Monday, 30 May 2016

9 lessons from Richard Branson's life


1. Just Do It!  - I learned very early on with Student Magazine to Virgin Records that if you want something to happen, don’t just sit around waiting for it. Work hard, take your chances, and seize opportunities when they present themselves.

2. Have fun – As the way I managed to buy Necker Island and start Virgin Atlantic illustrated, having fun is one of the most important ingredients in any thriving business and fulfilling life.

3. Be bold – Those who are bold have a higher chance of being rewarded, which is something the development of both Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Trains from scratch into industry leaders taught me.

4. Challenge yourself – I have lived my life from challenge to challenge, from flying around the world in balloons to embarking upon businesses in dozens of different sectors. I’m always looking for the next challenge.

5. Stand on your own feet – My parents instilled in me a high degree of self-sufficiency and I have tried to teach my own children this lesson too.

6. Live the moment – I try to make every second count in my business and personal life. But everyone needs to switch off, and I’ve learned the art of a good nap!

7. Value family and friends - My family have always been there for me, and I view the whole of Virgin as my family too. A business is nothing more than a group of people making a positive difference to people’s lives. A group of people can quickly become friends, and eventually become family too.

8. Have respect - There is nothing more important than your reputation. By treating all people as you would wish to be treated and having respect for everyone, you will have a far happier, more productive life.

9. Do some good - I believe that anyone can make a huge impact on other people, and that every business can change the world for good. Head over to Virgin Unite to see how we go about doing this at Virgin.

Richard Branson
Business magnate 
  

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

How God deals with the proud



When we fail, our pride supports us; when we succeed, it betrays us.
– Charles Caleb Colton

Pride. Even the word itself sounds as though it were better than others. It’s because of pride that we make mistakes, for we refuse to consult someone who knows more than us. It’s because of pride that we disobey rules that we don’t understand, for we think we know better than the person who created them. It makes us stumble, lose relationships and persist in error.

Though it only harms us, we cling to it like a drowning man to a piece of driftwood.

Maybe it’s because pride blinds us to its existence in us. We can’t see, no matter how obvious it is, that it’s evident in our haughty eyes, in the way we look down on people, in our disdain for others expressed in our body language, and in the internal dialogue that always exalts us and diminishes anyone who isn’t “me”.

Only by a miracle can the proud be free of their curse.

But salvation doesn’t come with the wave of a magic wand. It usually comes through humiliations that God allows the proud to go through, so that perhaps they will be broken and learn humility.

Monday, 23 May 2016

The wise man and the cow



"Once upon a time in a faraway land, there lived a Chinese wise man and his disciple. One day in their travels, they saw a hut in the distance. As they approached they realized that it was occupied in spite of its extremely poor appearance.
In that desolate place where there were no crops and no trees, a man lived with his wife, three young children and a thin, tired cow. Since they were hungry and thirsty, the wise man and his disciple stopped for a few hours and were well received.
At one point, the wise man asked:
“This is a very poor place, far away from anything. How do you survive?”
“You see that cow? That’s what keeps us going,” said the head of the family. “She gives us milk, some of it we drink and some were make into cheese. When there is extra, we go into the city and exchange the milk and cheese for other types of food. That’s how we survive.”
The wise man thanked them for their hospitality and left. When he reached the first bend in the road, he said to his disciple:
“Go back, get the cow, take her to the cliff in front of us, and push her off.”
The disciple could not believe what he was hearing.
“I cannot do that, master! How can you be so ungrateful? The cow is all they have. If I throw it on the cliff, they’ll have no way to survive. Without the cow, they’ll all die!”
The wise man, an elderly Chinese man, took a deep breath and repeated the order: “Go ahead. Push the cow off the cliff.”
Though outraged at what he was being asked to do, the student was resigned to obey his master.
He returned to the hut and quietly led the animal to the edge of the cliff and pushed. The cow fell down the cliff and died.
As the years passed by, remorse for what he had done never left the disciple. One spring day, the guilt became too much to bear and he left the wise man and returned to that little shack. He wanted to find out what had happened to that family, to help them out, apologize, or somehow make amends.
Upon rounding a turn in the road, he could not believe what his eyes were showing him. In place of the poor shack there was a beautiful house with trees all around, a swimming pool, several cars in the garage, a satellite dish, and on and on.
Three good-looking teenagers and their parents were celebrating their first million dollars.
The heart of the disciple froze. What could have happened to the family? Without a doubt, they must have been starving to death and forced to sell their land and leave. At that moment, the student thought they must all be begging on the street corners of some city. He approached the house and asked a man that was passing by about the whereabouts of the family that had lived there several years before.
“You’re looking at it,” said the man, pointing to the people gathered around the barbecue.
Unable to believe what he was hearing, the disciple walked through the gate and took a few steps closer to the pool where he recognized the man from several years before, only now he was strong and confident, the woman was happy, and the children were now nice-looking teenagers.
He was dumbfounded, and went over to the man and asked:
“What happened? I was here with my teacher a few years ago and this was a miserable place. There was nothing. What did you do to improve your lives in such a short time?”
The man looked at the disciple, and replied with a smile:
“We had a cow that kept us alive. She was all we had. But one day she fell down the cliff and died. To survive, we had to start doing other things, develop skills we didn’t even know we had.
And so, because we were forced to come up with new ways of doing things, we are now much better off than before.”
Moral of the story: Sometimes our dependency on something small and limited is the biggest obstacle to our growth. 

