Posted in Wisdom

See Your Troubles as Blessings

During the life leadership seminars I give, I often ask the participants this question: “Who would agree with me that we learn the most form our most difficult experiences?” Inevitably, nearly every hand in the room goes up. Given this, I often wonder why we, as human beings, spend so much of our lives focusing on the negative aspects of our most difficult experiences rather than seeing them for what they truly are: our greatest teachers.

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You would not have the wisdom and knowledge you now possess were it not for the setbacks you have faxed, the mistakes you have made and the suffering you have endured. Once and for all, come to realize that pain is a teacher and failure is the highway to success. You cannot learn how to play the guitar without hitting a few wrong notes and you will never learn how to sail if you are not willing to tip the boat over a few times. Begin to see your troubles as blessings, resolve to transform your stumbling blocks into stepping stones and vow to turn your wounds into wisdom.

Like most people, I have encountered my own share of pain as I have advanced along the path of life. But I always try to remind myself that our character is shaped, not through life’s easiest experiences, but during life’s toughest ones. It is during life’s mot trying times that we discover who we really are and the fullness of the strength that lies within us. If you are currently experiencing challenges of your own, I respectfully offer the following words of Rainer Maria Rilke, which have helped me greatly when life throws one of its curves my way:

… have patience with everything that remains unsolved in your heart. Try to love the

Questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books written in a foreign language.

Do not now look for the answers. They cannot now be given to you because you could

not live them. It is a question of experiencing everything. At present, you need to live the

question. Perhaps you will gradually, without even noticing it, find yourself experiencing

the answer, some distant day.

The above article has been taken from the Book “Who will Cry When You Die” by Robin Sharma.

 

 

 

Posted in Wisdom

Get Up Early

wake-up-earlyGetting up early is a gift you give to yourself. Few disciplines have the power to transform your life as does the habit of early rising. There is something very special about the first few hours in the morning. Time seems to slow down and a deep sense of peace fills the air. Joining the “Five o’ Clock Club” will allow you to start controlling your day rather than letting your day control you. Winning the “Battle of the Bed” and putting “mind over mattress” by rising early will provide you with at least one quiet hour for yourself during the most crucial part of your day: the beginning. If spent wisely, the rest of your day will unfold in a wonderful way.

In The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari, I challenged readers to “get up with the sun” and offered a number of ideas to help them cultivate this new life discipline. From the many letters, e-mails and faxes I have received from people who have improved the quality of their lives by getting up at 5 A.M., I can safely say that this is one success principle that is really worth integrating into your life. In doing so, you will join the ranks of many of the most influential people of our time ranging from Mahatma Gandhi, Thomas Edison and Nelson Mandela to Ted Turner and Mary Kay Ash.

One reader of The Monk, a marketing executive, wrote that her stress level fell so dramatically once she started rising early that her team at the office presented her with a paperweight bearing the following inscription: “To our MIP (Most Improved Player). Whatever you are doing, keep doing it. You are an inspiration to us all.” A consummate late riser, she vowed to stop sleeping in and spending her days making up for time lost while under the blanket. So while her family (and the world around her) slept, she began to get up first at 6 A.M., then at 5:30 A.M. and finally at 5 A.M. During the free time that she found she had created, she would do all the things she loved to do but had somehow never found time for. Listening carefully to classical music, writing letters, reading the classics and walking were just some of the activities that she used to rekindle her spirit and reconnect with a part of herself she thought she had lost. By getting up early, she began to care for herself again. And by doing so, she became a much better parent, spouse and professional.

To cultivate the habit of getting up earlier, the first thing to remember is that it is the quality rather than the quantity of sleep that matters most. It is better to have six hours of uninterrupted sleep than ten hours of restless, broken sleep. Here are four tips to help you sleep more deeply:

  • Don’t rehearse the activities of your day while you are lying in bed trying to get to sleep.
  • Don’t eat after 8 P.M. (If you have to eat something, have soup).
  • Don’t watch the news before you go to sleep.
  • Don’t read in bed.

Give yourself a few weeks for this new habit to take hold. Saying that you tried to get up early but gave up after seven days because it was just too hard is like saying you tried taking French lessons for a week but gave up because you could not speak the language by then. Life change takes time, effort and patience. But the results you will receive make the initial stress you experience more than worth it.

The above article has been taken from the Book “Who will Cry When You Die” by Robin Sharma.

