Why try to be a Banana, when you are a Peach?

peaches-bananas
Image Credits: http://www.keywordhut.com

I could be the most delectable, the most delicious, the most wondrous peach in the world, and I could offer it to everybody.  But there are people who are allergic to peaches.  Then they may want me to be a banana.”  And so often we become a banana for other people who want peaches.  What a messy fruit salad.  Isn’t it all right to say to them, “I am so sorry I cannot be a banana? I would love to be a banana if I could for you, but I’m a peach.”  And you know what?  If you wait long enough, you’ll find a peach lover.  And then you can live your life as a peach, and you don’t have to live your life as a banana. All the lost energy it takes to be a banana, when you’re a peach!

 

This is a part of a poem I love, written by the author of ‘Love’ Leo Buscaglia. This poem, which I first heard from my teacher and now my business partner, Omar Khan about 20 years ago, has had an amazing impact on my life and the choices I make. This has helped me to continue to search for my God-given gift by asking the questions; what do I love to do? What am I good at? What is important to me? These reflections have led me to find a sense of my ‘purpose’ and I continue to ask myself questions to inquire if that is my purpose. Such inquiry has also changed the questions and I ask and the third question above has now changed to; for what or who am I in service of?

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Galvanizing Your Team for a Great 2014

Image Credits: marketzingsolutions.com
Image Credits: marketzingssolutions.com

Wish you a successful, growth giving and happy new-year of excellence.

New years every year brings so fresh hope to teams and leaders. This is the time we think of making the New Year the most spectacular year of all. While we start of with this intention we find it fizzles off really fast.

The reason for this is because a bigger mission or purpose does not support such efforts. This is because such efforts are not done with the engagement of the hearts and minds of the teams who are responsible to deliver such results. The reason for this is because such efforts do not have a disciplined approach.

Given below are a few simple steps that can help you to gear up for an amazing 2014.

Get together with your immediate team and go through the following process.

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Gearing up for an Amazing 2014

ImageNew years every year brings so much hope to so many people. This is the time we think of giving up bad habits and making a fresh start. Most people take a fresh step with a good intention, only to find themselves slipping back to their old habits very quickly.

The reason for this is because such efforts are not supported by a bigger purpose. The reason for this is because such efforts are not done with the enlistment of the deeper subconscious mind. The reason for this is because such efforts do not have a disciplined approach.

Given below are a few simple steps that can help you to gear up for an amazing 2014.

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Attitude of Gratitude to my Alma Mater

When I feel blessed about what I have achieved my mind automatically takes me to people and events that I am grateful about. Whilst having a deep sense of gratitude to my parents, family, friends and social contacts, one major aspect that made the difference to me is my Alma Mater St Anthony’s College Katugastota in the hill capital of Sri Lanka.

One can’t ask for a better place than St Anthony’s to shape up a young mind and body to become prepared to take on the world. I believe great products from college would have felt the same. Beneficiaries of our alma mater are old Antonians of the calibre of Sir William Gopallawa, the first President of Sri Lanka, Mr. T B Illangaratne, renowned politician and dramatist, Justice Asoka De Silva, World famous professionals such as Prof. Malik Peiries, Dr Patrick Nugawela, Dr C. R. Panabokke, Prof C Suriyakumaran, World class sportsmen such as Mr. Muthaiah Muralitharan, Entrepreneurs such as Mr. Sumal Perera & Dr Lawrence Perera, Musicians such as Mr. Rookantha Gunatilleke & Mr. Stanley Peiris, Military officers such as Colonel A C Lafir and hundreds of other Ministers, Officers of the armed forces and police, academics and business people.

As I look back with an attitude of gratitude to St Anthony’s, I get a deep urge within me to do what I can to help the college continue to do the good work it has done for me. This was further reinforced when I was honoured as one of the top 100 Old Antonians during the 150-year celebrations of the college. Therefore when the opportunity came for me to be a part of the Antonian Rugby Trust, I was delighted to take it; I continue to serve in the advisory committee. I also had the privilege of providing mental toughness training to the rugby team.

