Pearls of Wisdom – Norman Vincent Peale

“Throw your heart over the fence and the rest will follow.”

Norman Vincent Peale is the author of the famous book The Power of Positive Thinking. That book and other works from Peale went on to sell tens of millions of copies. During the depression he, JC Penney and Thomas Watson – of IBM fame – spent time on philanthropy. Peale also had his own radio show for over half a decade.

Here are some of my favorite tips from Peale.

  1. Focus on today.
    • Don’t take tomorrow to bed with you.
  2. Don’t walk around with the world on your shoulders.
    • Drop the idea that you are Atlas carrying the world on your shoulders. The world would go on even without you. Don’t take yourself so seriously.
  3. You may be surprised if you just step up and face your obstacles.
    • Stand up to your obstacles and do something about them. You will find that they haven’t half the strength you think they have.
    • The “how” thinker gets problems solved effectively because he wastes no time with futile “ifs” but goes right to work on the creative “how.”
  4. Understand to overcome.
    • Understanding can overcome any situation, however mysterious or insurmountable it may appear to be.
  5. Expect to get what you expect.
    • Any fact facing us is not as important as our attitude toward it, for that determines our success or failure. The way you think about a fact may defeat you before you ever do anything about it. You are overcome by the fact because you think you are.
    • Formulate and stamp indelibly on your mind a mental picture of yourself as succeeding. Hold this picture tenaciously. Never permit it to fade. Your mind will seek to develop the picture… Do not build up obstacles in your imagination.
    • Believe it is possible to solve your problem. Tremendous things happen to the believer. So believe the answer will come. It will.
  6. Find the upsides of the problem.
    • Every problem has in it the seeds of its own solution. If you don’t have any problems, you don’t get any seeds.
    • Problems are to the mind what exercise is to the muscles, they toughen and make strong.
  7. Check your phraseology.
    • Watch your manner of speech if you wish to develop a peaceful state of mind. Start each day by affirming peaceful, contented and happy attitudes and your days will tend to be pleasant and successful.
    • Never talk defeat. Use words like hope, belief, faith, victory.
  8. Don’t go too fast.
    • To go fast, row slowly.
  9. Develop the most useful habits of thinking.
    • Our happiness depends on the habit of mind we cultivate. So practice happy thinking every day. Cultivate the merry heart, develop the happiness habit, and life will become a continual feast.
    • Repetition of the same thought or physical action develops into a habit which, repeated frequently enough, becomes an automatic reflex.
  10. Learn not only from your mistakes.
    • We’ve all heard that we have to learn from our mistakes, but I think it’s more important to learn from successes. If you learn only from your mistakes, you are inclined to learn only errors.
    • Check what you did right and don’t get lost in basking on your glory. It will make it easier to repeat whatever you did that created the success.
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11 Lessons On Why Winners Never Cheat from Jon Huntsman

winners-never-cheatYou may not have heard of Jon Huntsman. But you have used his products hundreds of times. This self-made billionaire founded the Huntsman Chemical Corporation which developed the Styrofoam that is used in McDonald’s clam-shell burger containers. Life was not all smooth sailing for this rags-to-riches businessman. Not one bit. He has been cheated and lied to countless times, but his moral compass stayed true.

Recently I finished reading Winners Never Cheat: Even in Difficult Times by Jon M. Huntsman, here are 11 lessons on why Winners Never Cheat from Jon Huntsman:

Lesson 1: Check your Moral Compass
No one is raised in a moral vacuum. It doesn’t matter what your background or religion is, you know when something just isn’t right. When something doesn’t seem right, step back and evaluate the situation. If that uneasiness doesn’t leave, then you are near dangerous territory. Don’t do it. You must find another way or abandon your current path altogether.

“We know darn well what is right and wrong.”

Lesson 2: Play by the rules
Character is most determined by integrity and courage. Character is also how you act when no one is watching. Cutting in line will often get you short term gain but its long term consequences never work out. The game is always more fun when everyone plays fair.

“Which rules we honor and which we ignore determine our personal character.”

Lesson 3: Set the Example
Whatever your job or title, you have an opportunity to lead with honor. Others are watching, whether it be a supervisor who is looking for that next leader, or a subordinate who is looking for an example to follow. Always know that others have moments of uncertainty and they might be looking to you for direction. You will never regret doing the right thing.

“Strong leaders accept responsibility for problems and deal with them swiftly and fairly. If the problem is your responsibility, then so is the solution.”

Lesson 4: Keep your word
Individual and corporate integrity must become the hallmark of the marketplace. Deep in our hearts, we all have a basic understanding that when we shake on something, it’s supposed to stick. A handshake should always be as binding as an iron-clad legal documents. If you conduct your business in that manner, you will develop a loyal following of customers, vendors and lifelong friends.

