Thursday, December 2, 2010

Relationships & Friendships

"A friend is one to whom one may pour out all the contents of one's heart, chaff and grain together knowing that the gentlest of hands will take and sift it, keep what is worth keeping and with a breath of kindness blow the rest away." Arabian Proverb

"A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity." Proverbs 17:17

We are all created not in islolation but for relationships. We were conceived within relationships, and live our lives within relationships. Relationships are the core of our existence.

We need each other for survival - mentally, emotionally, economically, and spiritually. We need each other to achieve the greatest good and highest potential in us. When a man dies, even if he is a stranger, unknown and unrelated to us, part of humanity dies.

People who need people are the happiest people in the world.

Today, if I can bring gladness to someone's heart, peace to someone's soul, that will be a fabulous day.

"Don't walk in front of me, I may not follow. Don't walk behind me, I may not lead. Walk beside me, and just be my friend." Albert Camus

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Golden Rule of Relationship

A positive, trusting and harmonious relationship between peoples is a foundation for enduring Success.

I remembered there is a formula: R + R - R = R which means: Rules + Regulations - Relationship = Rebelliousness

Do you agree?

In fact there is a common 'Golden Rule' which is endorsed by all the world religious teachings:

"No one of you is a believer until he desires for his brother that which he desires for himself" Islam, The Hadith

"What is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow men. This is the entire Law: all the rest is commentary" Judaism, The Talmud, Shabbat

"This is the sum of duty: do naught to others which it done to thee would cause thee pain" Hinduism, The Mahabharata

"Tsekung asked,'Is there one word that can serve as a principle of conduct for life?' Confucius replied, 'It is the word shu - reciprocity: Do not do to others what you do not want them to do to you", Confucianism, Analects

"Try your best to treat others as you would wish to be treated yourself, and you will find that this is the shortest way to benevolence"
Confucianism, Mencius

"Whatever is disagreeable to yourself do not do unto others"
Zorastriaism, Shayast

"So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sum up the Law and the Prophets", Bible, Matthew 7:12

And in the teaching of Sun Tzu with regards to relationship with soldiers and prisoners of war:

"Regard your soldiers as your children, and they will follow you into the deepest valleys. Look on them as your own beloved sons, and they will stand by you even unto death!" - Sun Tzu, the Art of War

"Treat the prisoners of war well, and care for them. This is called "winning a battle and becoming stronger." Sun Tzu, the Art of War

What a wisdom ...a glorious teaching... so, simple yet so profound...
May this universal and timeless 'Golden Rule' of Relationship be engraved in our souls, our hearts, our minds...and do our best to put it into practice each day in our lives ...

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Inspiration from a remarkable woman - Helen Keller

Helen Adams Keller (June 27, 1880 – June 1, 1968) was an American author, political activist, and lecturer. She was the first deafblind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree.

The story of how Keller's teacher, Anne Sullivan, broke through the isolation imposed by a near complete lack of language, allowing the girl to blossom as she learned to communicate, has become known worldwide through the dramatic depictions of the play and film The Miracle Worker. (source: Wikepedia )

Some of her inspirational words are below:

"Never bend your head. Hold it high. Look the world straight in the eye."

"Many persons have a wrong idea of what constitutes true happiness. It is not attained through self-gratification but through fidelity to a worthy purpose."

"Self-pity is our worst enemy and if we yield to it, we can never do anything good in the world."

"The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt within the heart."

"When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us. "

"The highest result of education is tolerance. "

"Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature.... Life is either a daring adventure or nothing."

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Power of Success through Harmony

“Always aim at complete harmony of thought and word and deed. Always aim at purifying your thoughts and everything will be well.”
Mahatma Gandhi

Many people thought that the book - "Sun Tzu, the art of war" is all about winning in war, conflict, survival and competition. This is partially true.

If you gain a deeper understanding of Sun Tzu's teaching, you will realize that he advocates a higher level of success – that of “winning whole” and of “winning without fighting”.

It’s more desirable to achieve success through harmony than conflict and destruction.

“Therefore the skillful leader subdues the enemy’s troops without any fighting; he captures their cities without laying siege to them; he overthrows their kingdom without lengthy operations in the field.”

Sun Tzu, is also a book about the art of peace.

Achieving success through harmonious relationship and balance of power and interests is more enduring and uplifting.

There is a wise chinese saying, "家和万事兴", which means when there is harmony in a family, everything will be prosperous and successful. This is true of a family, of an organization and of a nation. In contrast, a house that is divided against itself can not stand.

Isn't the success of Singapore an excellent example of the power of Harmony?

Striving to achieve harmony does not mean compromising your principles. Neither does it mean denying reality and blind to differences. But it means having the capacity to respect and tolerate differences. It means adopting a disposition of strength and humility to find creative solutions to conflicts. It means trying to appreciate the perspectives, feeling and constraints of others and the limitation of our own knowledge.

So today, speak well of your parents, siblings, spouse, children, bosses, leaders, teachers, neighbors, relatives, society, country, friends and enemies. And make it a joyous habit to do it everyday.

When we can look into the eyes of a fellow human being and reach out with peace, it doubles the joy of living.

"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God."
Matthew 5:9

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Five Critical Virtues of a Leader

Leadership is the most important critical success factor in an organization or nation. Leadership cause a nation or organization to rise or fall.

In the mind of Sun Tzu, a Leader must possess the following five virtues:

  • Wisdom,
  • Integrity,
  • Compassion,
  • Courage,
  • Discipline
In stark contrast to the five dangerous faults of a Leader, these five attributes of a Leader are critical for success and need to be cultivated within us through a lifelong process of self-development.
To what extent do you possess each of these virtues? Do you see a competent leader in you?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Five Dangerous Faults

The wisdom of Sun Tzu teaches us Five dangerous faults of a Leader which will cause great ineffectiveness and failures:

(1) Recklessness, which leads to destruction;

(2) Cowardice, which leads to capture

(3) Hasty temper, which can be provoked by insults;

(4) Delicacy of honor which is sensitive to shame;

(5) Over-solicitude for his men, which exposes him to worry and trouble.

If we study cases of personal or business failures, the root cause can be traced back to one or more of the above faults.

In the pursuit of enduring success, these faults or weaknesses are to be overcome and avoided.

What are my weaknesses which can prevent me from achieving success in my life? How can I overcome these weaknesses?

Let this be a subject of meditation today.