The motivations of different people are different. Some do it for the gratitude, some do it for the glory, some do it for social status and others do it to develop business networks. When the motives are different there is bound to be conflict. Such conflict can make those who do things with nobel motives disgruntled. When this happens some feel like walking away, minding there own business and not doing anything for the college and some others decide to persist. I always believe such obstacles helps us to further develop our goodness. Such opportunities help us to help others to become better people. Such opportunities strengthen our resolve to be more generous.

We all belong to various religions and philosophies and we learn the need to give back to the world, do good to others and do our part to make the world a better place. When we split due to differences we lose the opportunity to accumulate goodness credits. On the other hand when like minded people like us who have walked the nooks and corners of the college, who have sat in the same class rooms, who have listened to the same teachers and who have sung our college anthem proudly gets together we can do wonders. So lets get together re-energize ourselves with nostalgia and do what we can do to uplift the standards of our alma mater so that we can celebrate the successes from a far and accumulate stories of before, during and after our time to tell our children and grandchildren.

The Motto of our alma mater ‘Lux De Coelo’ means light from heaven and was taken from a prayer sent from the Vatican when college was inaugurated. I consider this true when it comes to my life. So let the light from heaven that has brightened our being continue to shine in us, our families and the generations of Antonians to come. May god bless you all.

The Art of Well-being

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Photo credit: http://www.nalakah.com

In my ‘Self Mastery’ trainings I teach the importance of a balanced life for success of happiness. It is important to have a balance in caring for our being, body, brain, people, time and money and growing all these areas simultaneously. While I was sharing this good advice at my trainings and practicing them to a great extent, I always felt there was more room for improvement.

I always believe we get the required knowledge and inspiration when we are open to it. I was fortunate to meet up with a friend of mine Nalaka Hewamadduma who had migrated to Canada, when he made a visit to Sri Lanka many months ago. He gifted me a copy of his new book ‘Art of Well-being’ when we met.

Nalaka and I had many things in common and we were both interested in enhancing human performance. While Nalaka helped people to become successful using eastern philosophies such as yoga and other wellness methods, I used more western leadership and self-mastery philosophies, Neuro Linguistic programming and Transformational learning.

Nalaka’s book is well written. It is easy to read due to his story approach and the descriptions are practical and inspiring. While I was following exercise, rest and nutritional habits, the big take away for me was how to adjust our lives to be in sync with the universal energy system. This was not a new concept to me but Nalaka’s book helped me discover a simple method of putting it in to practice and reminded me of the importance of it.

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Gearing up our children for excellence!

Family units, social infrastructure [such as our places of worship, schools, mass media and social networks] is set up to develop our children to be great assets to our world. These institutions help our children gain the right attitudes, beliefs, behaviours, values, knowledge and skills. We are Imagewho we are because of the sacrifices made by so many who have touched our lives and I am ever-grateful to them.

When I first attended the personal transformation ‘playshop’ Mastery of Self [MS] through Neuro Linguistic Programming [NLP] I was amazed at the tools that are available to unleash our god-given potential in a balanced systematic and purposeful manner. While I got so much out of it to make my life a success from that programme, I felt I should have attended this programme when I was leaving school or even during school.

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The Beauty of Giving

Ignacy J. Paderewski – Image credit: en.wikipedia.org
Herbert Hoover – Image credits: old-picture.com

I recently received an email from a friend that had an inspiring story. On researching the story for authenticity I had to do a few amendments to it to make it more factual. An article by General Edward L. Rowny confirms the authenticity of the meeting of the two great men featured in the story. While I cannot confirm the authenticity of the details of the story the overall event is factual and worth sharing.

A young, 18 year old student and a friend of his decided to host a musical concert in Stanford University in 1892 to raise money for a worthy cause.

They reached out to the great pianist Ignacy J. Paderewski. His manager demanded a guaranteed fee of $2,000 for the piano recital. A deal was struck. And the boys began to work to make the concert a success.

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