The Road Less Travelled


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How often we must bear the challenges of life;
The endless roller coaster between happiness and sorrow;
The constant ups and downs of daily strife.
And always the question remains …. why?

Life is not an easy road for most;
It twists and turns with many forks in the road,
Although always, and inevitably, we are given a choice …

Do we turn to the right … or the left?
Do we take the high road … or the low road?
Do we take the easy path … or the difficult one?

Decisions are not easy for those struggling for direction …
And sometimes the many choices and signs become overwhelming.

While standing at a crossroads in life,
The urge is to take the most comfortable path;
The road with least resistance …
The shortest or most travelled route.

And yet, if we’ve been down that comfortable road before;
Have gleaned its lessons in life, and learned from our experiences;

Do we yet again follow the known?
Or does our destiny lie in another direction?

The fear of the road less travelled is tangible and all too real;
It manifests itself in many ways,
And tends to cloud the issues that might otherwise be clear.

It is in these times of confusion,
That we must seek peace and solitude;

Time to contemplate on our life,
Our experiences and our choices past;
Time to look back, and reflect on what we have learned
Without fear or confusion.

For only each of us knows our own personal thoughts;
Our unique past and personal history;
The experiences that brought us to the crossroads we now face.

We can always learn a small degree from others’ experiences,
And yet … no one person can walk in our shoes,
Others know not, the trials and tribulations faced in private …

For each is individual … unique … and personal.

And that is why … while standing at a crossroads,
Only “we” can formulate the decision for ourselves;
The true direction that lies within;
The choices we must deliberate on with clarity and wisdom.

For it is only through personal reflection,
That we can now choose our destiny;
… Our next adventure;
… And the future we will embrace.

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We often jump to conclusions based on our first impressions. This has been the cause of a lot of misunderstandings and quarrels. You may see your married friend with a young female passenger in his car one late night and you know that the passenger is not his wife. You immediately jump to conclusion that your friend is having an affair and immediately telephone his wife. Your boss reprimand you for something soon after you see your colleague going into your boss’ room and you immediately think that your colleague has been bad-mouthing you to your boss. These are very common occurrences and have often led to strained or jeopardised relationships.

What you see may not be what you think is going on. Before jumping into any conclusions, get your facts right. You will save yourself a lot of embarrassment, not to mention the damages that you may cause by your rash conclusions. Remember, THINGS MAY NOT BE WHAT THEY APPEAR TO BE!

Take a look at the images below ( this was from an email my son Les forwarded to me…thanks Les! )

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Watch the images from your seat in front of your computer. What do you see? An angry man on the left and a calm-looking man on the right, isn’t that so?

Get up from your seat and move back about five or six feet. What do you see now? As if by magic, the man on the left is now the calm-looking one while the one on the right now becomes the angry man.

The above is an illustration that things are not always what they appear to be. Try to look at any situation from different angles before jumping into any conclusion. And in any relationship problems, try to understand the viewpoints of the aggrieved parties. Have empathy for others and don’t spread false rumours arising from your wrong conclusions. You will make better decisions that way. And you will find that people will respect and like you more. Isn’t that a better way to live your life?

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Sunday will be over in about three and a half hours.Today has been a beautiful day with blue sky and nice weather. I would have love to go out and enjoy the day. But I decided against it as I really wanted to list a lot of Brunei and Sarawak stamps on Ebay. The last few days had been a nightmare….I was unable to do my Ebay listings due to Streamyx being so sloooow in my area. For the information of those outside Malaysia, Streamyx is the “leading” broadband internet service provider in Malaysia. Its service has been very erratic lately and I just wish there is a better alternative to Streamyx. Even the E-Speed broadband service in neighbouring Brunei is better than Streamyx. I used to work in Brunei so I am quite familiar with E-Speed. Though its service is also not great, I think it is way ahead of Streamyx. How I wish we have the very high speed broadband services like those in Singapore!

I finished my Ebay listings about an hour ago and then I had my dinner with my wife and my son Les. After hours spent at the computer doing my Ebay listings, it really felt great to sit down to a homecook dinner with my family. I enjoy my wife’s cooking especially her curry chicken.