Perhaps the best thing that could happen to you is to push your “cow” down the cliff. Once you free yourself of the thought “it’s little but it’s certain,” — then your life will really change.
Is there a cow ( a person , idea, mental block or mind set ) in your life that is keeping you miserable?
Throw it off the cliff!
Live With Passion !

Sunday, 22 May 2016

Stop being a glass, Become a lake



Once an unhappy young man came to an old master and told he had a very sad life and asked for a solution.

The old Master instructed the unhappy young man to put a handful of salt in a glass of water and then to drink it.

“How does it taste?” – The Master asked.
“Terrible.” – spat the apprentice.

The Master chuckled and then asked the young man to take another handful of salt and put it in the lake. The two walked in silence to the nearby lake and when the apprentice swirled his handful of salt into the lake.

The old man said, “Now drink from the lake.”
As the water dripped down the young man’s chin, the Master asked, “How does it taste?”

“Good!” – remarked the apprentice.
“Do you taste the salt?” – asked the Master.
“No.” – said the young man.

The Master sat beside this troubled young man, took his hands, and said, “The pain of life is pure salt; no more, no less. The amount of pain in life remains the same, exactly the same. But the amount we taste the ‘pain’ depends on the container we put it into. So when you are in pain, the only thing you can do is to enlarge your sense of things. Stop being a glass. Become a lake.”
Stop being a glass. Become a lake.”

Friday, 20 May 2016

FAITH on Creator


 


Stochastic Theory - Pregnant Deer

In a forest, a pregnant deer is about to give birth.
She finds a remote grass field near a strong-flowing river.
This seems a safe place.
Suddenly labor pains begin.

At the same moment, dark clouds gather around above & lightning starts a forest fire.
She looks to her left & sees a hunter with his bow extended pointing at her.
To her right, she spots a hungry lion approaching her.

What can the pregnant deer do?
She is in labor !

What will happen?
Will the deer survive?
Will she give birth to a fawn?
Will the fawn survive?
Or will everything be burnt by the forest fire?
Will she perish to the hunters’ arrow?
Will she die a horrible death at the hands of the hungry lion approaching her?

She is constrained by the fire on the one side & the flowing river on the other & boxed in by her natural predators.

What does she do?
She focuses on giving birth to a new life.

The sequence of events that follows are:

- Lightning strikes & blinds the hunter.
- He releases the arrow which zips past the deer & strikes the hungry lion.
- It starts to rain heavily, & the forest fire is slowly doused by the rain.
- The deer gives birth to a healthy fawn.