“When a handshake is given, it must be honored – at all costs.”

Lesson 5: Don’t Cross the Line
You know when you are about to do something that is dishonest. You don’t need a lawyer to tell you that. If accept dishonesty, you will find yourself in a new environment where there will be even more temptation to do more dishonest things. Eventually you will find yourself with consequences that make you wish you could undo it all. Guess what? Here is your chance, don’t cross that line.

“Our values, if properly anchored, will see us through these storms.”

Lesson 6: Pick Advisers Wisely
If you don’t have knowledge of something, find people who do. It is important to ascertain people by their values, character and deeds, not by their looks, background or school they attended. Seek others who have skills far above your own and are willing to stand up for what is right. After all, you are not able to oversee all of their decisions. You need to ensure they are doing right in your absence.

“Surround yourself with associates who have the courage to say no.”

Lesson 7: Get Mad, Not Even
We have all been hurt by those we trusted. Guess what? The hurt will never stop as long as you are on this earth. Learn to move on. There is a better more productive route if you can get past the hurt and accusations. The only one dwelling on the past is you. To make matters worse, it will stiffly your business and worse, start to change your heat. Transform those hurts into laser-like focus and passion. You will then be able to pursue your dreams with even greater ferocity.

“Revenge is unhealthy and productive, learn to move on.”

Lesson 8: Graciousness is Next to Godliness
Graciousness embodies love, kindness, sensitivity and charity. When we treat others with honor they can become lifelong business associates or even great friends. Honorable actions can often attract other people with similar values. These people react in kind, which is often good for business.

“Treat competitors, colleagues, employees and customers with respect.”

Lesson 9: Operate your business as if it is family owned
To create a culture of respect and honor, you must treat employees like they are part of your family. When they see how much you care, they will start to share your values. A family culture, no matter how large the company, is absolutely necessary to having a business that can endure through good times and bad. After all, competition is out to get you and you need to have employees that ‘have your back’.

“The greatest dividends are those paid to hardworking men and women through bonuses, gifts, scholarships and praise.”

Lesson 10: Give Back
Somewhere, somehow, all of us received help from others along our way. Many times, events went our way that an only be described as “larger forces” at work. We owe a portion of our success to others and the only way to repay that assistance is by sharing your good fortune. The ironic thing is that when you start to give, others take notice. They desire to do business with you in ways that can often leave you with more than before.

“Nobody is completely self-made; return the favors and food fortune.”

Lesson 11: Don’t give up
Life is hard. It always has been and always will be. However, remember that others have gone before you and persevered. Don’t give up. Find the joy in life and keep that in perspective as you tackle your daily challenges. Better days lie ahead…I promise.

“In difficult and challenging times, we must embrace the many positive things in our lives, however small – children and loved ones, flowers and other beauties of nature, the gifts with which we are blessed.”

Winners Never Cheat is mentioned in the book Give and Take several times, citing Jon Huntsman as an example of how a business man conducts himself negotiating and dealing with others along with the focus of conscious giving. The book is full of poignant quotes that drive home the message of the book. It’s worth the price just for this alone, if you enjoy quotes as much as I do.

 

What is your Ikigai

This is one of my favorite motivational pictures, it is called “Ikigai” (Finding your Reason for Being).

Ikigai

According to the Japanese, everyone has an ikigai. An ikigai is essentially ‘a reason to get up in the morning’. A reason to enjoy life. Such a search is regarded as being very important, since it is believed that discovery of one’s Ikigai brings satisfaction and meaning to life.

People can feel real ikigai only when, on the basis of personal maturity, the satisfaction of various desires, love and happiness, encounters with others, and a sense of the value of life, they proceed toward self-realization. – Kobayashi Tsukasa

The secret to a long and happy life is not to live in the hope of a great life tomorrow. It is to live with intention today.

We are all confident idiots

We think we know more than we do.

We’ve all done this, right—pretended we know something that we really don’t? This phenomena is known as Dunning-Kruger effect, written by David Dunning, professor of psychology at Cornell.

He’s written this excellent article on “We are all confident idiots,” explaining how confidence in one’s answers tends to be high for people who don’t know what they’re talking about. He says, “What’s curious is that, in many cases, incompetence does not leave people disoriented, perplexed, or cautious. Instead, the incompetent are often blessed with an inappropriate confidence, buoyed by something that feels to them like knowledge.

We are simply not very good at knowing what we don’t know.

Dunning’s article is a long read but it’s definitely worth checking out: We are all confident idiots (psmag November/December 2014 ).