I was flipping through my big collection of Princess Diana stamps when I saw the stamps of her with Mother Teresa. That reminded me of the anonymous poem “Anyway” that I have stored in my computer. It is touching and is a great guide to living our lives to the fullest. Here is the poem:

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Anyway

People are often unreasonable, illogical,
And self-centered
Forgive them anyway

If you are kind, people may accuse you
Of selfish, ulterior motives;
Be kind anyway.

If you are successful, you will win some
False friends and some true enemies;
Succeed anyway.

If you are honest and frank,
People may cheat you;
Be honest and frank anyway.

What you spend years building, someone
Could destroy overnight;
Build anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness,
They may be jealous;
Be happy anyway.

The good you do today,
People will often forget tomorrow;
Be good anyway.

Give the world the best you have,
And it may never be enough;
Give the world the best you’ve got anyway.

You see, in the final analysis,
It is between you and God;
It was never between you and them anyway.

-Anonymous, found on the wall of Mother Teresa’s office

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This story was sent to me by my son Clarence who suggested that I put it on my blog.This is for all the single, married, divorced, widowed individuals, who take life for granted. Please, I BEG YOU, read this story until the end. It will really touch you and willbring tears to your eyes. This is a true story as told by a woman called LD.

Just two years after our marriage, my hubby brought up the idea of asking Mother to move from the rural hometown and spend her remaining years with us. My hubby’s father passed away while he was still very young. Mother endured much hardship and struggled all on her own to provide for him and saw him through to a university degree. You could say that she suffered a great deal and did everything you could expect of a woman to bring my hubby to where he was today. I immediately agreed and started preparing the spare room, which had a balcony facing the South to let Mother enjoy the sunshine and plant greenery. My hubby stood in the bright room, and suddenly just picked me up and started spinning round and round. As I begged him to put me down, he said: “Let’s go fetch mother.” My hubby was tall and big sized and I loved to rest on his chest and enjoy the feeling that he could pick me up at any moment and put the tiny me into his pockets. Whenever we had an argument and both of us refused to back down, he would pick me up and spin me over his head continuously until I surrendered and begged for mercy. I became addicted to this kind of panic-joy feeling.

Mother brought along her countryside habits and lifestyle with her. For example; I was used to buying flowers to decorate the living room but Mother could not stand it and would comment: “I do not know how you young people spend your money. Why do you buy flowers? You can’t eat flowers!” I smiled and said: “Mum, with flowers in the house, our mood will also become better.” Mother continued to grumble away, and my hubby smiled: “Mum, this is a city-people’s habit; slowly you will get used to it.”

Every time thereafter, whenever I came home with flowers, she would ask me how much it cost. I told her and she would shake her head and expressed displeasure. Sometimes, when I came home with lots of shopping bags, she would ask how much each and every item cost. I would tell her honestly and she would get even more upset about it. My hubby playfully pinched my nose and said: “You little fool, just don’t tell her the full price of everything.”

The friction to our otherwise happy lifestyle began.

Mother hated it most when my hubby woke up early to prepare the breakfast. In her view, how could the man of the house cook for the wife? At the breakfast table, mother’s facial expression was always like the dark clouds before a thunderstorm and I would pretend not to notice. She would use her chopsticks and make a lot of noise with them as her silent protest.

As I was a dance teacher in the Children’s Palace and was exhausted from a long day of dancing around, I did not wish to give up the luxury of that additional few minutes in the comfort of my bed and hence I turned a deaf ear to all the protests mother made. From time to time, mother would help out with some housework, but soon her help created additional work for me. For example, she would keep all kinds of plastic bags and accumulating them so that she could sell them later on and it resulted in our house being filled with all the trash bags. She would scrimp on dish washing detergent when helping to wash the dishes and so as not to hurt her feelings, I would quietly wash them again.

One late night, mother saw me quietly washing the dishes and she slammed her bedroom door and cried very loudly in her room. My hubby was placed in a difficult position, and after that, he did not speak to me for that entire night. I pretended to be a spoiled child, tried acting cute, but he totally ignored me…. I got mad and asked him: “What did I do wrong?” My hubby stared at me and said: “Can’t you just give in to her once? We couldn’t possibly die eating from a bowl however unclean it is, right?” After that incident, for a long period of time, mother did not speak to me and you could sense a very awkward feeling permeating the house. During that period of cold war, my hubby was caught in dilemma as to who to please.

