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! All Is Not Lost !
A 10-year-old boy decided to study judo despite the fact that he had lost his
left arm in a devastating car accident. The boy began lessons with an old
Japanese judo master. The boy was doing well, so he couldn't
understand why, after three months of training the master had taught him
only one move.
"Sensei," the boy finally said, "Shouldn't I be learning more moves?"
"This is the only move you know, but this is the only move you'll ever need
to know," the sensei replied.
Not quite understanding, but believing in his teacher, the boy kept training.
Several months later, the sensei took the boy to his first tournament.
Surprising himself, the boy easily won his first two matches.
The third match proved to be more difficult, but after some time, his
opponent became impatient and charged; the boy deftly used his one move
to win the match.
Still amazed by his success, the boy was now in the finals. This time, his
opponent was bigger, stronger, and more experienced. For a while, the boy
appeared to be overmatched. Concerned that the boy might get hurt, the
referee called a time-out. He was about to stop
the match when the sensei intervened. "No," the sensei insisted, "Let him
Soon after the match resumed, his opponent made a critical mistake: he
dropped his guard. Instantly, the boy used his move to pin him. The boy had
won the match and the tournament. He was the champion. On the way
home, the boy and sensei reviewed every move in each and every match.
Then the boy summoned the courage to ask what was really on his mind.
"Sensei, how did I win the tournament with only one move?" "You won for
two reasons," the sensei answered. "First, you've almost mastered one of the
most difficult throws in all of judo. And second, the only known defense for
that move is for your opponent to grab your left arm."
The boy's biggest weakness had become his biggest strength.
"Sometimes we feel that we have certain weaknesses and we blame god, the
circumstances and our self for it but we never know that our weakness can
become our strength one day. Each of us is special and important,so never
think you have any weakness, never think of pride or pain, just live your life
to its fullest and extract the best out of it!"
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British Airways flight between
Johannesburg and London
A White woman, about 50 years old, was seated next to a black
Obviously disturbed by this, she called the air Hostess. 'Madam,
what is the matter,' the hostess asked. 'You obviously do not see it
then?' she responded. 'You placed me next to a black man. I do not
agree to sit next to someone from such a repugnant group. Give me
an alternative seat.'
'Be calm please,' the hostess replied. 'Almost all the places on this
Flight are taken. I will go & see if another place is available.' The
Hostess went away and then came back a few minutes later.
'Madam, Just as I thought, there are no other available seats in the
economy class. I spoke to the captain and he informed me that
there is a seat in the business class.
All the same, we still have one place in the first class.' Before the
woman could say anything, the hostess continued: 'It is not Usual for
our company to permit someone from the economy class to sit in
the first class. However, given the circumstances, the captain feels
that it would be scandalous to make someone sit next to someone
so disgusting.' She turned to the black guy, and said, 'Therefore, Sir,
if you would like to,please collect your hand luggage, a seat awaits
you in first class.'
At that moment, the other passengers who were shocked by what
they had Just witnessed stood up and applauded.
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A jobless man applied for the position of 'office boy' at a very big firm.
The HR manager interviewed him, then a test: clean the floor. "You are
hired" he said, give me your email address, and I'll send you the
application to fill, as well as when you will start. The man replied
"I don't have a computer, neither an email".
I'm sorry, said the HR manager, if you don't have an email that means
you do not exist. And who doesn't exist, cannot have the job. The man
left with no hope at all. He didn't know what to do, with only $10 US
in his pocket.
He then decided to go to the supermarket and buy a 10 KG tomato crate.
He then sold the tomatoes in a door to door round. In less than two
hours, he succeeded to double his capital. He repeated the operation 3
times, and returned home with $60 US. The man realized that he can
survive by this way, and started to go everyday earlier, and return
late. Thus, his money doubles or triples every day. Shortly later, he
bought a cart, then a truck, and then he had his own fleet of delivery
5 years later, the man is one of the biggest food retailers in the US.
He started to plan his family's future, and decided to have a life
He called an insurance broker, and chooses a protection plan. When the
conversation was concluded, the broker asked him his email. The man
replied: 'I don't have an email'. The broker replied curiously, you
don't have an email, and yet have succeeded to build an empire. Do you
imagine what you could have been if you had an email?
The man thought for a while, and replied: an office boy!
The moral of this story:
1: Internet is not the solution to your life.
2: If you don't have Internet and you work hard you can be a millionaire.
