Sunday Observer Online


Sunday, 29 May 2016





Marriage Proposals
Government Gazette

Turning a new leaf in life

Over three decades of listening to troubled people in our workplace has made me familiar with most of the younger generation’s problems. But there’s one so widespread that I consider it basic human sickness. It is the problem of one living far below his potential and knows it; is deeply unhappy, but can’t seem to do anything about it.

Although the person seems to have normal intelligence, adequate education and all the necessary attributes for a successful living, he can’t summon them up to his aid. His life is blurred, out of focus, without power or purpose.

Always, we find three deadly characteristics in such people: inertia, self-doubt and aimlessness.

One afternoon, walking alone around our workplace backyard, I came upon a young man fixing some planks in the store-room. I knew him slightly, and asked him how things were going. He shrugged. “As you can see,” he said, I’m not getting anywhere.”

“Where do you want to get?” I asked.
He looked at me glumly. “I don’t really know,” he said.
“What do you do best?” I asked.
He shook his head. “I’m not sure that I’m much good at anything.”
“Well, what gives you the most satisfaction?”
He frowned. “No special thing.”

“Look,” I said, “I’ve asked you three of the most important questions anyone can be asked, and I’ve had three completely fuzzy answers. When you go home tonight. I want you to sit down with paper and pencil, and not get up until you’ve answered my questions. Then let’s meet here tomorrow, same time, and we’ll take it from there.”

Somewhat hesitantly, he agreed. When we met the next day, he told me, he liked to work with his hands, not his head; he thought he might have some mechanical ability: and what he wanted most in life was some sense of purpose or direction.

A few weeks later, he got a job in a roofing material factory.

Of course, he did not become the chairman of the company. But when I met him six years later, he was a foreman, living a happy and productive life. All he needed was a push to stop leading an unfocused life.

Seven Points

We meet people like that young man, frequently. If you are one of them, what you need is to bring yourself into sharper focus of your life. In my view, there are seven points you need to go through and if you make a sustained effort to apply them, you will become a happier, more forceful and a more effective person.

1. Pinpoint your primary goal in life.

It’s not enough to say, “I want to be happy” or “I want to make money.” You must determine exactly what you want, and when. You need to say, “I intend to be a qualified nurse in three years,” or “sales manager of this company in six years.”

Write down a short summary of your goal and the achievement date; put it beside your bed and read it aloud to yourself every morning when you wake up. Vagueness is the invariable hallmark of the unfocused mind. Get rid of it.

2. Use imagination to fan desire.

There’s no use pinpointing a goal in life unless you want it enormously. Daydreams and wistful thinking are not enough; there must be an intense, burning desire. Nobody can put this hunger into you; you have to develop it yourself by constant, vivid imagining of the benefits that achieving your goal will bring. Ask anyone who has achieved outstanding success in any field. He will tell you that clarity of purpose and intensity of desire are the chief ingredients of the magic formula.

3. Expect to pay for what you get.

You will have to work, take chances, make sacrifices, and endure setbacks. You won’t be able to afford the luxury of laziness or the delights of frequent distraction. When setting your goal, remember that unless you’re willing to pay the price (monetary or otherwise) you’re wasting your time.

4. Send the right signals to your unconscious mind.

The unconscious is a great dynamo, but it is also a computer that has to be properly programmed. If fear, worry or failure thoughts are constantly channelled into the unconscious, nothing very constructive is going to be sent back.

But if a clear, purposeful goal is steadfastly held in the conscious mind, the unconscious will eventually accept it and begin to supply the conscious mind with plans, ideas, insights, and the energies necessary to achieve that goal.

5. Be willing to fail - temporarily.

Read autobiographies of successful men and women. You will learn that all highly successful men in various fields had only one trait in common: persistence. They kept picking themselves up and returning to the fight long after most men would have given up.

. Believe in the power of thought to change things. It’s very hard for most people to realize that the most powerful force in the world is an idea that has taken root in a human mind. But it is. Remember the famous saying: You can - if you think you can. Don’t ever think yourself as a failure.

. Stop short-circuiting yourself with alibis. Unfocused people do this constantly. They say. “The timing is wrong” or, I’m not really qualified.” They play the if-only game: “If only I had more money, or more influence.” The alibis go on and on. To become a focused person you have to control self-limiting thoughts. Don’t believe in circumstances,

Plato once said that the unexamined life isn’t worth living. The statement is as true today as it was 23 centuries ago. So, examine your life. If it is out of focus, make up your mind to get it into focus. And, start today, not tomorrow.


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