In our life too, there are moments of choice when we are confronted on ╬▒ll sides with negative thoughts and possibilities.

Some thoughts are so powerful that they overcome us & overwhelm us.

Maybe we can learn from the deer.
The priority of the deer, in that given moment, was simply to give birth to a baby.

The rest was not in her hands & any action or reaction that changed her focus would have likely resulted in death or disaster.

Ask yourself,
Where is your focus?
Where is your faith and hope?

In the midst of any storm, do keep faith on the Creator always. He will never ever disappoint you. NEVER.

Remember, He neither slumbers nor sleeps…

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

The 99 Club


Once upon a time, there lived a King who, despite his luxurious lifestyle, was neither happy nor content.
One day, the King came upon a servant who was singing happily while he worked. This fascinated the King; why was he, the Supreme Ruler of the Land, unhappy and gloomy, while a lowly servant had so much joy. The King asked the servant, “Why are you so happy?”
The man replied, “Your Majesty, I am nothing but a servant, but my family and I don’t need too much – just a roof over our heads and warm food to fill our tummies.”


The king was not satisfied with that reply. Later in the day, he sought the advice of his most trusted advisor. After hearing the King’s woes and the servant’s story, the advisor said, “Your Majesty, I believe that the servant has not been made part of The 99 Club.”
“The 99 Club? And what exactly is that?” the King inquired.


The advisor replied, “Your Majesty, to truly know what The 99 Club is, place 99 Gold coins in a bag and leave it at this servant’s doorstep.”


When the servant saw the bag, he took it into his house. When he opened the bag, he let out a great shout of joy… So many gold coins!


He began to count them. After several counts, he was at last convinced that there were 99 coins. He wondered, “What could’ve happened to that last gold coin? Surely, no one would leave 99 coins!”


He looked everywhere he could, but that final coin was elusive. Finally, exhausted, he decided that he was going to have to work harder than ever to earn that gold coin and complete his collection.


From that day, the servant’s life was changed. He was overworked, horribly grumpy, and castigated his family for not helping him make that 100th gold coin. 


He stopped singing while he worked.Witnessing this drastic transformation, the King was puzzled. When he sought his advisor’s help, the advisor said, “Your Majesty, the servant has now officially joined The 99 Club.”

He continued, “The 99 Club is a name given to those people who have enough to be happy but are never content, because they’re always yearning and striving for that extra 1 telling to themselves: “Let me get that one final thing and then I will be happy for life.”


We can be happy, even with very little in our lives, but the minute we’re given something bigger and better, we want even more! We lose our sleep, our happiness, we hurt the people around us; all these as a price for our growing needs and desires. That’s what joining The 99 Club is all about.

Monday, 16 May 2016

The Mango Tree

Once upon a time, there lived a big mango tree. A little boy loved to come and play around it everyday.

He climbed to the tree top, ate the mangoes, took a nap under the shadow… He loved the tree and the tree loved to play with him.

Time went by… The little boy grew, and he no longer played around the tree.

One day, the boy came back to the tree with a sad look on his face.

“Come and play with me,” the tree asked the boy.

“I am no longer a kid, I don’t play around trees anymore.” The boy replied, “I want toys. I need money to buy them.”

“Sorry, I don’t have money… but you can pick all my mangoes and sell them so you will have money.”

The boy was so excited. He picked all the mangoes on the tree and left happily. The boy didn’t come back. The tree was sad.

One day, the boy grown into a man returned. The tree was so excited.

“Come and play with me,” the tree said.

“I don’t have time to play. I have to work for my family. We need a house for shelter. Can you help me?”

“Sorry, I don’t have a house, but you can chop off my branches to build your house.”

So the man cut all the branches off the tree and left happily. The tree was glad to see him happy but the boy didn’t come back afterward. The tree was again lonely and sad.

One hot summer day, the man returned and the tree was delighted.

“Come and play with me!” The tree said.

“I am sad and getting old. I want to go sailing to relax myself. Can you give me a boat?”

“Use my trunk to build your boat. You can sail far away and be happy.”