3: If you received this message by email, you are closer to be an
office boy, rather than a MILLIONAIRE.
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Adjust To Life
A man and his girlfriend were married. It was a large celebration. All of their friends
and family came to see the lovely ceremony and to partake of the festivities and
celebrations. A wonderful time was had by all.
The bride was gorgeous in her white wedding gown and the groom was very dashing in
his black tuxedo. Everyone could tell that the love they had for each other was true.
A few months later, the wife comes to the husband with a proposal: "I read in a
magazine, a while ago, about how we can strengthen our marriage." she offered.
"Each of us will write a list of the things that we find a bit
annoying with the other person. Then, we can talk about how we can fix them
together and make our lives happier together."
The husband agreed. So each of them went to a separate room in the house and
thought of the things that annoyed them about the other. They thought about this
question for the rest of the day and wrote down what they came up with.
The next morning, at the breakfast table, they decided that they would go over their
lists. "I'll start," offered the wife. She took out her list. It had many items on it.
Enough to fill 3 pages, in fact. As she started reading the list of the little annoyances,
she noticed that tears were starting to appear in her husbands eyes.
"What's wrong?" she asked. "Nothing" the husband replied, "keep reading your list."
The wife continued to read until she had read all three pages to her husband. She
neatly placed her list on the table and folded her hands over top of it.
"Now, you read your list and then we'll talk about the things on both of our lists." She
Quietly the husband stated, "I don't have anything on my list. I think that you are
perfect the way that you are. I don't want you to change anything for me. You are
lovely and wonderful and I wouldn't want to try and change anything about you."
The wife, touched by his honesty and the depth of his love for her and his acceptance
of her, turned her head and wept.
IN LIFE, there are enough times when we are disappointed, depressed and annoyed.
We don't really have to go looking for them. We have a wonderful world that is full of
beauty, light and promise.
Why waste time in this world looking for the bad, disappointing or annoying when we
can look around us, and see the wondrous things before us?
I believe that WE ARE HAPPIEST WHEN we see and praise the good and try our best to
forget the bad. Nobody's perfect but we can find perfectness in them to change the
way we see them.
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Five Great Lessons by Peter Drucker
1 - First Important Lesson - Cleaning Lady
During my second month of college, our professor gave us a pop quiz. I was a
conscientious student and had breezed through the questions until I read the
"What is the first name of the woman who cleans the school?"
Surely this was some kind of joke. I had seen the cleaning woman several
times. She was tall, dark-haired and in her 50s, but how would I know her
I handed in my paper, leaving the last question blank. Just before class ended,
one student asked if the last question would count toward our quiz grade.
"Absolutely," said the professor. "In your careers, you will meet many
people. All are significant. They deserve your attention and care, even if all
you do is smile and say "hello."
I've never forgotten that lesson. I also learned her name was Dorothy.
2. - Second Important Lesson - Pickup in the Rain
One night, at 11:30 p.m., an older African American woman was standing on
the side of an Alabama highway trying to endure a lashing rainstorm. Her car
had broken down and she desperately needed a ride. Soaking wet, she decided
to flag down the next car. A young white man stopped to help her, generally
unheard of in those conflict-filled 1960s. The MN took her to safety, helped her
get assistance and put her into a taxicab.
She seemed to be in a big hurry, but wrote down his address and thanked him.
Seven days went by and a knock came on the man's door. To his surprise, a
giant console color TV was delivered to his home. A special note was attached..
It read: "Thank you so much for assisting me on the highway the other night.
The rain drenched not only my clothes, but also my spirits. Then you came
along. Because of you, I was able to make it to my dying husband's bedside just
before he passed away... God bless you for helping me and unselfishly serving
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Mrs. Nat King Cole
3 - Third Important Lesson - Always remember those who serve
In the days when an ice cream sundae cost much less, a 10-year-old boy
entered a hotel coffee shop and sat at a table. A waitress put a glass of water
in front of him.
"How much is an ice cream sundae?" he asked. "Fifty cents," replied the
waitress. The little boy pulled is hand out of his pocket and studied the coins in
"Well, how much is a plain dish of ice cream?" he inquired.
By now more people were waiting for a table and the waitress was growing
"Thirty-five cents," she brusquely replied
The little boy again counted his coins.
"I'll have the plain ice cream," he said.
The waitress brought the ice cream, put the bill on the table and walked away.
The boy finished the ice cream, paid the cashier and left. When the waitress
came back, she began to cry as she wiped down the table. There, placed neatly
beside the empty dish, were two nickels and five pennies..
