The secret of happiness

The secret of happiness

“The secret of happiness is to see all the marvels of the world”

-By Paul Coelho in “The Alchemist”

A certain shopkeeper sent his son to learn about the secret of happiness from the wisest man in the world. The lad wandered through the desert for 40 days, and finally came upon a beautiful castle, high atop a mountain. It was there that the wise man lived.

Rather than finding a saintly man, though, our hero, on entering the main room of the castle, saw a hive of activity: tradesmen came and went, people were conversing in the corners, a small orchestra was playing soft music, and there was a table covered with platters of the most delicious food in that part of the world.

The wise man conversed with everyone, and the boy had to wait for two hours before it was his turn to be given the man’s attention.

The wise man listened attentively to the boy’s explanation of why he had come, but told him that he didn’t have time just then to explain the secret of happiness. He suggested that the boy look around the palace and return in two hours.

“Meanwhile, I want to ask you to do something,” said the wise man, handing the boy a teaspoon that held two drops of oil. “As you wander around, carry this spoon with you without allowing the oil to spill.”

The boy began climbing and descending the many stairways of the palace, keeping his eyes fixed on the spoon. After two hours, he returned to the room where the wise man was.

“Well,” asked the wise man, “Did you see the Persian tapestries that are hanging in my dining hall? Did you see the garden that it took the master gardener ten years to create? Did you notice the beautiful parchments in my library?”

The boy was embarrassed, and confessed that he had observed nothing. His only concern had been not to spill the oil that the wise man had entrusted to him.

“Then go back and observe the marvels of my world,” said the wise man. “You cannot trust a man if you don’t know his house.”

Relieved, the boy picked up the spoon and returned to his exploration of the palace, this time observing all of the works of art on the ceilings and the walls. He saw the gardens, the mountains all around him, the beauty of the flowers, and the taste with which everything had been selected. Upon returning to the wise man, he related in detail everything he had seen.

“But where are the drops of oil I entrusted to you?” asked the wise man. Looking down at the spoon he held, the boy saw that the oil was gone.

“Well, there is only one piece of advice I can give you,” said the wisest of wise men.

“The secret of happiness is to see all the marvels of the world and never to forget the drops of oil on the spoon.”

Nothing beats family !

Nothing beats family

-By Ridgely Goldsborough

I stepped into my hotel room to a pleasant surprise. Lots of room surrounded an inviting king-size bed, flanked by overstuffed armchairs that rested against sliding glass doors that opened onto a private patio. A small dining table sat next to a kitchenette with a separate sink, refrigerator and coffee machine. “Wow,” I thought to myself. “Nice place.”

I love hotels – from the Holiday Inn Express to the Ritz-Carlton and everything in between. I love to enter a clean room, hang my clothes and gaze out the window, walk out in the morning knowing that each afternoon when I return, someone else will have made the bed. I like in-room dining and the way they greet you so professionally. “Nice to have you with us again, Mr. Goldsborough.” Very cool.

The problem is that unless Alison travels with me, I never sleep well in hotels. I miss my family. Even though Linus and Camille, at ages 4 and almost 2, find a way to interrupt even the best night’s sleep at home, still, I’d rather be with them. I’ll take Linus clamoring over me at five AM or a kick in the chin from Camille over the finest linens and a chocolate on my pillow. When I’m on the road I yearn for my loved ones.

I’m deeply troubled by the number of parents who wake up too late with the realization: “My children grew up too fast. In the hustle-bustle of career and corporate rat race, I missed their childhood.” What they fail to say but too often inwardly think causes me even more pain: “…and I barely even know them.”This applies to couples as well – so in a hurry to get who-knows-where – a destination seldom defined. Relationships turn into co-habitations, romance into convenience. Very disturbing.

A hundred years from now, no one will remember the size of your bank account, the car you drove or the square footage of your house. The world might differ greatly however, based on your impact in the life of a small child. Your life will most certainly improve, if you pay attention to your significant other, make the choice to put her or him first. Your example will benefit the rest of us. Our world cries out for role models and heroes of every day living. What could you do today to let your loved ones know how much they mean to you? What will you do tomorrow? And the next day?

Think of one specific action that you can take, and take it. Then think of another one and take that, too. Challenge yourself to find new ways to express your appreciation and love on a daily basis. It will pay off ten-fold at home.

On those slightly stressful days when the grass looks a little greener and you feel like maybe you need a break, remember this. Room service will never kiss you goodnight!

Power of Love

The power of love

-By Simon Mwangi

From the very beginning, the girl’s family objected strongly to her dating this guy… saying that it has got to do with family background… and that the girl will have to suffer for the rest of her life if she were to be with him.

Due to her family’s pressure, the couple quarreled very often. Though the girl loved the guy deeply, she always asked him: “How deep is your love for me?” As the guy was not good with words, this often caused the girl to be very upset. With that and the family’s pressure, the girl often vented her anger on him. As for him, he endured it in silence.

After a couple of years, the guy finally graduated and decided to further his studies overseas. Before leaving, he proposed to the girl: “I’m not very good with words. But, all I know is that I love you. If you allow me, I will take care of you for the rest of my life. As for your family, I’ll try my best to talk them around. Will you marry me?”

The girl agreed, and with the guy’s determination, the family finally gave in and agreed to let them get married. So, before he left, they got engaged.

The girl went out to the working society, whereas the guy was overseas continuing his studies. They shared their love through emails and phone calls. Though it was hard, both never thought of giving up.

One day, while the girl was on her way to work, she was knocked down by a car that lost control. When she woke up, she saw her parents beside her bed. She realized that she was badly injured. Seeing her mum crying, she wanted to comfort her. But she realized that all that could come out of her mouth was just a sigh. She had lost her voice.