So the man cut the tree trunk to make a boat. He went sailing and didn’t come back for a long time.

Finally, the man returned after he had been gone for so many years.

“Sorry, my boy, but I don’t have anything for you anymore. No more mangoes to give you.” The tree said.

“I don’t have teeth to bite,” the man replied.

“No more trunk for you to climb on.”

“I am too old for that now,” the man said.

“I really can’t give you anything… the only thing left is my dying roots,” the tree said with sadness.

“I don’t need much now, just a place to rest. I am tired after all these years,” the man replied.

“Good! Old tree roots are the best place to lean on and rest. Come sit down with me and rest.”

The boy sat down and the tree was glad and smiled.


The tree in the story represents our parents. When we are young, we love to play with them. When we grow up, we leave them and only come back when we need help. Parents sacrifice their lives for us.

Sunday, 15 May 2016

The World is a Wonderful Place - Helping Hand



A true story, happened in 1892 at Stanford University:

An 18-year-old student was struggling to pay his fees. He was an orphan, and not knowing where to turn for money, he came up with a bright idea. He and a friend decided to host a musical concert on campus to raise money for their education.

They reached out to the great pianist Ignacy J. Paderewski. His manager demanded a guaranteed fee of $2000 for the piano recital. A deal was struck and the boys began to work to make the concert a success.

The big day arrived. But unfortunately, they had not managed to sell enough tickets. The total collection was only $1600. Disappointed, they went to Paderewski and explained their plight. They gave him the entire $1600, plus a cheque for the balance $400. They promised to honour the cheque at the soonest possible.

“No,” said Paderewski. “This is not acceptable.” He tore up the cheque, returned the $1600 and told the two boys: “Here’s the $1600. Please deduct whatever expenses you have incurred. Keep the money you need for your fees. And just give me whatever is left”. The boys were surprised, and thanked him profusely.

It was a small act of kindness. But it clearly marked out Paderewski as a great human being.

Why should he help two people he did not even know? We all come across situations like these in our lives. And most of us only think “If I help them, what would happen to me?” The truly great people think, “If I don’t help them, what will happen to them?” They don’t do it expecting something in return. They do it because they feel it’s the right thing to do.

Paderewski later went on to become the Prime Minister of Poland. He was a great leader, but unfortunately when the World War began, Poland was ravaged. There were more than 1.5 million people starving in his country, and no money to feed them. Paderewski did not know where to turn for help. He reached out to the US Food and Relief Administration for help.

The head there was a man called Herbert Hoover — who later went on to become the US President. Hoover agreed to help and quickly shipped tons of foodgrains to feed the starving Polish people.

A calamity was averted. Paderewski was relieved. He decided to go across to meet Hoover and personally thank him. When Paderewski began to thank Hoover for his noble gesture, Hoover quickly interjected and said, “You shouldn’t be thanking me Mr. Prime Minister. You may not remember this, but several years ago, you helped two young students go through college. I was one of them.”

The world is a wonderful place. What goes around comes around!

Author Unknown

Friday, 13 May 2016

The Hotel Clerk


One stormy night many years ago, an elderly man and his wife entered the lobby of a small hotel in Philadelphia, USA. Trying to get out of the rain, the couple approached the front desk hoping to get some shelter for the night.

“Could you possibly give us a room here?” – the husband asked.

The clerk, a friendly man with a winning smile, looked at the couple and explained that there were three conventions in town. “All of our rooms are taken,” the clerk said. “But I can’t send a nice couple like you out into the rain at one o’clock in the morning. Would you perhaps be willing to sleep in my room? It’s not exactly a suite, but it will be good enough to make you folks comfortable for the night.”

When the couple declined, the young man pressed on. “Don’t worry about me, I’ll make out just fine,” the clerk told them.

So the couple agreed.

As he paid his bill the next morning, the elderly man said to the clerk, “You are the kind of manager who should be the boss of the best hotel. Maybe someday I’ll build one for you.”