You see, he couldn't have the sundae, because he had to have enough left to
leave her a tip.
4 - Fourth Important Lesson. - The obstacle in Our Path
In ancient times, a King had a boulder placed on a roadway. Then he hid
himself and watched to see if anyone would remove the huge rock. Some of the
king's wealthiest merchants and courtiers came by and simply walked around it.
Many loudly blamed the King for not keeping the roads clear, but none did
anything about getting the stone out of the way.
Then a peasant came along carrying a load of vegetables. Upon approaching
the boulder, the peasant laid down his burden and tried to move the stone to
the side of the road. After much pushing and straining, he finally succeeded.
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After the peasant picked up his load of vegetables, he noticed a purse lying in
the road where the boulder had been. The purse contained many gold coins
and a note from the King indicating that the gold was for the person who
removed the boulder from the roadway. The peasant learned what many of us
Every obstacle presents an opportunity to improve our condition.
5 - Fifth Important Lesson - Giving When it Counts...
Many years ago, when I worked as a volunteer at a hospital, I got to know a
little girl named Liz who was suffering from a rare and serious disease. Her only
chance of recovery appeared to be a blood transfusion from her 5-year old
brother, who had miraculously survived the same disease and had developed
the antibodies needed to combat the illness. The doctor explained the
situation to her little brother, and asked the little boy if he would be willing to
give his blood to his sister.
I saw him hesitate for only a moment before taking a deep breath and saying,
"Yes I'll do it, if it will save her." As the transfusion progressed, he lay in bed
next to his sister and smiled, as we all did, seeing the color returning to her
cheeks. Then his face grew pale and his smile faded.
He looked up at the doctor and asked with a trembling voice, "Will I start to die
Being young, the little boy had misunderstood the doctor; he thought he was
going to have to give his sister all of his blood in order to save her.
"Work like you don't need the money, Love like you've never been hurt, and
dance like you do when nobody's watching."
Talk peaceful to be peaceful.
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A group of alumni, highly established in their careers, got together to
visit their old university professor.
Conversation soon turned into complaints about stress in work and life.
Offering his guests coffee, the professor went to the kitchen and
returned with a large pot of coffee and an assortment of cups - porcelain,
plastic, glass, crystal, some plain looking, some expensive, some exquisite –
telling them to help themselves to the coffee.
When all the students had a cup of coffee in hand, the professor said:
"If you noticed, all the nice looking expensive cups were taken up, leaving
behind the plain and cheap ones.
While it is normal for you to want only the best for yourselves, that is the
source of your problems and stress. Be assured that the cup itself adds no
quality to the coffee. In most cases it is just more expensive and in some cases
even hides what we drink.
What all of you really wanted was coffee, not the cup, but you consciously
went for the best cups... And then you began eyeing each other's cups.
Now consider this: Life is the coffee; the jobs, money and position in
society are the cups. They are just tools to hold and contain Life, and
the type of cup we have does not define, nor change the quality of Life
We live. Sometimes, by concentrating only on the cup, we fail to enjoy
the coffee God has provided for us." God brews the coffee, not the cups...
Enjoy your coffee!
"The happiest people don't have the best of everything. They just make
the best of everything."
Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly.
Leave the rest to God.
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I do my thing, and you do your thing.
I am not in this world to live up to your expectations,
And you are not in this world to live up to mine.
You are you and I am I;
If by chance we find each other, it’s beautiful.
If not, it can’t be helped.
If I just do my thing and you do yours,
We stand in danger of losing each other
I am not in this world to live up to your expectations,
But I am in this world to confirm you
As a unique human being.
And to be conformed by you.
We are fully ourselves only in relation to each other;
The I detach from Thou Disintegrates.
I do not find you by chance;
I find you by an active life
Of reaching out.
Rather than passively letting things happen to me,
I can act intentionally to make them happen.
I must begin with myself, true;
But I must not end with myself:
The truth begins with two.
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ONE PARAGRAPH THAT EXPLAINS LIFE!
Arthur Ashe, the legendary Wimbledon player was dying of AIDS
which he got due to infected blood he received during a heart
surgery in 1983.
From world over, he received letters from his fans, one of which
conveyed: "Why does GOD have to select you for such a bad
To this Arthur Ashe replied: "The world over -- 50 million children
start playing tennis, 5 million learn to play tennis, 500,000 learn
professional tennis, 50,000 come to the circuit, 5000 reach the
grand slam, 50 reach Wimbledon, 4 to semi final, 2 to the finals,
when I was holding a cup I never asked GOD 'Why me?'.
