALD D’CUNHA

P.S.:

In 1990, THE DAWN CLUB had published a small book by the title – ‘The Zest’. It had carried some eighteen short and medium-sized passages written by me. The book instantly became one of our very popular books; and, eventually, it was reprinted several times.

We guess, one of the main reasons for its popularity was that it spoke to the reader in ‘first person’… He felt as though he was talking to himself… a soliloquy. Yes, the reader could instantly connect to the voice in the book… and, the message simply seeped into his heart!

The above passage – ‘I DON’T KNOW’ – is a popular passage from the book.


Saturday, November 23, 2013

FEAR IS THE SIGN THAT I AM ALIVE















Pic.: Malabika Ganguly

Somewhere I had picked up this thought: “To be fearless is to be great.” Each day, I tired desperately to conquer fear. And, the more I tried to conquer fear, the more I experienced it, the more I became aware of it. Then, a wonderful book* told me: “You are only a human being; and, as long as you keep growing and learning, as long as you keep walking into unfamiliar territories, you shall always experience fear. Like you, all experience fear… all have so many unfamiliar territories to walk into… That’s a fact of life… Don’t kid yourself.”

“What should I do, then?” I asked.

“Nothing. Just accept the fact that it is natural to have fear… and experience it fully.”

“That’s all?”

“Yes. You can only learn to handle fear and conquer it. The only way you can learn to handle it is by doing the thing that you are afraid of.”

That’s it. I have, since then, stopped trying to conquer fear. I am constantly trying to handle it, by doing the thing that I am scared of, by walking into my unfamiliar territories. There are hundreds of such territories… and, I don’t think my one life-time is enough to handle them. I accept the fact that I am a growing and learning human being.

Fear is a sign that I am alive!


* ‘FEEL THE FEAR AND DO IT ANYWAY’ -  by Susan Jafers


GERALD D’CUNHA




P.S.:

In 1990, THE DAWN CLUB had published a small book by the title – ‘The Zest’. It had carried some eighteen short and medium-sized passages written by me. The book instantly became one of our very popular books; and, eventually, it was reprinted several times.

We guess, one of the main reasons for its popularity was that it spoke to the reader in ‘first person’… He felt as though he was talking to himself… a soliloquy. Yes, the reader could instantly connect to the voice in the book… and, the message simply seeped into his heart!

The above passage – ‘FEAR’ – is a popular passage from the book.




Friday, November 22, 2013

THE POWER TO PERSIST COMES FROM OUR VISIONS



















Pic.: Reginald Pinto




The story of Christopher Columbus has, always, fascinated me.

Often, I have wondered

as to what gave him that power to sail on and on,

while his co-sailors agitated and couped to jettison him into the sea!



I understood the secret much later

when I ventured into discovering my own distant lands.

Possessing such a vision means sailing a rough sea, with rough people…

Like Christopher Columbus, like Moses of ancient Egypt.

Your vision is your vision.

At times, it is too painful to carry your people along, to keep holding on,

when everyone around you screams: ‘Impossible’.



Today, I know, that the power to persist

stems from our long-ranged dreams, our visions;

and our visions are born from our strong, inner desires

to make our lives purposeful.



GERALD D’CUNHA


P.S.:

In 1990, THE DAWN CLUB had published a small book by the title – ‘The Zest’. It had carried some eighteen short and medium-sized passages written by me. The book instantly became one of our very popular books; and, eventually, it was reprinted several times.

We guess, one of the main reasons for its popularity was that it spoke to the reader in ‘first person’… He felt as though he was talking to himself… a soliloquy. Yes, the reader could instantly connect to the voice in the book… and, the message simply seeped into his heart!

The above passage – ‘Vision’ – is a popular passage from the book.




Thursday, November 21, 2013

SELF-CONFIDENCE



 
Pic.:Manoj Nair


There must’ve been a million small victories in my life…

But, I didn’t bother to recognize them.

