What is your Ikigai

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


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.


The Cookie Thief

I want to share with you this beautiful poem of Valerie Cox called The Cookie Thief and I really hope we will all learn something from it.

The Cookie Thief

“A woman was waiting at an airport one night,
With several long hours before her flight.
She hunted for a book in the airport shops.
Bought a bag of cookies and found a place to drop.
She was engrossed in her book but happened to see,
That the man sitting beside her, as bold as could be.
Grabbed a cookie or two from the bag in between,
Which she tried to ignore to avoid a scene.
So she munched the cookies and watched the clock,
As the gutsy cookie thief diminished her stock.
She was getting more irritated as the minutes ticked by,
Thinking, “If I wasn’t so nice, I would blacken his eye.”
With each cookie she took, he took one too,
When only one was left, she wondered what he would do.
With a smile on his face, and a nervous laugh,
He took the last cookie and broke it in half.
He offered her half, as he ate the other,
She snatched it from him and thought… oooh, brother.
This guy has some nerve and he’s also rude,
Why he didn’t even show any gratitude!
She had never known when she had been so galled,
And sighed with relief when her flight was called.
She gathered her belongings and headed to the gate,
Refusing to look back at the thieving ingrate.
She boarded the plane, and sank in her seat,
Then she sought her book, which was almost complete.
As she reached in her baggage, she gasped with surprise,
There was her bag of cookies, in front of her eyes.
If mine are here, she moaned in despair,
The others were his, and he tried to share.
Too late to apologize, she realized with grief,
That she was the rude one, the ingrate, the thief.”
You just don’t know what you don’t know, you know?

How many times did it happen to you to know something for sure and to believe that what you knew was the truth, the only truth, the supreme truth and later on to realize how wrong you were?

Money is not everything but definitely something

“Money is not everything but it ranks right up there with oxygen.” ― Zig Ziglar

Is money really all that important? To some people money is the ultimate measure of success, to others it’s little more than abstract numbers in a bank account.

How important is money in your life? Would you put your entire life on hold for three years to launch a start-up if it meant you had a good chance of ending up a millionaire? Would you live on a lower salary in order to have more time with your family? I know people who have done both.

Once a student asked Bill Gates for advice on how she could become rich like him? Gates replied with:

“I can understand wanting to have millions of dollars, there’s a certain freedom, meaningful freedom, that comes with that. But once you get much beyond that, I have to tell you, it’s the same hamburger. Dick’s has not raised their prices enough,” he said, referring to the Seattle-area fast-food chain. “But being ambitious is good. You just have to pick what you enjoy doing.”

Source: Gates to students: Don’t try to be a billionaire, it’s overrated

What would you do and how do you define success for yourself?

Developing an awareness of what you believe about money and its influence on your self-esteem and life experience.

When you set financial goals, they need to be consistent with your non-monetary life goals. If the two are not compatible, then you will be in a constant state of internal struggle and frustration. Remember, money is the enabler to help you to achieve your life goals, not vice versa.



Random Thoughts on Honesty

The person who is honest only for a “price” should be rated as dishonest.

There are no degrees of honesty. There are only absolutes. Either you are honest or you are not.

Honesty does not come for a price; honesty is its own reward.It’s also the most efficient form of human behavior.

Honest persons never have to worry about which lie they have told to whom, and they never have to worry about getting caught. Thus, they are free to focus all their energies on more productive things.

Make it a habit to be honest in all your dealings. If you can’t be truthful in what you say, don’t say anything at all. Remember, small lies start out innocently enough but soon assume lives of their own. A small lie requires a larger one to conceal it, and soon more, even larger lies are required.

Don’t tell that first lie or take a single thing that doesn’t belong to you, and you’ll never have to worry.

Live in the present


Once upon a time, there was an old clock manufacturer who made winding clocks. He used to fabricate the inner machinery of a clock and place it in an artistically crafted and beautiful cabinet. One day after after completing the work, he said to the clock, “Look I have completed all of the work and you are ready to function. When I wind the spring, you will have to tick two times in a second (winding clocks usually tick twice a second) non-stop at least for 50 years.” The manufacturer wound the clock spring, started the pendulum, and the clock started functioning.

After a few minutes, the new clock started to think, “I have to work for 50 years non-stop ticking twice a second. That means 120 ticks in a minute, 7200 ticks in an hour and 1,72,800 ticks in a day. For 365 days in a year, there will have to be 6,30,72,000 ticks and for 50 years, my God, it will be 351 crore ticks!!” A kind of nervousness crept into various parts of the new clock. It could not move its parts. Overwhelmed by the thoughts of the tasks ahead, the clock stopped functioning. The manufacturer checked all the parts. Since there was no fault in the machinery, he started the clock once again. After the clock worked for fine for few more minutes, the thought of having to tick 325 crore times returned to its mind and the clock stopped functioning once again.

A grandfather clock in the same room was observing what was going on and it wanted to know what the problem was. After listening to young clock it said, “Look, I am 68 years old and have been functioning smoothly till now. Lakhs of clocks are working all over the world without any interruption. Why can’t you do the same? Don’t worry about the future. Just perform today’s duties and forget about tomorrow.” These wise words were an eye-opener to the new clock, which resumed its assigned duty of ticking twice a second without worrying about the future.


The Lens Principle from “Winning with People” by John Maxwell


The lens principle from John C. Maxwell’s book “Winning with People” is a real eye opener. It’s scary to think that “who we are determines how we see others.” Many of us grew up with obstacles that hinder our ability to initiate, build and sustain good, health relationships. The Lens principle is as follows:

A traveler nearing a great city asked an old man seated by road, “What are the people like in this city?”
“What were they like where you came from?” the man asked.
“Horrible,” the traveler reported. “Mean, untrustworthy, detestable in all respects.”
“Ah,” said the old man, “you will find them the same in the city ahead.”
Scarcely had the first traveler gone on his way when another stopped to inquire about the people in the city before him. Again the old man asked about the people the place the traveler has just left.
“They were fine people: honest, industrious and generous to a fault,” declared the second traveler. “I was sorry to leave.”
The old man responded, “That’s exactly how you’ll find the people here.”
The way people see others is a reflection of themselves.

You are the lens through which you view the world.

Who you are determines what you see and the way you see it. What is around us doesn’t determine what we see: What is within us does. And who you are determines how you see others.

If you are a trusting person, you will see others as trustworthy.
If you are a critical person, you will see others as critical.
If you are a caring person, you will see others as compassionate.
If you see yourself as stinky cheese, chances are the people around you will smell bad also.
If I am an unhealthy leader, to have healthy followers. I have to fix myself. We don’t see others as they are; we see others as we are, because each of us has his or her own bent and that colors our view of everything.

Who you are determines what you see, how you see others, how you view life, and what you do. Who you are is a combination of genetics, self-image, experiences, attitudes, relationships and faith.