And today in pain I should not be asking GOD 'Why me?'
Happiness keeps you Sweet,
Trials keep you Strong,
Sorrow keeps you Human,
Failure Keeps you humble and Success keeps you glowing,
but only Faith & Attitude Keeps you going...
Right Attitude at Workplace
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Positive Attitude at Difficult Times
Managers can be referred to as key persons of an organization. The
ancient scriptures give us an idea of the right attitude and mental
framework with which a king’s minister should work which is very
much comparable to the present day manager of a modern
A manager must desist from using harsh words to another and should
not lose his cool if a customer or peer addresses the manager in some
sarcastic or harsh tone. In short a manager must have capacity full of
forbearance like the earth.
The first step towards having the right attitude is to define success in
own terms. It is like sitting at a dining table and trying to put together
a jigsaw puzzle. The first thing that one does while solving a jigsaw
puzzle is look at the picture on the box. The same holds true for
success. Success should never be measured by what others have or
have not done; rather it is something very subjective. At workplace, it
helps avoid inter-office comparisons, in terms of either job
responsibilities or recognition. Right attitude is seeing what one can be
best at, rather than seeing what others are better at.
Developing discipline is another requisite to foster a positive attitude.
Today’s preparation determines tomorrow’s achievement. However,
there is a price to pay for it. One will need to find what it takes to be
the best time, practice, commitment, sacrifice. In this highly
competitive scenario one requires discipline and commitment to meet
targets and deadlines and facilitate prioritization of tasks and duties.
Ones attitude assists him in maintaining the discipline he has
The following three cases, along with their solutions, are given for the
article readers’ information and understanding:
Case 1: The boss fires his subordinate.
Solution: There are times when even the best of bosses fire the
subordinates. The reasons may or may not be known to them. As a
subordinate, one should turn away from ‘another frightful’ exchange of
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This means that, if the boss is expressing his anger, it necessarily
need not be towards the subordinate. Secondly, the assistant must not
react with thoughts like “I will leave the job” or “How can my boss do
this after 20 years of dedication?” etc.
He has to just keep calm and let time pass. Then, with a cool head,
analyze why he or she said what was said. It was probably a
continuation of some previous event that affected his behavior. Or, it
could be that the subordinate did not do something expected of him.
Once the reasons are understood, it will be easy to take action. If it
was a mistake, then correct it and only then go back to the boss. Just
go at a alter stage (“turn away from frightful” words).
Case II: Suppose the assistant gets angry
Solutions: Now this is a situation for anger management. Never aim
frustration towards others – this is very essential. It requires practice,
but it’s important to recognize that when one is losing temper and
control self to remain cool.
Postpone every activity and thought till one attains calmness and
quite. Remember, intellect may be a wonderful instrument, but it
works only without disturbance.
Case III: Someone abuses an employee (other than boss)
Solution: It may not be easy but accomplished and learned persons
advise, in such a case, one should be forgiving, cool and controlled
self. There are bound to be times in every manager’s life when,
despite doing one’s best for juniors and subordinates, they show an
attitude of thanklessness. It’s very painful. At such times, a manager
can recall the example of his parents, who have forgiven him during
his childhood days umpteen number of times.
Just remain calm, forgive them and let life go on. Things return back
to normal as all of us realize eventually that we need each other.
Having the right attitude is crucial to the kind of image created about
one self and this for a fact holds more importance at one’s work place.
Adopting the right attitude is a step towards personal excellence which
in turn helps us to add value to everything we do. Hence, it is time
tested fact that ‘Attitude’ and ‘Success’ go hand in hand. —
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By Oriah Mountain Dreamer
It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache
for, and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing.
It doesn’t interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking
like a for love, for your dream, for the adventure of being alive.
It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon. I want to know if
you have been opened by life’s betrayal or have become shrivelled and closed
from fear of further pain! I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your
own, without moving to hide it or fade it, or fix it.
I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own, if you can dance with
wildness and let ecstasy fill you to the tips of your finger and toes without
cautioning us to be careful, to be realistic, to remember the limitations of
It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me is true. I want to know if
you can disappoint another to be true to yourself, if you can bear the
accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul, if you can be faithless and
I want to know if you can see beauty even when it’s not pretty, every day, and
if you can source your life from its presence.