The doctors said the impact on her brain had caused her to lose her voice. Listening to her parents’ discomfort, but with nothing coming out from her, she broke down.

During her stay in the hospital, besides silent crying…  it’s still just a silent cry that accompanied her. Upon reaching home, everything seemed to be the same. Except for the ringing tone of the phone, which pierced into her heart every time it rang. She does not wish to let the guy know. And not wanting to be a burden to him, she wrote a letter to him saying that she does not wish to wait any longer. With that, she sent the ring back to him. In return, the guy sent seemingly millions  of messages, and countless phone calls. All the girl could do was cry. The parents decided to move away, hoping that she could eventually forget everything and finally be happy.

With a new environment, the girl learned sign language and started a new life. Telling herself everyday that she must forget the guy. One day, her friend came and told her that he’s back. She asked her friend not to let him know what happened to her. Since then, there wasn’t anymore news of him.

A year had passed and her friend came with an envelope, containing an invitation card for the guy’s wedding. The girl was shattered. When she opened the letter, she saw her name in it instead.

When she was about to ask her friend what’s going on, she saw the guy standing in front of her. He used sign language, he told her, “I’ve spent a year’s time learning sign language. Just to let you know that I’ve not forgotten our promise. Let me have the chance to be your voice. I Love You.” With that, he slipped the ring back onto her finger. The girl finally smiled.

Knowledge is like climbing a mountain !

A story that can change your life

“Knowledge is like climbing a mountain; the higher you reach the more you can see and appreciate.”

– By Mac Anderson. Founder, Simple Truths

In 1972, Jim Cathcart was working at the Little Rock, Arkansas Housing Authority, making $525 a month, with a new wife and baby at home, no college degree, no past successes, and not much hope for the foreseeable future.

One morning, he was sitting in his office listening to the radio, to a program called “Our Changing World” by Earl Nightingale, who was known as “the Dean of Personal Motivation.” That day, Nightingale, in his booming voice, said something that would change Jim’s life forever: “If you will spend an extra hour each day in study of your chosen field, you will be a national expert in that field in five years or less.”

Jim was stunned, but the more he thought about it the more it made sense. Although he had never given a speech, he had always wanted to help people grow in areas of personal development and motivation. He began his quest to put Nightingale’s theory to the test by reading books and listening to tapes whenever he could. He also started exercising, became better organized, and joined a self-improvement study group. He persisted through weeks of temptations to quit, just by doing a little more each day to further his goal. Within six months he had learned more than he had in his few years of college, and he began to believe he could turn his goal of becoming a motivational speaker into reality. All the hard work, the discipline, and study paid off. Jim now has delivered more than 2,500 speeches worldwide and has won every major award in the speaking industry.

Just like companies have market value, so do people. In the simplest terms, your market value increases by knowing and doing more. Knowledge is power, not only for your career, but also to improve your family and spiritual life. I once heard a quote that sums it up well, “Knowledge is like climbing a mountain; the higher you reach the more you can see and appreciate.”

You don’t need to wait for tomorrow to be happy and enjoy your life !

 Fisherman Meets Businessman

“You don’t need to wait for tomorrow to be happy and enjoy your life”

 Author unknown.

A vacationing businessman standing on the pier of a quaint coastal fishing village watched as a small boat with just one young fisherman pulled into the dock. Inside the small boat were several large yellow fin tuna. Enjoying the warmth of the early afternoon sun, the businessman complimented the fisherman on the quality of his fish.

“How long did it take you to catch them?” the businessman casually asked.

“Oh, a few hours,” the fisherman replied.

“Why don’t you stay out longer and catch more fish?” the businessman then asked.

The fisherman warmly replied, “With this I have more than enough to support my family’s needs.”

The businessman then became serious, “But what do you do with the rest of your time?”

Responding with a smile, the fisherman answered, “I sleep late, play with my children, watch ballgames, and take siesta with my wife. Sometimes in the evenings I take a stroll into the village to see my friends, play the guitar, sing a few songs…”

The businessman impatiently interrupted, “Look, I have an MBA , and I can help you to be more profitable. You can start by fishing several hours longer every day. You can then sell the extra fish you catch. With the extra money, you can buy a bigger boat. With the additional income that larger boat will bring, before long you can buy a second boat, then a third one, and so on, until you have an entire fleet of fishing boats.”

Proud of his own sharp thinking, he excitedly elaborated a grand scheme which could bring even bigger profits, “Then, instead of selling your catch to a middleman you’ll be able to sell your fish directly to the processor, or even open your own cannery. Eventually, you could control the product, processing and distribution. You could leave this tiny coastal village and move to Mexico City, or possibly even Los Angeles or New York City, where you could even further expand your enterprise.”

Having never thought of such things, the fisherman asked, “But how long will all this take?”

After a rapid mental calculation, the MBA pronounced, “Probably about 15-20 years, maybe less if you work really hard.”

“And then what, señor?” asked the fisherman.

“Why, that’s the best part!” answered the businessman with a laugh. “When the time is right, you would sell your company stock to the public and become very rich. You would make millions.”

“Millions? Really? What would I do with it all?” asked the young fisherman in disbelief.

The businessman boasted, “Then you could happily retire with all the money you’ve made. You could move to a quaint coastal fishing village where you could sleep late, play with your grandchildren, watch ballgames, and take siesta with your wife. You could stroll to the village in the evenings where you could play the guitar and sing with your friends all you want.”

Isn’t that what I am doing now?  Replied the fisherman.

Moral – You don’t need to wait for tomorrow to be happy and enjoy your life. You don’t even need to be more rich, more powerful to enjoy life. LIFE  is at this moment, enjoy it fully.

As some great men have said “My riches consist not in extent of my possessions but in the fewness of my wants”.