Life Tip in a Simple Paragraph

I came across a small 350+ words paragraph and couldn’t stop myself from sharing it. Its written by H. Jackson Brown, Jr. and surprisingly, I had never come across these words before.

Supposedly, this contains every life tip out there. OK That might be an exaggeration, but its really worth it. Read it once – Twice – Thrice – or better still, Print it. Its that amazing!

PS: I am breaking this paragraph to increase readability.

Be brave. Even if you’re not, pretend to be. No one can tell the difference.
Don’t allow the phone to interrupt important moments. It’s there for your convenience, not the callers.
Don’t be afraid to go out on a limb. That’s where the fruit is.
Don’t burn bridges. You’ll be surprised how many times you have to cross the same river.
Don’t forget, a person’s greatest emotional need is to feel appreciated.
Don’t major in minor things.
Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Pasteur, Michelangelo, Mother Teresa, Helen Keller, Leonardo Da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.
Don’t spread yourself too thin. Learn to say no politely and quickly.
Don’t use time or words carelessly. Neither can be retrieved.
Don’t waste time grieving over past mistakes. Learn from them and move on.
Every person needs to have their moment in the sun, when they raise their arms in victory, knowing that on this day, at his hour, they were at their very best.
Get your priorities straight. No one ever said on his death bed, ‘Gee, if I’d only spent more time at the office’.
Give people a second chance, but not a third.
Judge your success by the degree that you’re enjoying peace, health and love.
Learn to listen. Opportunity sometimes knocks very softly.
Leave everything a little better than you found it.
Live your life as an exclamation, not an explanation.
Loosen up. Relax. Except for rare life and death matters, nothing is as important as it first seems.
Never cut what can be untied.
Never overestimate your power to change others. Never underestimate your power to change yourself.
Remember that overnight success usually takes about fifteen years. Remember that winners do what losers don’t want to do.
Seek opportunity, not security. A boat in harbor is safe, but in time its bottom will rot out.
Spend less time worrying who’s right, more time deciding what’s right.
Stop blaming others. Take responsibility for every area of your life.
Success is getting what you want. Happiness is liking what you get.
The importance of winning is not what we get from it, but what we become because of it.
When facing a difficult task, act as though it’s impossible to fail.

Jackson has written a few volumes of interestingly named book Life’s Little Instruction Book, and as after reading this one paragraph I couldn’t stop myself from sharing it here.

Few quotes from exceptional lives

Here are 19 insightful quotes from people who lived exceptional lives.

  • “Nobody can make you feel inferior without your permission.” —Eleanor Roosevelt
  • “You can never plan the future by the past.” —Edmund Burke
  • “He who has a why to live can bear almost any how.” —Friedrich Nietzsche
  • “Take into account that great love and great achievements involve great risk.” —Dalai Lama
  • “Lost time is never found again.” —Benjamin Franklin
  • “He that respects himself is safe from others.” —Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
  • “Common sense is genius dressed in its working clothes.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • “In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.” —Robert Frost
  • “It is the province of knowledge to speak, and it is the privilege of wisdom to listen.” —Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.
  • “Don’t take life too seriously. You’ll never get out of it alive.” —Elbert Hubbard
  • “If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.” —Nelson Mandela
  • “Nothing that you have not given away will ever be really yours.” —C. S. Lewis
  • “Singleness of purpose is one of the chief essentials for success in life, no matter what may be one’s aim.” —John D. Rockefeller
  • “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” —Mark Twain
  • “Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.” —Aristotle
  • “There are many ways of going forward, but only one way of standing still.” —Franklin D. Roosevelt
  • “When a thing is done, it’s done. Don’t look back. Look forward to your next objective.” —George C. Marshall
  • “Use what talents you possess; the woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those that sang best.” —Henry Van Dyke
  • “In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.” —Abraham Lincoln

Do It Anyway

When I read this poem first time, it felt like Mother Teresa’s poem is a wonderful reminder for each us to continue to be good even when it looks bleak.

Mother Teresa’s Anyway Poem

People are often unreasonable, illogical and self centered;
Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives;
Be kind anyway.

If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies;
Succeed anyway.

If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you;
Be honest and frank anyway.

What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight;
Build anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous;
Be happy anyway.

The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow;
Do good anyway.

Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough;
Give the world the best you’ve got anyway.

You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and The God;
It was never between you and them anyway.

The above verses reportedly were written on the wall of Mother Teresa’s home for children in Calcutta, India, and are widely attributed to her.

They seem to be based on a composition originally by Kent Keith, but much of the second half has been re-written in a more spiritual way.  You can read both version using following link:

The Mother Teresa Connection (The Paradoxical Commandments by Kent M. Keith)