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Showing posts from May, 2017

WAS SHE A 'SLOW LEARNER'?

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There was this young ninth-standard girl, who attended a few P.D. sessions a year ago. She was going through a very low phase at that time… She hated being treated as a ‘slow learner’ in school… She thought she was ‘normal’, but her teachers and authorities felt she was ‘not normal’. It was her parents, particularly the mother, who – like Edison’s mother did – refused to accept the ‘validation certificate’ of the teachers and school authorities… “We know our child better than anyone else does,” asserted the parents, “we shall see that our child grows up confident and compassionate.”
Two days ago, I received a phone call from the young girl. “Sir, just wanted to share with you my joy… I got 91% in ICSE tenth.”
I was happy for the girl. I had not taught her any of her subjects… All that I had done was to help her through our few P.D. sessions. “Sir, I can never forget those sessions in my life,” the young lady said, “You came at the right time in my life… You put my confidence back in me!…

GO, DO IT YOUR WAY...

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This is the season of results… tenth standard and twelfth standard, particularly, where the excitement – the joy and despair – is maximum. Yesterday, tenth (ICSE) and twelfth standard (ISC) results were out; and, today twelfth standard (HSC) results are out…
In the P.D.  session, this morning, I asked some boys and girls to come up on stage and share their joys and despair after the results… not just theirs’, but their parents’ and grandparents’, their siblings’ and friends’ too…
The ‘Board results’ are something… big thing! When I was a young boy like these students, I had gone through the same experience… the joy and the despair. My parents, even though they weren’t educated, had gone through the same experience, too…
“At your age, I was nowhere near you,” I tell my students, “You are far, far, far better. Hence, I have no business to judge you, leave alone ‘condemn’ you.”
When I look back at my own tenth, twelfth and graduation marks, I am now able to give a very confident and peacef…

SACHIN IS BELIEVABLE

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Last evening, my wife and I watched the movie, “SACHIN – A Billion Dreams’. The theatre was packed… young parents with their kids, elderly couples… young boys and girls and all of us. Sachin, it was clear, had won everyone’s hearts… He had inspired all of us… Yes, a billion people, to say the least, to dream!
I had been a huge fan of Sachin ever since I watched his first game… and, like everyone else, had kept myself updated on him… No matter how ‘colossal’ the brand Sachin had become, no matter how ‘larger-than-life’ he had become… how massive a Legend… I just cannot shed off the image of that boy-next-door… The boy just the way you and I had been, once… that boy who was shy yet mischievous… the boy who ate, played, prayed and lived just like you and me…
And, to me, that connect simply doesn’t happen with any other sports person, leave alone of the proportion Sachin had risen to…
His family looks like mine… his parents, brothers and sisters, his wife and children…
What is this supposed…

LISTEN TO YOUR HEART... LOOK UP TO YOUR STARS

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“Is that what they call a vocation - what you do with joy as if you had fire in your heart, the devil in your body?”

― Josephine Baker
When I look at my own life ( I will be 59 this year) and when I look at the lives of thousands of young-ones who I was privileged to come in contact with (through teaching, training, guiding, mentoring etc), I strongly feel, that one of the greatest blessings in life is - the clarity on one’s vocation… That is, what one wants to do in life… His career choice… His calling in life.
To me, what is perplexing and heart-breaking is this: In a city like Mumbai, where kids are born in decently educated and affluent families, where kids are sent to the so-called ‘best schools’… where kids are exposed to dozens of extra-curricular skills and famed academies, and, above all, where personal and career counseling - and also the options to choose from are like an endless galaxy -  yes, in an atmosphere like this one, to see young-kids being clueless about what they …

WE NEED HELP TO OVERCOME OUR FEARS

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One reason why we need to team up to achieve our goals is, that, as much as we pool our individual strengths together, we also complement our individual weaknesses with each others’ strengths. If I am extremely creative, someone in our team is extremely organized, cautions or communicative… If I am bad in handling money, someone in our team may be brilliant at that. As a team, we can certainly achieve a thousand-fold more than what we can achieve as individuals…
“Why can’t we ourselves overcome all our weaknesses and then go for the kill all alone?
Well, that’s not practical. Moreover, we can go only so much on our own. To go far, to do it big, we need to do it together as a team… creating a ‘Master-mind alliance’ as Napoleon Hill puts it.
As individuals, most of us suffer from the fear of failure: What if I fail? What if I don’t succeed? What if I lose whatever I possess now? What will others think? So, for individuals, this remains a huge block… unless the individual doesn’t cross t…

