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Wake up XV - Lazy?

Lazy to leave the sleep world? Lazy to exercise in the morning? The thought of having to stretch your legs makes you roll up tighter in bed?

Think of this Canadian kid if you lack the inspiration to push yourself out of bed. A 22 year old almost ran a marathon a day for 140 consecutive days – that is around 40 kms. per day. We are reluctant to even walk 5% of that every day! Oh and forgot to mention that he had only one leg – the other was amputated and fitted with a prosthetic. At the age of 18 he lost his leg to cancer and then ran the Marathon of Hope while battling the disease – he ran and didn't walk the marathon.

The disease eventually conquered him but not before he had made a mark in life – his aim was to collect a Dollar from every Canadian to be pooled in for cancer research. He began from the land near the Atlantic ocean and planned to reach the Canadian shores on the Pacific ocean. He had to stop after 143 days because the cancer had spread to his lungs.

Just imagine – a kid with cancer, a kid without a leg, a kid with lots of hope running for three months non stop for a higher cause. Terry Fox is considered one of Canada's greatest heroes and the Terry Fox run lives on even now. Now think of where you stand; is it all that tough to push yourself?

"Dreams are made if people only try. I believe in miracles. . . . I have to . . . because somewhere the hurting must stop." – Terry Fox

Wake up XVI - The power of one

The stock market have been in the news for the last month; everyone knows that the US and world markets were on a downslide for the last couple of weeks. And there you suddenly had a day when the market posted gains. And the reversal was attributed to the statement made by one man – a man who said that he would buy some bonds in the market.

He started out as a retail investor, later started his own company and gave himself a modest salary of around $8,500 per month. A stock in his company which was worth around $750 is now worth $140,000 – yes; you read it right – one stock costs $140,000!

A couple of years back he announced that he would give away around $30 billion to the Gates' Foundation. At a time when people rush in and out of the markets in greed and fear, here you find a person who has spent over 40 years in the markets; and he buys when most people are gripped by fear – not as a gamble but after meticulously studying about the companies in which he will invest. His famous stock purchase was buying a huge chunk in Coca Cola; he bought while others dumped it. It turned out to be a masterstroke investment.

There are lessons to be learnt from Warren Buffet (whether or not you are in into stocks):

  • Be patient; you don't become a millionaire in a day unless you win a lottery
  • Study hard and make your own decision so that you don't regret later
  • Don't fear
It's all easy said than done though but hey, there are people who have done it.

Wake up XVII - Lamenting, grumbling, complaining...

How many times do we keep sulking; especially if someone else thinks low of us or finds fault with us? We worry over what others think and how we appear to others; a rejection is taken too personally and many of us find it hard to accept that there could be others better than us – instead of working to catch up we crib "oh; how is that possible that that person is better than me"!

History has some interesting stories to tell:
  • A music teacher declared him as hopeless in composing music – he was Beethoven.
  • His parents feared he was below average when compared to other students; his teacher scolded him for not being able to solve simple problems and said he would become nobody in life – he was Albert Einstein.
  • Only 5 people turned up to watch the historic event – the Wright brothers' first flight.
  • His gym instructor complained about the puny little boy – he went on to climb Mount Everest; Edmund Hillary.
  • A missile he built crashed multiple times and he was made fun of – he went on to handle India's space mission; A.P.J.Abdul Kalam.
  • The president said, "That's an amazing invention, but who would ever want to see one of them?" – the telephone demonstrated by Alexander Graham Bell.
  • He received a rejection letter saying he didn't know how to use the English language – Rudyard Kipling.
  • When her book was sent for publication the publisher said there is no audience for this kind of book – the book was The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand. Just imagine if Beethoven or Einstein or the Wright brothers had given up with the thought “Ah, they don’t think we’re good enough; we probably aren’t good enough”.
If those people had cribbed and complained and whined about what others thought of them they would have just been nobody in life. They had passion in what they did – what about you?

Do you worry about what others say to such an extent that you are obsessed with that thought?

Wake up XVIII - Justice prevails

I was forced to write another edition on cricket because of the way events unfolded down under. With our team having a lot of distractions, being involved in a lot of controversies (most which seemed to be unjust) and with so much happening off the field after that one controversy filled test match, one might have thought that they would have been pondering over the past, musing over the possibility that they could have won the test series and also harbouring ill feelings. But that was not to be – they didn’t let it bother their performance and perhaps they even used it to stay more focused on the game. At the end of tour one would have to say things kind of evened up; maybe we can even say that we return back having gained more – and all of that was possible just because the team went about doing what they were supposed to do – compete to the best of their ability.

A snippet from the poem ‘A psalm of life’ by H.W.Longfellow

Art is long, and Time is fleeting,
And our hearts, though stout and brave,
Still, like muffled drums,
are beating Funeral marches to the grave.

In the world's broad field of battle,
In the bivouac of Life,
Be not like dumb, driven cattle!
Be a hero in the strife!

Trust no Future, howe'er pleasant!
Let the dead Past bury its dead!
Act -- act in the living Present!
Heart within, and God o'erhead!

Link for the complete poem here:

Don’t worry about things outside your control and don’t worry about the result.