In order to stop her son from having to prepare breakfast, Mother took on the “all important” task of preparing breakfast without any prompting. At the breakfast table, mother would look at my hubby happily eating his breakfast and cast that reprimanding stare at me for having failed to perform my duty as a wife. To avoid the embarrassing breakfast situation, I resorted to buying my own breakfast on my way to work. One night, while in bed, my hubby was a little upset and asked me: “LD, is it because you think that mum’s cooking is not clean so you chose not to eat at home?” He then turned his back on me and left me alone in tears as feeling of unfairness overwhelmed me. After some time, hubby sighed: “LD, just for me, can you have breakfast at home?” I was left with no choice but to return to the breakfast table.

The next morning, I was having porridge prepared by mother and I felt a sudden churn in my stomach and everything inside seemed to be rushing up my throat. I tried to suppress the urge to throw up but I could not. I threw down the bowl, rushed into the washroom, and vomited everything out. Just as I was catching my breath, I heard Mother crying and grumbling very loudly in her dialect. My hubby was standing at the washroom doorway staring at me with anger burning in his eyes.. I opened my mouth but no words came out of it, I really did not mean it.

We had our very first big fight that day. Mother took a look at us, then stood up and slowly made her way out of the house. My hubby gave me a final stare in the eyes and followed Mother down the stairs. For three days, hubby did not return home and there was not even a phone call from him, I was furious. Since Mother arrived, I had been trying my best and putting up with her. For no reason, I kept having the feeling to throw up and I simply had no appetite for food. Coupled with all the events happening at home, I was at then at a very low point in my life.

Finally a colleague said, “LD, you look terrible. You should go and see a doctor.” The doctor revealed that I was pregnant. I realized why I threw up that fateful morning. Sadness overwhelmed me despite the good news about my pregnancy. Why didn’t my hubby and Mother, who had been through this before, thought of the possibility of my pregnancy being the reason for my throwing up that morning? At the hospital entrance, I saw my hubby standing there. It had only been three days but he looked really haggard. I had wanted to turn and leave but one look at him and my heart softened. I couldn’t resist and called out to him. He looked at me with a disgusted look that pierced my heart. I told myself not to look at him anymore and hailed a cab. At that moment, I had a strong urge inside me to shout to my hubby “Darling, I am having your baby!”. What I wanted didn’t happen and as I sat in the cab, my tears started flowing uncontrollably.

Back home, I lay on the bed thinking about my hubby and the disgusted look in his eyes. I cried like I had never cried before. That night, sound of drawers opening awoke me. I switched on the lights and saw my hubby with tears rolling down his cheek. He was taking his money and his bank deposit book. I stared at him but he ignored me and left the house. Was he leaving me for good? I sobbed and sobbed.

The next day I did not go to work. I wanted to have a good talk with my hubby and sort things out with him. I reached his office and his secretary gave me a weird look and said, ” Mr Tan’s mother had a traffic accident and is now in hospital.”

I was speechless and rushed to the hospital. By the time I found my hubby, Mother had passed away. He did not look at me; his face was expressionless. I looked at Mother’s pale and thin face and I could not control my tears. My God, how could this be happening?

Throughout the funeral, my hubby did not say a single word to me. I managed to find out brief facts about the accident from other people. That day, after Mother left the house, she walked in a daze towards the bus stop, apparently intending to go back to her old house in the countryside. As my hubby ran after her, she tried to walk faster and as she crossed the road, a bus hit her. I finally understood why my hubby must had hated me. If I had not thrown up that morning, Mother would still be alive. In my hubby’s mind, I was indirectly the killer of her mother.

My hubby moved into Mother’s room and came home every night with a strong stench of liquor on him. And I was buried under a great sense of guilt and self-pity. I wanted to explain to my hubby and tell him that we were going to have our baby soon. But each time I saw the look in his eyes, all words failed me. I rather he hit me real hard or give me a thorough scolding.

Many days of suffocating silence went by and as the days went by, my hubby came home later and later. The deadlock between us continued. We were living together like strangers who didn’t know each other. I was like a dead knot in his heart.

One day while walking past a western restaurant, I happened to glance through the glass window and saw my hubby and a girl sitting facing each other. He gently brushed some hair from her face. I understood what it meant. After recovering from that initial shock, I entered the restaurant, stood in front of my hubby and stared hard at him, not a tear in my eyes. I had nothing to say to him and there was no need to say anything. The girl looked at me, looked at my hubby, stood up and wanted to go. My hubby stretched out his hand and stopped her. He stared back at me, challenging me.That night he did not come home. He had used that as a way to tell me that following Mother’s death, his love for me had also died.

