Monday, November 30, 2015

Add glamour to life by calculated risks

In our lives we are often confronted with situations where the future outcome is not clear. We tend to weigh the pros and cons but still remain undecided, or opt for a safe path that is always less attractive. Nevertheless in day to day life, we are to take risks constantly, we cross the road hoping that vehicle users would follow the rule of road, we take our food in restaurants hoping the food is made hygienically, take our medicines trusting they are not fake duplicates and submit ourselves to treatment believing the doctors know their job well. Even marrying a person is a risky gamble until everything turns out to be fine. In business risks are taken day in and day out based on reasonable conjectures of the market, supplies and margin. One cannot play safe waiting for the waves to subside to take a sea bath. It never happens. Risk free road where no vehicles ply is the busiest boulevard but no successful men are found there.
We must remember that all risks are not the same. There are some risks that are just dumb, foolish and chancy like buying a lottery ticket, placing a bet on a horse over which you have no control or playing roulette in a casino to win a jackpot. But many are reasonable risks which one has to take perforce, intelligent risks, where the benefits outweigh the disadvantages. In the evaluation where all factors have been taken into account, it would be foolish to let go an idea where the positive outcome is more than negative fallout. If the damage by failure is minimal or manageable, the risk should be taken and an opportunity to make good should not be lost by excessive caution. "A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for.” -John A Shedd
Take the simple example of a young lover wanting to propose to his girl friend but afraid of possible .rejection. If he fails to take the risk of proposing to her and face whatever her response is, he would surely miss the girl forever. While we should give a wide berth to reckless dumb risks, we should not fail to avail intelligent risks. Otherwise our lives would be ordinary with no glamour or success.Every decision has an element of risk.No risk means no success.
There are a couple of things,however to bear in mind like taking a long term view of the decision and the likely positive outcomes and not being guided by a few cases of failure we often hear about. Success may not be immediate but one should work putting in maximum efforts and hoping the intelligent risk taken will pay out well at the end. Success is not for cowards. Those who refuse to lean towards risks by bending with each storm of life may never get hurt but their character to be daring would be irreparably hurt.
There is a proverb ‘Everybody pushes a falling fence’. You can never command respect. We can easily distinguish the leader among men just by looking at a pack of animals cowering under danger. Suddenly one animal steps forward and moves towards the danger. This halts the other terrified many. So is the case among men too. The leader takes an intelligent risk and assumes charge of the situation. This ability to take risk distinguishes the grain from the chaff


Sunday, November 29, 2015

The 10th Apple Effect!

(I received this write up and wish to share with you as I found it inspiring.The source is unknown)
A hunter once lost his way deep inside the jungle while chasing a deer. He used all his navigation skills but neither did he find any way out of the jungle nor could he find any food to eat for 8 days at a stretch. He started feeling so damn hungry that he could eat an entire elephant at one go. Disappointed, he lost all hope. And that is exactly when an apple tree caught his sight. He collected a dozen apples to feed him for the rest of his search.
As he ate the 1st apple, his joy knew no bounds and he just couldn't stop feeling grateful and blessed. He thanked life. He thanked God. He could not believe his luck when he ate the 1st apple but he was less grateful while having the 2nd apple and even lesser grateful when he had the 5th apple. Somehow, with each passing apple, the hunger still kept on increasing and the joy kept on reducing drastically. He just could not enjoy the 10th apple. Why? He had already taken for granted the gift of having found an apple tree in the middle of a forest after 8 long days of wandering with hunger. When he took the 10th apple in his hand, he was still very hungry but he just did not feel like having it any more. Economics calls this diminishing marginal utility. I would like to call it diminishing gratitude, in simple words, taking things for granted. Or let’s just call it the 10th apple effect.
The 10th apple did not lack taste, it did not lack the potential to satisfy his hunger but the only thing lacking was his gratitude for finding food in the middle of the jungle.
The hunter represents us. And the apple represents the gifts that life gives us. The 10th apple represents our lack of gratitude for these gifts of life and our ‘take everything for granted’ attitude. As we continue receiving the gifts of life, our hunger, our greed keeps on increasing and the joy we get from these gifts diminishes.
Imagine the joy you get when you deliver a baby and hold your baby in your hands for the first time. The gratitude you have in that moment, for life and for God is unmatched. But what happens as time passes? Do you get the same joy when you look at your child every single day? Do you still find enough happy time to spend with your kids? Never let the 10th apple effect make you feel less grateful for the gift of a child.
The 10th apple is as sweet as the first apple. If the 10th apple fails to give you as much pleasure as the first one, nothing is wrong with the apple, everything is wrong with you. If you get bored on a dull day, it is not because the day is dull and boring. It is because your gratitude has become dull and boring. The gift of life for another day cannot be taken for granted. The Nth year of life should seem as exciting as the 16th year, as the 25th year, as the 50th year.

Never let the ‘10th apple effect’ make you take these gifts of life for granted. Never let your gratitude for life fade away. Happy life!