I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine, and still stand on
the edge of the lake and shout to the sliver of the full moon, “Yes!”
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It doesn’t interest me to know where you live or how much money you have, I
want to know if you can get up, after the night of grief and despair, weary and
bruised to the bone, and do what needs to be done to feed the children.
It doesn’t interest me who you know or how you came to be here. I want to
know if you will stand in the centre of fire with me and not shrink back.
It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom you have studied. I want to
know what sustains you, from inside, when all else falls away.
I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the
company you keep in the empty moments.
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THE MOUSE TRAP STORY
A mouse looked through the crack in the wall to see the farmer
his wife open a package.
What food might this contain?"
The mouse wondered - - -
he was devastated to discover it
was a mousetrap.
Retreating to the farmyard,
the mouse proclaimed the warning :
There is a mousetrap in the house!
There is a mousetrap in the house!"
The chicken clucked and scratched,
raised her head and said,
"Mr.Mouse, I can tell this is a grave concern
to you, but it is of no consequence
to me. I cannot be bothered by it."
The mouse turned to
the pig and told him,
"There is a mousetrap in the house!
There is a mousetrap in the house!"
The pig sympathized, but said, I am
so very sorry, Mr.Mouse, but there
is nothing I can do about it but pray.
Be assured you are in my prayers."
The mouse turned to
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the cow and said
"There is a mousetrap in the house!
There is a mousetrap in the house!"
The cow said, "Wow, Mr. Mouse.
I'm sorry for you, but it's no skin
off my nose."
So, the mouse returned to the
house, head down and dejected,
to face the farmer's mousetrap . . .
That very night a sound was heard throughout
the house -- like the sound of a mousetrap catching
The farmer's wife rushed to see
what was caught. In the darkness,
she did not see it was a venomous
snake whose tail the trap had caught.
The snake bit the farmer's wife.
The farmer rushed her to the hospital ,
and she returned home with a fever.
Everyone knows you treat a fever
with fresh chicken soup, so the
farmer took his hatchet to the
farmyard for the soup's main
But his wife's sickness continued,
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so friends and neighbors came to
sit with her around the clock.
To feed them, the farmer
butchered the pig.
The farmer's wife did not get well;
So many people came for her funeral,
the farmer had the cow slaughtered to
provide enough meat for all of them.
The mouse looked upon it all from
his crack in the wall with great sadness.
So, the next time you hear someone
is facing a problem and think it
doesn't concern you,
when one of us is threatened,
we are all at risk.
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Say to yourself every morning:
Today is going to be a great day!
I can handle more than I think I can,
Things don’t get better by worrying about them,
I can be satisfied if I try to do my best.
There is always some thing to be
I am going to make some one happy
It’s not good to be down.
Life is great, make the most of it.
BE AN OPTIMIST!
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By Ab van Deemter
Two people look at a glass which is half filled with water.
Are you the person who sees a glass that is half empty or do you see a glass that is half
We have a lot of choices in life. We can choose to look at things the negative way and
always see the dark side of situations, or we can choose to be positive and live a
happy and fulfilling life.
Why is it so important to live a positive and optimistic life?
Of course it is important to live a positive life, because it is so much more fulfilling.
Optimism is synonymous with positive mood and good morale. It is also linked to
athletic and academic success, to success in career and politics, to better health and
longer life and moreover positive individuals are much more attractive to people than
negative people are.
Now, I hear you thinking. The rates of depression and pessimism amongst people have
never been higher than they are today, no matter the age group. These days it is
affecting older, middle aged and younger people all the same way.
Although it is not the easiest thing in the world to change in our life, it is important to
realize that being a pessimist instead of an optimist is a matter of choice. We can
choose to be positive or negative.
So, experience how the self motivation tips hereunder are the key to change. Do some
self motivation exercise so that after a while you acquire the necessary self motivation
skills in positive thinking.
Recent studies have shown that positive people are hit by the same hard smacks in life
as do the negative people. The difference is just in the way they deal with the pain
that comes from these smacks.
Positive and optimistic people tend to be convinced that these moments of pain are
temporary set backs and that these events are in their lives to learn a lesson from, so
that they can grow, while negative and pessimistic people tend to believe that
unfortunate events have an influence on everything they do in life and they are
convinced that such situations will last a long, long time. Besides they either tend to
think that such events take place, because they always befall to them, or because it is
all their own fault.