At night, he did not come home anymore after that. Sometimes when I returned home from work, I could tell that the cupboard had been touched; he had returned to take some of his stuff. I no longer wished to call him; the initial desire to explain everything to him had vanished. I lived alone. I went for my medical checks alone. My heart ached again and again every time I saw a guy lovingly helping his wife through the checkups. My colleagues hinted to me to consider aborting the baby. I told them that I would never do that. I insisted on having the baby. Perhaps it was my way of repaying Mother for causing her death.

One day, I came home and I saw hubby sitting in the living room. The whole house was filled with cigarette smoke. On the coffee table, there was this piece of paper. I know what it was all about without even looking at it. In the two months plus of living alone, I had gradually learned to find peace within myself. I looked at him, removed my hat and said: “Please wait a while. I will sign.” He looked at me with mixed feelings in his eyes, just like mine.

As I hung up my coat, I kept saying to myself ” You cannot cry, you cannot cry.” My eyes hurt terribly but I fought back all my tears. After I had hung up my coat, my hubby’s eyes stared at my bulging tummy. I smiled, walked over to the coffee table and pulled the paper towards me. Without even looking at the contents, I signed my name and pushed the paper back to my hubby.

“LD, are you pregnant?” Since Mother’s accident, this was the first time he spoke to me. I could not control my tears any further and they fell like raindrops. I said: “Yes, but it’s ok, you can leave now.” He did not go. In the dark, we sat, facing each other. My hubby slowly moved over to me. I couldnot remember how many times he repeated “sorry” to me. I had originally thought that I would forgive him, but now I couldn’t. In the western restaurant, in front of that girl, that cold look in his eyes was something that I would never forget. We had inflicted such deep scars in each other’s heart. For me, it was unintentional; for him, totally intentional.

I had been waiting for this moment of reconciliation, but now it didn’t matter anymore. Other than the thought of the baby inside me that would bring some warmth to my heart, I was totally cold towards my hubby. I no longer ate anything he bought for me. I did not accept any presents from him and I stopped talking to him. From the moment I signed on that piece of paper, love had vanished from my heart. Sometimes my hubby would try to come into the bedroom but whenever he walked in, I would walk out to the living room. He had no choice but to sleep in Mother’s room. At night, I could hear light sounds of groaning coming from his room but I ignored him. This used to be his trick. Whenever I ignored him in the past, he would fake illness and I would surrender and find out what was wrong with him. He would then grab me and laugh. His groanings came on and off but I continued to ignore him.

Almost everyday, he would buy something for the baby: infant products, toys and books for kids. Bags and bags of them piled up in his room till it was full. I know he was trying to reach out to me but I was indifferent towards his actions. He had no choice but to lock himself in his room and I could hear him typing away on his computer keyboard. I thought that maybe he was now addicted to web surfing but none of that mattered to me anymore.

One late night towards the end of spring in the following year, I screamed because of a sudden stomach pain. My hubby rushed into my room. It was like he had been waiting for this moment. He carried me and ran down the stairs, stopped a car, holding my hand very tight and kept wiping the sweat from my brow throughout the journey to the hospital. Once we reached the hospital, he carried me and hurried into the delivery suite. Lying on his warm body, a thought crossed my mind: In my lifetime, who else would love me as much as my hubby did?

He held the delivery suite door open and watched me go in; his warm eyes caused me to smile at him despite my contraction pains. Coming out of the delivery room, my hubby looked at our son and me, eyes filled with joy. I reached out and touched his hand, My hubby looked at me, smiling and then he slowly collapsed on to the floor. I cried out for him in alarm….he had a smile on his face though his eyes remained closed. I thought I would never shed any more tear for him but how wrong I was. I had never felt a deeper pain cutting through me at that moment. The doctor told me that by the time my hubby discovered that he had liver cancer, it was already in terminal stage and it was a miracle that he managed to last that long. I asked the doctor when my hubby first discovered he had cancer. The doctor told me it was about five months ago.

