Tuesday, 24 April 2007

What it Takes

Have you ever wondered why some people attain greatness and some do not? Ever pondered on what it takes to live life fully? Ever searched for the principles to live by to win in this adventure called life? Perhaps the poem ‘If’ by Rudyard Kipling below can give you an idea of what it takes:

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting
Or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream – and not make your dreams your master;
If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with triumph and disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
And stoop and build ‘em up with worn-out tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the will which says to them: “hold on;”
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings – nor lose the common touch;
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run –

Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And-which is more- you’ll be a man my son!

Kipling’s philosophy is hard to live by, isn’t it? Alas, that is why only few people leave their indelible footprints on the sand of time. The candid truth is that life is difficult. Perish the thought that things are going to be easy as you journey through life. So long as you are alive, you will always have challenges to deal with; it is the way you react and solve them that matters. Adopt the mindset of an average Chinese who believe that it is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness. Do you have lemon today? Don’t complain, improvise; make lemonade with it. Harness the negative circumstances to your advantage.

If some men and women could triumph in the art of living despite the tribulations they had to face, you do not have an excuse. With a clear-cut goal, hard work, enthusiasm, confidence, flexibility, tact and persistence, there is little you cannot accomplish. Brace up your shoulders then, and recharge your energies. Beat the world to it! Take charge of your destiny!

Wednesday, 18 April 2007


As Isaac Newton rightly postulated, a body will continue to be in its state of rest or uniform motion unless acted upon by a force. As it is in Physics, so it is in the real world. Some things can wait, but certainly not our dreams. Our dreams and aspirations will not come to fruition if we fail to act. It is not enough to have a brilliant plan or idea without acting; it robs our tomorrow of its potentials. It is not enough to sound tough, we must walk our talk if we must achieve our goals. It is not enough to have a blueprint of the future, action sets the ball rolling.

“The moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issue from the decision raising in one’s favour all manner of unforeseen incidents, and meetings and material assistances which no man would have dreamed could come his way.” said William Murray. As it can be deduced from the words of the sage, it will interest you to know that our universe has ample provisions in stock to help us in our pursuits; all the universe requires of us is that we conquer inertia by way of committing ourselves to a cause. You bet.

In pursuing your target, ensure that you do not entertain doubt as our doubts, according to William Shakespeare, are traitors; they make us lose the good we often might win, by fearing to attempt.

Conclusively, as Von Goethe advised, I reiterate that “Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it”.

Tuesday, 10 April 2007


Persistence, according to the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, is the fact of continuing to try to do something in spite of difficulties. The ability to persevere does not come naturally at birth. It is an attribute that an individual develops at will over time. It is very difficult to persevere though; it requires an enormous amount of inner resolve to stick to a course despite failures. It is however interesting to note that our universe eventually ‘smiles’ on those that persevere in the end. A good example of a man that was persistent in his resolve to attain great heights and who eventually won the battle is Abraham Lincoln. Find below some statistics of this all-time hero:

Abraham Lincoln failed in business at 22 years old
He was defeated in legislator election at 23 years old;
He failed in business again at 24 years old;
He lost his sweetheart at 26 years old;
He had a nervous breakdown at 27 years old;
He was defeated for speaker at 29 years old;
He also got defeated for elector at 31 years old;
At 34 years old, he was defeated for congress;
At the age of 46, he was defeated for senate;
This indomitable man also got defeated for vice presidency at 47 years old;
He got defeated for senate again at 49 years old;
He finally won the battle at 51 years old when he was elected as president of the United States of America.

Abraham Lincoln’s life confirmed the words of the 30th president of the United States, Calvin Coolidge; I quote “Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan 'press on' has solved and always will the problems of the human race.”

If Abraham Lincoln could eventually win, you too can win any battle if you are persistent enough. What is there to daunt you? Refuse to be discouraged. Never, never, ever give up on your dreams!

Wednesday, 4 April 2007

Procrastination is the Thief of Time.

In our daily living, we are often tempted to procrastinate; giving one excuse or the other to justify our actions. We tend to wait for the 'appropriate time’ when we will have the resources and be in the right place to do things. However, history has it that successful men never had an 'ordained time' to do a thing. Like all of us, they're constantly faced with challenges, yet they chose to 'sail on' anyway and in the end they triumphed despite all odds.

From cradle to the grave, there is NEVER going to be an ‘appropriate time’ to do anything; so cast away all thoughts of ease or inertia. The appropriate time is NOW. It is impossible to fail totally if you try, but remember that you will always miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.

I conclude with the words of Theodore Roosevelt: 'Do what you can with what you have where you are.'