Somehow, I spent so much of my time brooding over

my handful of defeats, and, often, allowed myself to be paralyzed

by their bitter memories…

I was waiting and waiting to become self-confident,

at one shot, overnight…



That day never came!



Much later, I realized, that self-confidence comes

only when we appreciate our every little victory

and take our defeats as experiences to learn from…



I, also, learnt, that everyone’s journey began

with one little step, at a time…



I wasn’t an exception.




GERALD D’CUNHA


P.S.:

In 1990, THE DAWN CLUB had published a small book by the title – ‘The Zest’. It had carried some eighteen short and medium-sized passages written by me. The book instantly became one of our very popular books; and, eventually, it was reprinted several times.

We guess, one of the main reasons for its popularity was that it spoke to the reader in ‘first person’… He felt as though he was talking to himself… a soliloquy. Yes, the reader could instantly connect to the voice in the book… and, the message simply seeped into his heart!

The above passage – ‘Self-confidence’ – is a popular passage from the book.


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

THE RIGHT TO BE MYSELF


















Pic.:Rajiv Sharma


Often, I compared myself with others

and felt inferior deep within;

And, often, when others went ahead of me,

I felt restless and unhappy.



When I became aware of this problem,

I started searing for a solution;

I realized that the world had million of people

more talented and more good-looking than me…

And, so, how could I compare myself with so many?

How could I compete with so many?

How could I become better than them?



It seemed neither possible nor necessary.



So, I started focusing on my own good worth…

“Don’t I possess at least one or two good talents?”  I asked myself…

“Can’t I spend my time and energy focusing on improving

these talents and appreciating my own self-worth?”



It, then made sense.



Self-esteem was born the moment I accepted the fact,

that, I had the right to be myself…

and, that, I did not need to be anybody else.



GERALD D’CUNHA
 
P.S.:

In 1990, THE DAWN CLUB had published a small book by the title – ‘The Zest’. It had carried some eighteen short and medium-sized passages written by me. The book instantly became one of our very popular books; and, eventually, it was reprinted several times.

We guess, one of the main reasons for its popularity was that it spoke to the reader in ‘first person’… He felt as though he was talking to himself… a soliloquy. Yes, the reader could instantly connect to the voice in the book… and, the message simply seeped into his heart!

The above passage has remained one of the most popular passages from our publications…


Monday, November 18, 2013

MY GREATEST FREEDOM














Pic.: Mehul Bhuva


In 1990, THE DAWN CLUB had published a small book by the title – ‘The Zest’. It had carried some eighteen short and medium-sized passages written by me. The book instantly became one of our very popular books; and, eventually, it was reprinted several times.

We guess, one of the main reasons for its popularity was that it spoke to the reader in ‘first person’… He felt as though he was talking to himself… a soliloquy. Yes, the reader could instantly connect to the voice in the book… and, the message simply seeped into his heart!

In the coming Posts, I would like o proudly lead you through those simple yet inspiring voices…

Here is the introduction and the first voice…



Life doesn’t come with guarantees. We live, full twenty-four hours, surrounded by challenges. And living amidst all these challenges and uncertainties, call for our emotional maturity, our mental toughness. It also calls for a burning hunger in our hearts to live well.  We should learn to stand on our own feet – however inter-dependent life may be – and meet the challenges, squarely.

We cannot expect anyone else to do this for us!

Trouble starts, when we close our eyes to these ground realities – and continue to live a life of illusions. When we continue to live with self-pity and blame, feeling victimized and helpless…  Yes, when we run away from responsibility.



The problem is, that we see responsibility as some great burden, a great obligation, while the truth is: to be responsible means, to be able to take charge; yes, take charge of our own lives. And, we will never be able to take charge of our lives, as long as we do not realize, that ‘our life is our own business’!



A zestful person is one, who has reasons to get up in the morning… who has reasons to hope, try, fail and again try. A zestful person is one, who has an ambitious heart, but filled with gratitude. A zestful person is one, who never stops learning… ever.