I disregarded the nurses’ objection and rushed home. I went to my hubby’s room and logged in to his computer. A suffocating pain hit me. My hubby’s cancer was discovered five months ago; his groaning at night were real and not fake. Stored in his computer was over two hundred thousand words he had written for our son: ” Son, just for you, I have hung on so that I can have a look at you before I fall….that is my biggest wish now. I know that in your life, you will have a lot of happiness and maybe some setbacks. How nice it would be if only I can accompany you throughout that journey? But daddy now no longer has that chance. Daddy has written inside here all the possible difficulties and problems you may encounter during your lifetime. When you meet these problems, you can refer to daddy’s suggestions. Son, after writing these words, I feel as if I have accompanied you through your life journey. To be honest, daddy is very happy. Do love your mummy. She has suffered..she is the one who loves you most and also the one who loves me most.” From play school to primary school, to secondary school, to university, to work and to even questions of love, everything big and small was written there. My hubby had also written a letter to me; ” My dear, to marry you is my biggest happiness. Forgive me for the pain I have caused you, forgive me for not telling you about my illness. I want to see you in a joyful mood awaiting the arrival of our son. My dear, if you cry, it means that you have forgiven me and I would smile. Thank you for loving me. I am afraid I won’t be able to give the presents for our son personally….please help me to give some of them to him every year on the dates written on the packages…”. When I went back to the hospital, my hubby was still in a coma. I brought our son over and placed him beside my hubby. I said: “Open your eyes and smile. I want our son to remember being in the warmth of your arms.” He struggled to open his eyes and managed a weak smile. Our son, still in my hubby’s arms, was waving his tiny hands in the air. I pressed the button on my camera and the sound of the shutter rang through the air as tears slowly rolled down my face. The person who loved me the most in this world was gone forever.

This is a true story. Please let the message sinks into your heart!

LESSON – DO NOT EVER HOLD ON TO GRUDGES AND GRIEVANCES!!!

I am totally speechless; this story brought tears to my eyes as I read through each line eager to know what would happen next. It truly reveals the devastating effects of grudges ,unforgiveness and anger! Simple humility, patience and communication would have resolved most of the problems in the above story. This story has really touched my heart and life as a whole and it has stimulated a paradigm shift. Though it is very sad, it teaches us a very important lesson on how to live a meaningful and happy life. I can consciously start trying to live a life free of grudges. Communication and forgiveness are the keys.

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Coincidentally over the last two days, I received two emails with a similar story about the atrocities of man. One was sent by Kimmy On, a friend of mine in Brunei. The other was sent to me by my brother in Kuching. Thank you to both of you! I decided to post these two stories in my blog so that more people will know about these atrocities. I pray that these killings will come to an end soon.

This was sent to me by Kimmy On.

A Letter from Seals to Mankind

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Norway and Canada have a new kind of tourism. Killing baby seals!

They call it ‘hunting’ and it’s a sport!!

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You call this a sport ??

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Does he look like a sportsman???

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Why is this going on?

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You’re our only hope !!!

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Please let it stop. This extreme barbarism should be banned in our society

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Don’t turn your back on us, we are so defenceless, please save us!

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I know these images are painful for you, but we feel the pain…!! We are being slaughtered by ruthless people and it’s going on RIGHT NOW…!!!

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What gives him the right to kill us? Who is he to decide about life and death?

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What kind of sport is this..?? I didn’t harm anyone..!!

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I was just swimming around doing nothing, now I’m dead…!!

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Please help me and my friends…!!!

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You can’t just ignore these images..!!

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Please help us…!!

Please don’t leave us alone…!!

Bring these murderers to the attention of world leaders..

Thank you…!!

STOP THE KILLING OF SEALS !

This was sent by my brother.

Why is the sea in Denmark turning red?

Why is the European Union keeping quiet about this?

Where is Green Peace?

This is happening in Denmark.

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Last night, my son Les and I attended a preview of the Robert Kiyosaki Live In Malaysia seminar that will be held in Kuala Lumpur in May this year. About 4o people were at the preview. The facilitator for the preview was Andy from Singapore who shared his life story of how a Form 5 school leaver like him whom his paternal aunties had looked down upon as someone doomed to be a failure managed to become a very successful stock options trader, trainer and speaker. The gist of his message is that to be successful, you must have a COMPELLING REASON. His compelling reason was that he wanted to make his parents proud of him despite his paternal aunties’ prejudiced opinion of him. He stressed on the vital importance of financial education, an area that has been missed out by most of us. And luck is defined as opportunity meeting preparation. True financial freedom is when you have money freedom, time freedom and lifestyle freedom. According to Andy, dreams without action is just daydreaming. And action without dreams is like a nightmare. Believe in yourself and don’t let others steal your dreams.