Posted in Wisdom

Learn to Be Silent

 

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William Wordsworth sagely observed, “When from our better selves we have too long been parted by the hurrying works, sick of its business, of its pleasures tired, how gracious, how benign is solitude.” When was the last time you made the time to be silent and still? When was the last time you carved out a chunk of time to enjoy the power of solitude to restore, refocus and revitalize your mind, body and spirit?

All of the great wisdom traditions of the world have arrived at the same conclusion: to reconnect with who you really are as a person and to come to know the glory that rests within you, you must find the time to be silent on a regular basis. Sure, you are busy. But as Thoreau said: “It is not enough to be busy, so are the ants. The question is what are you so busy about?”

The importance of silence makes me think about the story of an old lighthouse keeper. The man had only a limited amount of oil to keep his beacon lit so that passing ships could avoid the rocky shores. One night, a man who lived close by needed to borrow some of this precious commodity to light his home, so the lighthouse keeper gave him some of his own. Another night, a traveler begged for some oil to light his lamp so he could keep on travelling. The lighthouse keeper also complied with this request and gave him the amount he needed. The next night, the lighthouse keeper was awakened by a mother banging on his door. She prayed for some oil so that she could illuminate her home and feed her family. Again he agreed. Soon all his oil was gone and his beacon went out. Many ships ran aground and many lives were lost because the lighthouse keeper forgot to focus on his priority. He neglected his primary duty and paid a high price. Experiencing solitude, for even a few minutes a day, will keep you centered on your highest life priorities and help you avoid the neglect that pervades the lives of so many of us.

And saying that you don’t have enough time to be silent on a regular basis is a lot like saying you are too busy driving to stop for gas – eventually it will catch up with you.

The above article has been taken from the Book “Who will Cry When You Die” by Robin Sharma.

Posted in Wisdom

Talk to Yourself

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Years ago, when I was a litigation lawyer who had many of the material trappings of success yet little in the way of inner peace, I read a book called As a Man Thinketh by James Allen. Te book discussed the enormous power of the human mind to shape our reality and attract great happiness and prosperity into our lives. The work also mentioned the profound influence of the words and language we use on a daily basis to create a more enlightened pathway of thought.

Fascinated, I began to read more and more wisdom and self – help literature. And as I did, I discovered the profound impact and importance of the words we use in our daily communications (both with others and with ourselves) on the quality of our lives. This knowledge also caused me to become aware of the personal dialogue that each of us has going on within us every minute of every hour of every day and to vow to improve the content of what I was saying to myself. To achieve this, I began to apply a strategy developed by the ancient sages over five thousand years ago. And, in many ways, it changed my life.

The technique is a simple one and involves nothing more than selecting a phrase that you will train your mind to focus on at different times throughout the day until it begins to dominate your awareness and reshape the person you are. If it is inner peace and calm you seek, the phrase, known as a mantra, might be, “I am so grateful that I am a serene and tranquil person.” If it is more confidence that you want, your mantra could be, “I am delighted that I am full of confidence and boundless courage.” It if is material prosperity you are after, your saying might be, “I am so grateful that money and opportunity is flowing into my life.”

Repeat your mantras softly under your breath as you walk to work, as you wait in line or as you wash the dishes to fill otherwise unproductive times of your day with a powerful life improvement force. Try to say your personal phrase at least two hundred times a day for at least four weeks. The results will be profound as you take one giant step to finding the peace, prosperity and purpose your life requires. As Hazrat Inayat Khan said, “The words that enlighten the soul are more precious than jewels.”

The above article has been taken from the Book “Who will Cry When You Die” by Robin Sharma.

 

Posted in Wisdom

Learn to Say No Gracefully

“You have to decide what your highest prioritites are and have the courage – pleasantly , smilingly, nonapologetically –  to say ‘no’ to other things. And the way to do that is by having a bigger ‘yes’ burning inside”.    –  Stephen Covey

 

noIt is easy to say yes to every request on your time when the priorities of your life are unclear. When your days are not guided by a rich and inspiring vision for your future, a clear image of an end result that will help you act more intentionally, it is not hard for the agendas of those around you to dictate your actions. As I wrote in

Leadership Wisdom from The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari, “if your priorities don’t get scheduled into your planner, other people’s priorities will get put into your planner.” The solution is to be clear about your life’s highest objectives and then to learn to say no with grace.