- Positive people sooner perceive these negative events as challenges or opportunities
and they get stimulated by them to try harder. You will never hear them say things
like: "That is always happening to me in my life and it's never going to change" or
"Everything goes wrong as usual and also this time it will definitely effect other area's
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in my life".
They believe that when such statements are actually being expressed they will work as
self-fulfilling prophesies and they refuse to put this energy out ahead of them.
- Positive people are hardly ever manipulative people and they appear to be far less
dependent on others for their own happiness. They have the natural talent to draw
people towards them, because they are surrounded with positive, balanced and
Negative people tend to react strongly to stressful events, by denying that stress is
bothering them. Moreover negative or pessimistic people tend to avoid dealing with
their negative situations and they give up more easily when problems or difficulties
- Positive people on the other hand are much more stress resistant. In general positive
people are perseverant and they don't give up easily. And it is in this way that they
seem to get closer to their dream or passion each step of the way.
- Medical research has shown that positive people have an unusual good health and
that generally they age well, without having to go through the illnesses that middle
aged people tend to go through. Their bodies appear to have a much higher stamina
level and a better ability to fight disease and they usually get older than the people
who allow their lives to be lead by negativity.
All in all, when you are not such a positive and optimistic person, there is every reason
to learn to become one.
Remember it is all a matter of choice!
Each and everyone of us hits ebb-tides in life, but it is your choice whether you want
to stay in that place, or not.
Find the positive message in each negative experience. There always is one!
Finding this positive lesson will open your world again, so that you can create new
By letting go of your negative ideas of your internal struggles you find new inspiration.
Get up and get back on track! Keep a positive goal ahead of you in all your endeavours
and challenge yourself to see difficult situations as opportunities, instead of allowing
them to bring you down.
I hope this article is of value to you and I really hope it provided you with some new
The above mentioned self motivation tips are the key to your growth. Therefore I
recommend you to have a good and conscious look at your life and if necessary to do
some self motivation exercise in order to obtain the necessary self motivation skills.
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Assertiveness is a trait taught by many personal development experts and
psychotherapists and the subject of many popular self-help books. It is linked to self-
esteem and considered an important communication skill.
As a communication style and strategy, assertiveness is distinguished from aggression
and passivity. How people deal with personal boundaries; their own and those of other
people, helps to distinguish between these three concepts. Passive communicators do not
defend their own personal boundaries and thus allow aggressive people to harm or
otherwise unduly influence them. They are also typically not likely to risk trying to
influence anyone else. Aggressive people do not respect the personal boundaries of others
and thus are liable to harm others while trying to influence them. A person communicates
assertively by not being afraid to speak his or her mind or trying to influence others, but
doing so in a way that respects the personal boundaries of others. They are also willing to
defend themselves against aggressive incursions.
An assertive style of behavior is to interact with people while standing up for your rights.
Being assertive is to one's benefit most of the time but it does not mean that one always
gets what he/she wants. The result of being assertive is that 1) you feel good about
yourself 2) other people know how to deal with you and there is nothing vague about
dealing with you.
Assertive people have the following characteristic:
• They feel free to express their feelings, thoughts, and desires.
• They know their rights.
• They have control over their anger. It does not mean that they repress this feeling.
It means that they control it for a moment and then talk about it later in a logical
• They have a good understanding of feelings of the person with whom they are
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A popular technique advocated by assertiveness experts is the Broken record technique.
This consists of simply repeating your requests every time you are met with illegitimate
resistance. The term comes from vinyl records, the surface of which when scratched
would lead the needle of a record player to loop over the same few seconds of the
recording indefinitely. However, a disadvantage with this technique is that when
resistance continues, your requests lose power every time you have to repeat them. If the
requests are repeated too often it can backfire on the authority of your words. In these
cases it is necessary to have some sanctions on hand.
Another technique some suggest is called Fogging, which consists of finding some
limited truth to agree with in what an antagonist is saying. More specifically, one can
agree in part or agree in principle.
Negative inquiry consists of requesting further, more specific criticism. Negative
assertion however, is agreement with criticism without letting up demand.
I statements can be used to voice one's feelings and wishes without expressing a
judgment about the other person or blaming one's feelings on them.