The clerk looked at them and smiled. The three of them had a good laugh. As they drove away, the elderly couple agreed that the helpful clerk was indeed exceptional, as finding people who are both friendly and helpful isn’t easy.

Two years passed. The clerk had almost forgotten the incident when he received a letter from the old man. It recalled that stormy night and enclosed a round-trip ticket to New York, asking the young man to pay them a visit.

The old man met him in New York, and led him to the corner of Fifth Avenue and 34th Street. He then pointed to a great new building there, a pale reddish stone, with turrets and watchtowers thrusting up to the sky.

“That,” said the older man, “is the hotel I have just built for you to manage.”

“You must be joking.” – the young man said.

“I can assure you I am not.” – said the older man, a sly smile playing around his mouth.

The older man’s name was William Waldorf-Aster, and that magnificent structure was the original Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. The young clerk who became its first manager was George C. Boldt. This young clerk never foresaw the turn of events that would lead him to become the manager of one of the world’s most glamorous hotels.

Author Unknown

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

The CEO of Oracle who was born to an unwed Jewish mom: Larry Ellison

Larry Ellison was born in New York City to an unwed Jewish mother. His father was an Italian American US Air Force pilot. According to Wikipedia, Ellison contracted pneumonia when he was  nine months old and his mother gave him to her aunt and uncle for adoption. His adoptive mother was warm and loving, while his adoptive father was unsupportive and distant.

He was a bright but inattentive student. He left the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign after his second year without taking his final exams because his adoptive mother had just died. Later, he attended the University of Chicago for one term, where he first encountered computer design. In 1966, aged 22, he moved to northern California.

In 1977, he founded Software Development Laboratories (SDL) with two partners and an investment of $2,000. In 1982, the company became Oracle Systems Corporation after its flagship product, the Oracle database. Currently, Ellison owns stakes in Salesforce.com, NetSuite, Quark Biotechnology Inc. and Astex Pharmaceuticals. In September 2011, Ellison was listed on the Forbes List of Billionaires as the fifth richest man in the world. Ellison is still the third richest American, with a net worth of about $36.5 billion.


Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Mother’s Love

The Vietnam War broke out. Followed the heart, the young husband joined the military and sacrificed his life leaving behind his wife and kids.

Life postwar was very hard, often with not enough food to eat. Still young and beautiful, the wife refused to remarry and dedicated her entire life to raise her kids with the best possible care and education.

An opportunity came, the first born son immigrated to America, studied hard and became a NASA Engineer having a good life.

The son sent home letters often, together with much money for mom to spend, however, Christmas after Christmas, New Year after New Year, with the many excuses, the son stubbornly refused to travel home to visit mom.

When the mother died, the son returned and organized a big funeral but people did not see him shredding tear.

Mother left behind a chest that she always placed at the top of her bed. During the funeral, the son opened the chest and suddenly bursted into tears, sobbed, embraced his mother’s coffin and screamed hysterically, “Mom! Mom!”

Everyone looked at each other and looked at the chest. It was full of $100 dollar bills and a piece of paper.

In it read, “Son, I don’t spend too much money. I miss you a lot. Every time I hear a motorcycle passing by, I run out the door but it wasn’t my son. I saved this money for you in case when you get sick.”



Sunday, 8 May 2016

Mother’s Day


A man stopped at a flower shop to order some flowers to be wired to his mother who lived two hundred miles away.

As he got out of his car he noticed a young girl sitting on the curb sobbing.

He asked her what was wrong and she replied, “I wanted to buy a red rose for my mother and I don’t have enough money.”

The man smiled and said, “Come on in with me. I’ll buy you a rose.”

He bought the little girl her rose and ordered his own mother’s flowers.

As they were leaving he offered the girl a ride home. She said, “Yes, please! You can take me to my mother.”

She directed him to a cemetery, where she placed the rose on a freshly dug grave.

The man returned to the flower shop, canceled the wire order, picked up a bouquet and drove the two hundred miles to his mother’s house.