The preview ended at about 9.45pm.. And when we got home, we found out that there had been a power failure in our housing area since 7.30 p.m. The power failure lasted till 9.00 am this morning. We could not get a good night’s sleep due to the heat and the mosquitoes. I was also unable to post anything on my blog last night.

I got an interesting email from my eldest brother yesterday. The email contains a great story about the power of belief and I would like to share with you the story now.

Power of Belief


A businessman was deep in debt and could see no way out. Creditors were closing in on him. Suppliers weredemanding payment. Hesat on the park bench, head in hands, wondering ifanything could
save hiscompany from bankruptcy.

Suddenly an old man appeared before him.


“I can see that something is troubling you,” hesaid.


After listening to the executive’s woes, the old man said, “I believe Ican help you.”

He asked the man his name, wrote out a check, andpushed it into his
hand saying, “Take this money. Meet me here exactlyone year from today, andyou can pay me back at that time.”

Then he turned and disappeared as quickly as he had come. The business executive saw in his hand a check for $500,000, signed by John D. Rockefeller, then one of the richest man in the world.

“I can erase my money worries in an instant!”he realized.

But instead, the executive decided to put the the uncashed check in his safe. Just knowing it was there might give him the strength to work out a way to save hisbusiness, he thought.

With renewed enthusiasm, he negotiated better deals and extended terms of payment. He closed several big sales. Within a fewmonths, he was out of debt and making money once again.

Exactly one year later, he returned to the park withthe uncashed check. At the agreed-upon time, the old man appeared. But just as the executive was about to hand back the check
and share his success story, a nurse came running up and grabbed the old man.

“I’m so glad I caught him!” she cried. “I hope he hasn’t been bordering you. He is always escaping from the rest home and telling people he’s John D. Rockefeller.”

And she led the old man away by the arm.

The astonished executive just stood there, stunned. All year long he’d been wheeling and dealing, buying and selling, convinced he had half a million dollars behind him.

Suddenly, he realized that it wasn’t the money, real or imagined, that had turned his life around. It was his newfound self-confidence that gave him the power to achieve anything he went after.

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Being rich is having money, being wealthy is having time – Margaret Bonnano.

There is a glut of books on the subject of creating wealth. This subject always fascinates us as we strive to achieve the goal of financial freedom. And what is financial freedom? Someone once defined financial freedom as being able to do what our heart desires without having to worry about where the money is going to come from. It is being able to live our lives the way we want. It is about getting out of the rat race. It is about having the time and money to pursue our dreams and our purpose in life.

How does one accumulate wealth? It all seems so simple……saves a part of everything you earn and invest it. Yet the majority of us fail miserably to even make ends meet. What is wrong with us? Are we fated to be poor? Or do we lack investment skills?

I guess a lot of us want instant gratification. We know we need to save so as to accumulate wealth. But the need for instant gratification makes us lose track. We must buy that new home theater system or that new computer. We must go for that overseas holiday. Even if we don’t have the money, we can charge these purchases to our credit cards. We start getting into the habit of accumulating credit card and financial debts. Before we know it, we are literally working just to service all those debts.

The lack of patience is another factor that contributes to our financial downfall. Sticking to a plan requires a lot of patience,sacrifice and determination. We often give up when we see the slow progress that we are making towards achieving our goal. We fail to realize the magical power of compound interest. Given time and a reasonable rate of return, regular savings can grow into a huge fortune.

And yes, many also seek instant gratification when it comes to accumulating wealth. Just look at that immense popularity of lottery and gambling. We lose sense of the incredible odds that are stacked against us. Wake up, there is no free lunch!

One book that has touched the lives of a lot of people is “The Richest Man In Babylon” by George S. Clason. It has become a classic and a must-read for all who seek financial literacy.

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In a nutshell, the book spells out the following seven steps to accumulate wealth (or as the book puts it, the seven cures for a lean purse) :

Step 1: Start Your Purse To Fattening
Save at least 10% of everything you earn. A part of all you earn is yours to keep.

Step 2 : Control Your Expenditures
Budget all your expenses, making sure you do not spend more than 90% of your earnings.