Gandhi's struggle for India's independence, along with the communication strategy and
actions he used for this, are a good example of assertiveness. He used a people movement
which he called "Satyagraha" which used non violent means to achieve his objective. He
kept communicating the Indians' right to rule themselves to the British, immaterial of
what the British thought about Indians. Gandhi was sent to jail several times and in many
cases was asked to pay a fine for opposing British rule. He never agreed to pay any fine,
saying that he had the right to say what he thinks is correct. After several decades of this
struggle, India became independent.
Several research studies have identified assertiveness training as a useful tool in the
prevention of alcohol use disorders.[
• Smith, M. J. (1975). When I say no, I feel guilty. New York: Bantam Books.
• Bower, S. A. & Bower, G. H. (1991). Asserting Yourself: A Practical Guide for
Positive Change. 2nd ed. Reading, MA: Addison Wesley
• Robert E. Alberti and Michael L. Emmons (1992). Your Perfect Right: A Guide to
Assertive Living. 6th ed. San Luis Obispo, CA: Impact Publishers
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STEPPING OUT OF THE SHADOWS
By Susan Walker
Assertiveness is the ability to say yes or no when you want to; it's the
freedom to be yourself in all circumstances. Here's how you develop this
What is assertiveness? Is it the ability to get what we want when we want it? Will it
mean we get to be in control of the world around us? Well, yes and no.
An assertive manner certainly means that we'll feel more empowered, and more in
control of circumstances. However, it is definitely not a strategy to get our own way
Assertiveness is the courage to be ourselves and show the world who we really
are: our likes and dislikes, our thoughts, feelings, and shortcomings. It's about
communicating honestly with family, friends and colleagues. As we become more
assertive, we drop the mask and show our true selves. We proclaim: "This is who I
am, this is what I feel, and these are my needs."
Assertiveness skills are not easy to learn. Many of us grow up without learning how
to use them effectively. And even when we do, we're tempted to use seemingly
easier ways of communicating. We want to push others into behaving in ways that
suit us, or we may be so afraid of conflict or disapproval that we feel it isn't safe to
speak honestly. Being assertive means learning new ways of communicating that
may initially seem uncomfortable.
Assertiveness offers many benefits:
• We create healthy, meaningful relationships
• There is less friction and conflict
• There is increased self-respect as well as respect from others
• Our self-esteem is enhanced, and we always feel in control
• Our productivity at work and the home increases
• There's less stress, and an overall sense of well-being
• In expressing ourselves appropriately, we needn't hold grudges, or store pent-up
emotions. Our emotional and physical health improves.
So what prevents us from being honest with others? As children we had very direct
ways of making our needs known with no compunction in telling trusted people how
we felt and what we thought. What happened later?
For starters, we grew up in a complex society. Many things may infringe on our
ability, or willingness, to be honestly expressive. We receive messages about how we
should 'be' from our culture, society, and family. Generally, these messages
discourage us from making waves. To varying degrees, we are taught that our needs
should be put to one side. As we grow, we face enormous pressures to conform and
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who we really are gets suppressed in the process.
Eventually, we begin to feel frustrated, out of control and overlooked. We may
develop a fear that a hostile world is 'out to get us'. We create beliefs about the
world that influence the way we relate to others. We develop styles of
communication that reflect how we view the world internally.
Often, these views are distorted and based on messages received in childhood.
Consider these examples, and see if any are similar to your beliefs:
• Only beautiful and intelligent people are allowed to express their view
• People are unreliable, eventually abusing your trust
• A woman's main role in life is to cater to the needs of others
• People only take you seriously if you are more powerful than they are.
Gradually, these beliefs may become automatic and we are hardly aware that we
hold them, yet we live our lives as though they were true. We willingly obey
imaginary rules that dictate what we are and are not allowed to be. The frightening
thing is that if we relate to others through these distorted beliefs, we may create the
very circumstances we fear. For example, a fear of rejection may influence you to
behave in a possessive manner to control a partner. Or you may be aloof in your
relationships to convince others (and yourself) that you do not need them. Both
these ways will ultimately drive people away, resulting in the very situation you
feared. We become shadows of our true selves, denying our dreams and desires.
Then how can we become more open, honest and assertive? Begin by recognizing
distorted beliefs. Honestly put down your beliefs about yourself and the world. Then
objectively decide whether they are reasonable or not, and helpful or not. A healthy
belief system looks at the world from the point of view that you are a valuable,
worthwhile person, and accepts the fact that others are too.
Replace old beliefs with positive self-statements:
"I am a strong and worthwhile person."
"I love my job, but I am not defined by it. It is okay to take time out to do other
"The world can be a friendly and supportive place."