FROM PREYAS TO SREYAS: THE KEY TO EFFECTIVENESS

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The 16-year-old Manpreet had begun to miss her P.D. sessions suddenly. She had started off very well and I was very happy about the progress. Then came this hiccup… she stopped coming without informing me… When I contacted, she gave me some reasons for her absence and assured me that she wished to continue. But, the next session, she remained absent again… Last night, I sent a message to her: “Manpreet, request you not to drop out. You have been doing well… Please attend at 8 tomorrow morning. G.nt.”
Manpreet replied instantly: “Yes sir. Thanks for your concern. I will surely attend tomorrow morning.”
She did!
When I ushered Manpreet on stage, this morning, I asked her to speak on the topic: ‘Why I did not attend P.D. classes for more than a week’.
None of the reasons Manpreet gave us this morning, I was ready to accept. From my experience of nearly three decades, I knew that those who made a clear commitment and stuck to it… yes, they would do it till the end. “It is totally a self-devel…

MONEY IS A SHY BRIDE... YOU HAVE TO WOO HER

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“Money can buy you a fine dog, but only love can make him wag his tail.”
- Kinky Friedman
Over the past twenty-eight years or so, ever since I started writing and publishing on behalf of THE DAWN CLUB, besides the inspirational magazine ‘The Bloom’ and the poetry magazine, ‘The Pearls’ (no more being published presently), I have written, edited and published more than 30 inspirational books on behalf of our club. And, on all these books, I have bravely written ‘This book is not for sale’.
“Bravely’? or ‘foolishly’?
Well, whichever way you wish to see, you can see. One man’s food is another man’s poison… Someone else in my place would have made – what they colorfully describe – ‘Pots of money’… ‘Loads of money’…
As a young struggler in Mumbai, this city of dreams, in the early eighties, I had found on the roadside a copy of Napoleon Hill’s classic, ‘Think and Grow Rich’. The author had said clearly this: Money is a shy bride… You have to woo her.
Maybe, I am bad in wooing money… this shy bri…

WHEN YOUR KIDS SEND YOU ON A SHORT HOLIDAY

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I have been teaching the 17-year-old Jason for last six months or so. He is presently doing his class 12 (CBSE). He has twin sisters who are in school. Jason’s mom, Judith, had done the talking for his admission at my place. I haven’t met her, yet… But, every time I have spoken to her, she came about to me as a very warm and simple soul. She cared for her children immensely. In fact, when she first called me, one of the twins was undergoing a prolonged treatment in one of the hospitals in Mumbai and she was literally living day and night in the hospital. Later, when Jason had to be enrolled with me, his dad, Rajiv, accompanied him. “Jason’s elder brother?” I remember asking Rajiv.
“I am his dad!” the confident smile had made me say, “Can’t believe that!”
I learnt during the course of our discussion, that Rajiv, a top executive in an Insurance Major, had started a rigorous fitness programme. He looked young, dashing and energetic. I also learnt that, he was a popular Christian pastor an…

THE SEED CALLED DEPENDABILITY

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“In adults, dependability is the fruit of maturity;  in a child,  it is the seed.”
- Richard M. Eyre
The first person to ring our doorbell every morning is the dhoodwala. Sharp at 6:30. At 7:30 sharp, it is the house-keeping lady. At 7:45, the paperwala tucks the newspaper at the door… At nine sharp, the istriwala rings the bell… The maid stands on the door sharp at 9:30… At night, at 8:30, the pavwala (andawala) rings our bell…
These guys haven’t been to school like you and I have… They haven’t heard of Time-management or Personal Leadership theories from Stephen Covey or Brian Tracy… These guys  just do their job to earn their daily bread… and, they know, that  if they don’t do it well – that is, if they do not show dependability – they will lose it all… Yes, they will starve!
So, if the maid tries to act funny on this, take it… she has lost it… So will the rest. There is simply no exception to this most fundamental principle of success in life…
Obviously, by ‘Success’, I did not mean h…

THE LIFE AND THE LARGER-THAN-LIFE

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My wife did not want to watch ‘Bahubali-2’. “I have watched ‘Bahubali-1’, that’s enough,” she was very clear, “Except the grandeur and VFX effects, there will be nothing in it… I don’t want to watch it.”
But, I wanted to. The reason: I did not want to miss out on something created in our country as ‘too big’, ‘too ambitious’… just like the Taj Mahal, or, for that matter, our own (Mumbai’s) Sea-link, the Metro or the Monorail… the Express way or the Freeway… the IMX Dome… the Imagica… yes, all those had been larger-than-life creations… the ‘big things’.  So, like everyone else, I, too, wanted to be a part of the spectacle called ‘Bahubali-2’ only for that reason. To me, ‘Bahubali-2’ was our own ‘The Ten Commandments’, ‘Ben-Hur’, ‘Troy’ and ‘Gladiator’.
So, last week, I called up my wife and said, “I will be watching the 1.30 show of ‘Bahubali-2’… You don’t want to watch, right?”
“Yes, I don’t want to,” she was emphatic, “But, I don’t want you to watch it alone, either.”
“So, shall I book …
THE WILD, WAYSIDE FLOWERS
There is, always, something extra-ordinary in the wild, wayside flowers...