Author Unknown

Friday, 6 May 2016

The poor Ukrainian immigrant who became a Silicon Valley mogul



When Facebook announced that it was buying mobile messaging startup WhatsApp for $19 billion in February 2014, that caused quite a stir. Jan Koum, the startup’s cofounder became the most talked about entrepreneur overnight. Media reported that the WhatsApp floored Mark Zuckerberg so much that the record offer was made so that the two could become “friends.”

A true rags to riches hero, Koum was born and raised in a village on the outskirts of Kiev, Ukraine, as the only child of a housewife and a construction labourer. Forbes reported that his house has no hot water, and his parents feared that their phone was tapped by the State and so rarely talked on it. He immigrated to California with his mother when he was 16. He used to sweep the floor of a grocery store and stood in line to collect food stamps. By 18, he was an expert computer hacker.

In 1997, Koum was hired by Yahoo as an infrastructure engineer, shortly after he met Brian Acton while working at Ernst & Young as a security tester. In January 2009, Koum bought an iPhone and realized that it would spawn a whole new industry of apps. On his birthday, February 24, 2009, he incorporated WhatsApp Inc. in California.

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

He found innovative ways to improve operating efficiency


"I was in 3rd grade and one of my teachers told us to decide what we wanted to do when we grew up and then interview someone who had that job.

I'm pretty sure that like most ten year-old boys growing up in Montreal I wanted to be a professional hockey player. I knew it would be tough to get an interview with one of the Montreal Canadiens, so I decided to talk to my father and grandfather.

My grandfather founded what was, at its height from the 60's through the 80's, one of the largest apparel companies in Canada. My father took over and ran that business for many years. That was definitely inspiring, but even more inspiring was the story my grandfather told of how important it is to control your own destiny.

In 1947, when he was twenty-two, he came to Canada with very modest means and began to build a life with my grandmother. He had studied textile engineering in Hungary before World War II. He was very hard working, took extra shifts and found innovative ways to improve operating efficiency, and quickly rose through the ranks to become general manager and essentially run day-to-day operations.

This his boss brought in his son-in-law to take over. My grandfather now reported to him. He felt taken advantage of since he had been promised he would someday take over the business. So he walked away and started his own business.

I admire the courage it took for an immigrant from Hungary with a young daughter and wife and almost no savings to strike out on his own. Looking back I still marvel at how he was able to achieve what he did, but I think the hardships he overcame during and after the war gave him the strength to fear almost nothing.

Those conversations made me want to follow in my father and grandfather's footsteps."


Brian Guttman, founder of Jeremy Argyle

Monday, 2 May 2016

Being an entrepreneur is not about love at first sight




"I don't think anyone decides to be an entrepreneur; they simply reach the point where they can no longer not be an entrepreneur. Sure, it takes a certain type of individual and certain set of circumstances, but suddenly you have this sense of unwavering commitment and the belief that you can succeed.

That sense is what I refer to as the yin and yang of the entrepreneur: the perfect balance of arrogance and stupidity. Starting a business (and surviving) is really, really hard. You have to have the confidence that you can actually do it, and the stupidity to think you're right.

Being an entrepreneur is not about love at first sight; it's about having an idea that intrigues you and increasingly pulls you In until you can no longer ignore it.

For me, it was on Valentine's Day in 2002 when I came home and told my wife that I was starting Emmi Solutions. I had resigned from my current company, had a limited amount of health insurance, no salary for the foreseeable future, no office, no investors, no customers, nothing. (I still don't know if her enthusiasm was dampened because it was Valentine's Day, or because she was six months pregnant with our second child, or because she didn't understand the subtle nuances of the healthcare industry.)

Entrepreneurs may blindly follow their passion but they are certainly not dumb. They choose to downplay the risks, underestimate the competition, and overestimate their talents because they are driven by an overwhelming curiosity.

That commitment and passion is really what makes entrepreneurs who they are. Great ideas are far more common than you think but the people who can turn the great idea into a company are incredibly rare.

When those two abilities come together... that's the magic catalyst."


Jordan Dolin, co-founder of Emmi Solutions

Popular Posts