Now that we are aware of some things that were blocking us from being assertive,
let's look at how we communicate at present. The belief system you hold influences
your communication style. Psychologists recognize four main styles, and although
we tend to switch from style to style, we generally favor one.
THE PASSIVE PERSON
• Finds it hard to say 'no'
• Has difficulty in expressing opinions
• Feels others' needs are more justified than one's own
• Tends to avoid conflict at all costs, even if personally detrimental
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• Finds it hard to maintain eye contact, and often tries to occupy the smallest
Example: "Yes, of course. I'll drop you at the airport, at 3.00 a.m., just before my
THE AGGRESSIVE PERSON
• Expresses point of view arrogantly, as if no other is possible
• Tends to dismiss or ignore the opinions and feelings of others
• Believes one's own needs are most important
• Feels powerful when dominating others, later guilty or remorseful as people draw
Example: "Anyone with any sense would know that's a ridiculous point of view."
THE PASSIVE/AGGRESSIVE PERSON
• Agrees to others' demands, then avoids by making excuses, forgetting and being
• Denies personal responsibility for their actions, uses accusatory statements
• Tries to get his/her own way by being manipulative
• Fears rejection and confrontation.
Example: "Yes, I know I promised to meet you at 9.00, but Anthony kept me talking.
I'm really sorry."
THE ASSERTIVE PERSON
• Expresses needs, wants and feelings directly and honestly
• Allows others to hold different views without dismissing or deprecating them
• Respects the fact that others' needs are as important as one's own
• Realizes that no one controls anyone else.
Example: "I understand that you're busy, but I'd like to see the manager as soon as
Realizing that we are not tied to old viewpoints about the world, and the awareness
that we cannot control others can be a very liberating feeling. We are free to
tentatively practice new ways of relating to others.
How do we move into this new style? Basically, through practice. Draw up a list of
situations where you can be assertive. Like refusing a request made at work or
taking a faulty item back to the shop. Notice the way you decline or make requests.
Register your expression and posture. Assertive postures are open and non-
threatening, with friendly eye contact.
Practice asking others' opinions. This creates an opportunity to express yours directly
and without being apologetic. Notice whether you listen attentively to what others
are saying. People are more likely to listen to you if they feel that you are attentive.
Remember to use 'I' statements wherever possible. This makes the tone of the
communication direct, but unchallenging.
Making requests, or having needs met is often difficult, especially if our level of self-
esteem is fragile. One useful technique is the Describe, Express, Specify and
Outcome script used by Bower and Bower in their book, Asserting Yourself. These
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four steps can be used when learning to make an assertive request. The intent is to
frame the situation, say what's wrong, make your request and predict an outcome.
Notice the difference between the assertive style of person #1, and the passive,
and passive/aggressive style of person #2.
Before making a request, define the situation. What's going on?
#1. "It's been a long time since we went out for dinner together."
#2. "Why don't you ever take me out to dinner any more?"
Here and now, express how you are feeling in this particular situation:
#1. "I miss you…"
#2. "You don't love me any more."
Indicate what you would like to happen:
#1. "I would love to go out on Saturday."
#2. "I don't suppose you're free on Saturday, either…"
Describe the outcome you'd like to achieve if the other person went along with your
#1. "It would be a great chance for us to catch up and spend some time together."
#2. "Like always, you're letting me down."
These scripts clearly show the difference an assertive style makes to the tone of a
conversation. The person seems more open, less threatening and dominating, and
yet is making his needs known. It's very helpful to practice making requests using
these scripts, perhaps by writing down examples first.
Now begin the journey towards coming out of the shadows and being more
assertive. Remember, though, that things may not be easy at first. Changing the
way we communicate takes time, courage and practice. It means asserting some
control, and others may resist this initially.
The wonderful thing about being assertive is that we open a space around us for
others to be themselves. When we drop our masks, others feel safe doing likewise.
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To absorb, retain, make part
of the whole, to mix, to
include and become one with
• Sugar with Tea
• Students understanding in stead of
• Skills like Swimming, driving,
• Employee / Officer dedicated to the
cause of Company or organization
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• Adds to Adaptability
• Helps in Learning
• Creates Awareness & Understanding – Avoids conflicts
& Self conflicts
• Understand Others Problems
• Manages Stress
WAYS TO ENHANCE ASSIMILATION
Study in stead of Reading
Apply in day to day life
Greater Self Esteem
Greater capacity to do Things
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