The Chinese sage Chuang – tzu told the story of a man who forged swords for a maharaja. Even at the age of ninety, his work was carried out with exceptional precision and ability. No matter how rushed he was, he never made even the slightest slip. One day, the maharaja asked the old man, “Is this a natural talent or is there some special technique that you use to create your remarkable results?” “It is concentration on the essentials,” replied the sword – crafter. “I took to forging swords when I was twenty – one years old. I did not care about anything else. If it was not a sword, I did not look at it or pay any attention to it. Forging swords became my passion and my purpose. I took all the energy that I did not give in other directions and put it in the direction of my art. This is the secret to my mastery.”

The most effective people concentrate on their “areas of excellence,” that is, on the thing they do best and on those high – impact activities that will advance their life – work. In being so consumed by the important things, they find it easy to say no to their less – than – worthy distractions that clamor for their attention. Michael Jordan, the best basketball player in the game’s history, did not negotiate his contracts, design his uniforms and prepare his travel schedules. He focused his time and energies on what he did best: playing basketball, and delegated everything else to his handlers. Jazz great Louis Armstrong did not spend his time selling tickets to his shows and setting up chairs for the audience. He concentrated on his point of brilliance: playing the trumpet. Learning to say no to the non – essentials will give you more time to devote to the things that have the power to truly improve the way you live and help you leave the legacy you know in your heart you are destined to leave.

 

The above article has been taken from the Book “Who will Cry When You Die” by Robin Sharma.

 

Posted in Wisdom

Honor Your Past

07_kreatiff_ziza_235504_thumb[1].jpgEvery second you dwell on the past you steal from your future. Every minute you spend focusing on your problems you take away from finding your solutions. And thinking about all those things that you wish never happened to you is actually blocking all the things you want to happen from entering into your life. Given the timeless truth that hold that you become what you think about all day long, it makes no sense to worry about past events or mistakes unless you want to experience them for a second time. Instead, use the lessons you have learned from your past to rise to a whole new level of awareness and enlightenment.

Life’s greatest setbacks reveal life’s biggest opportunities. As the ancient thinker Euripides noted, “There is in the worst of fortune the best chances for a happy change.” If you have suffered more than your fair share of difficulties in life, perhaps you are being prepared to serve some greater purpose that will require you to be equipped with the wisdom you have acquired through your trials. Use these life lessons to fuel your future growth. Remember, happy people have often experienced as much adversity as those who are unhappy. What sets them apart is that they have the good sense to manage their memories in a way that enriches their lives.

And understand that if you have failed more than others, there is a very good chance you are living more completely than others. Those who take more chances and dare to be more and do more than others will naturally experience more failures. But personally, I would rather have the bravery to try something and then fail than never to have tried it at all. I would much prefer spending the rest of my days expanding my human frontiers and trying to make the seemingly impossible probable than live a life of comfort, security and mediocrity. That’s the essence of true life success. As Herodotus noted so sagely, “It is better by noble boldness to run the risk of being subject to half of the evils we anticipate than to remain in cowardly listlessness for fear of what may happen.” Or as Booker T. Washington said, “I have learned that success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles he has overcome while trying to succeed.”

 

Posted in Wisdom

Develop an Honesty Philosophy

We live in a world of broken promises. We live in a time when people treat their words lightly. We tell a friend we will call her next week for lunch knowing full well we do not have the time to do so. We promise a co – worker we will bring in that new book we love so much knowing full well that we never lend out our books. And we promise ourselves this will be the year we will get back into shape, simplify our lives and have more fun without any real intention of making the deep life changes necessary to achieve these goals.

Saying things we don’t really mean becomes a habit when we practice it long enough. The real problem is that when you don’t keep your word, you lose credibility. When you lose credibility, you break the bonds of trust. And breaking the bonds of trust ultimately leads to a string of broken relationships.

To develop an honesty philosophy, begin to monitor how many small untruths you tell over the course of a week. Go on what I call a “truth fast” for the next seven days and vow to be completely honest in all your dealings with others – and with yourself. Every time you fail to do the right thing, you fuel the habit of doing the wrong thing. Every time you do not tell the truth, you feed the habit of being untruthful. When you promise someone you will do something, do it. Be a person of your word rather than being “all talk and no action.” As Mother Teresa said, “there should be less talk; a preaching point is not a meeting point. What do you do then? Take a broom and clean someone’s house. That says enough.”

The above article has been taken from the Book “Who will Cry When You Die” by Robin Sharma.