Never stop dreaming – The Pilgrimage..

This is a rather long excerpt from the Paulo Coelho book ‘The Pilgrimage’ but is a must-read in every sense of the word..

This is from Paulo’s guide Petrus to Paulo on their way to the Cathedral of Santiago..

‘We must never stop dreaming. Dreams provide nourishment for the soul, just as a meal does for the body. Many times in our lives we see our dreams shattered and our desires frustrated, but we have to continue dreaming. If we don’t, our soul dies, and agape cannot reach it. A lot of blood has been shed in those fields out there; some of the cruelest battles of Spain’s war to expel the Moors were fought on them. Who was in the right or who knew the truth does not matter; what’s important is knowing that both sides were fighting the good fight.

‘The good fight is the one we fight because our heart asks it of us. In the heroic ages – at the time of the knights in armor – this was easy. There were lands to
conquer and much to do. Today, though, the world has changed a lot, and the good fight has shifted from the battlefields to the fields within ourselves.

‘The good fight is the one that’s fought in the name of our dreams. When we’re young and our dreams first explode inside us with all of their force, we are very courageous, but we haven’t yet learned how to fight. With great effort, we learn how to fight, but by then we no longer have the courage to go into combat. So we turn against ourselves and do battle within. We become our own worst enemy. We say that
our dreams were childish, or too difficult to realize, or the result of our not having known enough about life. We kill our dreams because we are afraid to fight the
good fight.’

‘The first symptom of the process of our killing our dreams is the lack of time,’ Petrus continued. ‘The busiest people I have known in my life always have time enough to do everything. Those who do nothing are always tired and pay no attention to the little amount of work they are required to do. They complain constantly that the day is too short. The truth is, they are afraid to fight the good fight.

‘The second symptom of the death of our dreams lies in our certainties. Because we don’t want to see life as a grand adventure, we begin to think of ourselves as
wise and fair and correct in asking so little of life. We look beyond the walls of our day-to-day existence, and we hear the sound of lances breaking, we smell the dust
and the sweat, and we see the great defeats and the fire in the eyes of the warriors. But we never see the delight, the immense delight in the hearts of those who are
engaged in the battle. For them, neither victory nor defeat is important; what’s important is only that they are fighting the good fight.

‘And, finally, the third symptom of the passing of our dreams is peace. Life becomes a Sunday afternoon; we ask for nothing grand, and we cease to demand anything more than we are willing to give. In that state, we think of ourselves as being mature; we put aside the fantasies of our youth, and we seek personal and professional achievement. We are surprised when people our age say that they still want this or that out of life. But really, deep in our hearts, we know that what has happened is that we have renounced the battle for ourdreams – we have refused to fight the good fight.

‘When we renounce our dreams and find peace,’he said after a while, ‘we go through a short period of tranquility. But the dead dreams begin to rot within us and to infect our entire being. We become cruel to those around us, and then we begin to direct this cruelty against ourselves. That’s when illnesses and psychoses arise. What we sought to avoid in combat – disappointment and defeat – come upon us because of our cowardice. And one day, the dead, spoiled dreams make it difficult to breathe, and we actually seek death. It’s death that frees us from our certainties, from our work,
and from that terrible peace of our Sunday afternoons.’

Thank you Paulo Coelho, for this is genius!

How can we keep up the enthusiasm..

One month into work and I’ve heard a lot of implied talk about ‘freshness‘, ‘eagerness‘ when it comes to a youngster in a new job. I agree with it as well – when you’re young and just starting, you’re all out to go the extra mile, do more and make a good impression etc..

I find that the most common thing among people I look upto are those who haven’t given up the zest, who still have that fire and are, at every monent, alive!

I think the key is – How can we keep the freshness? How can we keep reinventing ourselves to make sure we keep that spark alive?

As Dumbledore (from Harry Potter says) – ‘The biggest mistakes adults make is they forget what it is like to be kids’

On this note, I’m reading Wal-mart founder Sam Walton’s autobiography ‘Made in America’ and even at the age at which he wrote it (must have been above 70), I can feel the freshness, the eagerness and the energy!

Now that’s the way to roll! :)

Today was the day of the first pay check..

The irony was that the money seemed to go out as quickly as it came in thanks to housing rent and payment of loans for a number of house-related deposits among other things..

What happened to the supposed delight at getting the first paycheck?

I asked a friend about it and she just said ‘loans’ and shrugged.

I remember my (late) uncle taking us out with his first pay-check and buying everyone a small gift. Nice small joys..

Given my family is in India, I guess the joy would come once my experimental bank transfer to India works.

Somehow, I still haven’t felt the joy, the raw delight, the deliriousness at receiving the first ever fruits of hard work in the ‘real world’! And I must do something about that..!

Heaven and hell to the man, the horse and the dog

A man, his horse and his dog were traveling down a road. When they were passing by a gigantic tree, a bolt of lightning struck and they all fell dead on the spot.
But the man did not realize that he had already left this world, so he went on walking with his two animals; sometimes the dead take time to understand their new condition…

The journey was very long, uphill, the sun was strong and they were covered in sweat and very thirsty. They were desperately in need of water. At a bend in the road they spotted a magnificent gateway, all in marble, which led to a square paved with blocks of gold and with a fountain in the center that spouted forth crystalline water.
The traveler went up to the man guarding the gate.

“Good morning. What is this beautiful place?”
“This is heaven.”
“How good to have reached heaven, we’re ever so thirsty.”
“You can come in and drink all you want.”
“My horse and my dog are thirsty too.”
“So sorry, but animals aren’t allowed in here.”

The man was very disappointed because his thirst was great, but he could not drink alone; he thanked the man and went on his way. After traveling a lot, they arrived exhausted at a farm whose entrance was marked with an old doorway that opened onto a tree-lined dirt road.

A man was lying down in the shadow of one of the trees, his head covered with a hat, perhaps asleep.

“Good morning,” said the traveler. “We are very thirsty – me, my horse and my dog.”
“There is a spring over in those stones,”
said the man, pointing to the spot. “Drink as much as you like.”
The man, the horse and the dog went to the spring and quenched their thirst. Then the traveler went back to thank the man.

“By the way, what’s this place called?”
“Heaven? But the guard at the marble gate back there said that was heaven!”
“That’s not heaven, that’s hell.”

The traveler was puzzled.
“You’ve got to stop this! All this false information must cause enormous confusion!”

The man smiled:
“Not at all. As a matter of fact they do us a great favor. Because over there stay all those who are even capable of abandoning their best friends…”

Source: Paulo Coelho’s Blog

3 attributes of a great football player equated to..

a good team player at the workplace?

I’ve found from time to time that great football players have 2 or more of the following 3 basic attributes –

1) Eye for pass
2) Ability to make space/find space
3) First touch and ball control..

What would they be for a professional?

1) Eye for pass = Ability to engage people..
2) Making/Finding space = Finding opportunities and taking initiative..
3) Ball control = Skill/ expertise at the job. This comes from years of practice of course..

Interesting – when I think of it like this..