Zest is the spring of life. It is that spirit within us, which helps us fight boredom, indifference, petty-mindedness, and, above all, self-pity. Zest keeps us forever young, purposefully busy and incorrigibly hopeful!

This little book is born out of such zest. Nothing in it is ‘original’ – there is no author to life’s secrets… They uncover before anyone who is zestful, who is thirsty to learn. So, the content of the book may or may not have any effect on the reader, depending on one’s own perception of things…

Zest cannot be learnt in the classrooms or through the textbooks… It comes like a spring from deep within…

Hope, the book will inspire in your soul the spring of life – THE ZEST!





THE ZEST: Voice 1


My greatest freedom is my freedom of choice.

Yes, things keep happening 

and circumstances can be too unpredictable;

Yes there are times,

when life may seem to reach a complete dead end...

and there are times,

when other people seem to govern my life.



The truth is:

I am still free to choose,

I can be proactive or reactive

I am free not to feel victimized

by people and circumstances around…



That’s my greatest freedom!


 GERALD D’CUNHA



Saturday, November 16, 2013

FINALLY, NEVER EVER BE AFRAID, IF YOU ARE RIGHT...














Pic.: Neerja Panchal





“Finally, never ever be afraid, if you are right.


The shrill voice inside you will tell you


What is right and what is wrong.


Be true to yourself, to that shrill voice inside you… and then look!


The whole world will be on your side… God will be on your side...


What else in life, then, matters?”



In life, you need integrity to be confident, happy and peaceful…. ‘What you know’ and ‘what you do’ should be in sync…

Living with integrity gives you strength. It gives you courage to overcome adversities and discouragement in life.

Dear, trust in you instincts, your hunches. Trust in your conscience – that shrill voice from within – and follow it all the way… Yes, it will guide you to be on the ‘right’ path… It will tell you what is right and what is wrong… It will tell you when you go astray in life, when you hurt, when you deviate from your true path… Yes, it will help you to re-align yourself in life… to walk straight when you flounder.

Therefore, be true to yourself… to that shrill voice inside your heart… That’s enough to help you remain confident, happy and peaceful in life… That’s enough to dissolve your anxieties and fears… That’s enough to provide you with a deep sense of security for your future…

The world respects people of integrity. A clear conscience inspires… Good intentions come form it and trust of people is won through it… So, when you follow your shrill voice, the world will conspire in your favor… People will line up, along your path, to cheer you up…

Yes, just because you did in life what you deeply thought was right… Just because you did not fear doing what you deeply believed in… 




If the world is with you, if God is with you… 

and, above all, if you are with you – 

what else does really matter in life?



Never, ever be afraid in life, my dear, if you are right… Because love, compassion, tolerance, forgiveness, hope, courage, charity, large-heartedness… and all other heavenly virtues come only from knowing, deep within your soul, that the path you walk is path that leads you ‘Home’!



GERALD D’CUNHA



P.S.:

In the early 80’s, as a stranger and a struggling young-man in this big city of Mumbai (then Bombay), I was filled with self-doubts and fears. My self-confidence level was at its lowest pit, and I was gripped with anxiety about my future. It was during these harrowing times, I had found on the roadside an old copy of Dr. Napoleon Hill’s inspirational classic – ‘Think & Grow Rich’… 

My life was destined to change, immediately!

I have been so influenced by Dr. Napoleon Hill’s ‘Success philosophy’ - particularly his famous line: “Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve,” - that it would be impossible for me to shed off this influence all my life.

So, as a young-teacher in his twenties, when I had scribbled those passages in the little booklet ‘THE DAWN’, they loudly – and proudly - echoed the core tenets of Dr. Hill’s life-lessons. What he had assimilated from the lives of scores of successful people and passed on to us, I was now trying to do, in my own way, to my students…

With my deepest humility and reverence, I dedicate this book ‘THE ECHOES OF THE DAWN’ - to the one who made me ‘Stand up’ in life…Dr. Napoleon Hill.