Step 3 : Make Your Money Multiply
Make your savings work for you. Take advantage of opportunities.Remember the power of compound interest.

Step 4 : Guard Your Assets From Loss
Be prudent in your investments and make sure your principal is safe. Insure also your assets where possible.

Step 5 : Make Your Dwelling A Profitable Investment
Buy your own house with cash or as big a downpayment as you can. Don’t buy a house if you are going to incur a huge mortgage. You may think you are buying an asset but you are actually taking on a huge liability.

Step 6 : Insure A Future Income
Plan well in advance for the needs of you and your family. And don’t forget to insure your own life especially if you are the sole breadwinner in the family.

Step 7 : Increase Your Ability To Earn
Seek out new skills. Learn new things. Take up study courses. Increase your earning power.

The key to financial freedom is to make your savings multiply. In the words of Robert Kioyasaki, author of “Rich Dad And Poor Dad”, the poor and the middle class work for money but the rich have money working for them.The rich know how to convert their earned income , if they have it, into assets that generate passive and portfolio income.

Embark on your journey to financial freedom now. It just needs a firm determination on your part. Where the determination is, the way can be found.

“Every morning I get up and look through the Forbes list of the richest people in America. If I’m not there, I go to work.” Robert Orben

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Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect. ~Chief Seattle, 1855

It’s another Monday again. I used to get Monday blues when I was still working in the corporate world. But nowadays, Monday is like any other day to me as I now work from the comfort of my home. It is a different kind of life. It feels great to be out of the rat race. It is a joy to be able to listen to my favorite music while doing my work at home. Today I had been listening to a few CDs the whole day as I was listing my stamps for sale on Ebay. I picked out a few CDs from my large CD collection and indulged myself in the music of Norah Jones, Enya, Bob Dylan and Chris De Burgh.

I just replayed the YouTube video “The Secret- Planet Earth” that I watched last night. It is such an awesome video. The photography and the music are so beautiful and inspiring. The video shows the phenomenal beauty of our Planet Earth. It touches your spirit and makes you realise how great it is to be alive. Life is too good to miss…..life is really beautiful!

Please watch the video and let yourself be transported into a different world, a world of immense beauty and inspiration:

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As parents, we shoulder a heavy responsibility. We want to provide the best for our children but unfortunately in our quest to do so, we are often so caught up in our busyness that we fail miserably as parents. We fail to hear the cries of our children craving for a bit of quality time with us. I believe all parents are guilty of this in varying degrees and I would be the first to admit it. We really should slow down and be there for our children. Life is too short and in no time, our children will be adults. We often look back with regrets for not doing things we should have done whenour children were still young.

Last night I was having dinner with my wife and my son Les at a small restaurant. Shortly after we had ordered our food, a young couple and their little son sat in the table next to ours. I was reading the newspaper while waiting for the food to be served.

I overheard the little boy in the next table asking his dad, “Daddy, why is the man in the next table reading newspaper?” The father replied in a very patient and loving tone. “Oh, he is reading the newspaper to find out what is happenng in the world.”

Shortly after that, our food was served. I heard the little boy asking his mum, “Mummy, whyare they serving the next table and not ours?”

The mother replied in a very gentle and loving voice, “They came before us and ordered earlier than us. That is why they are being served first. We have to wait for our turn.”

I was overcome with a very warm feeling. The little boy is so lucky to have parents who are so attentive to him and take an effort to answer the seemingly naive questions of the little boy.

Read the following poem and short story and watch the YouTube video. I hope they will touch your heart and bring a whole new world in your relationship with your children.

Where Are You Daddy?

Hey daddy, I’m right here -
Can’t you see me?

Hey daddy, I’m talking to you -
Can’t you hear me?

Hey daddy, I need a hug -
Can’t you touch me?

Let’s play catch daddy.
Teach me to fish.
Help me build a birdhouse.
Listen to my wish.

Daddy, daddy, where are you?
I can see you standing there -
What’s the matter daddy?
Don’t you even care?

I need you daddy -
Don’t you love me?

Never mind daddy.
Daddy Where Are You?

Daddy Where Are You?

To A Child Love Is Spelled T-I-M-E


“Daddy, may I ask you a question?” asked the little boy.

“Yeah, sure, what is it?” replied the man.

“Daddy, how much money do you make an hour?”

“That’s none of your business! What makes you ask such a thing?” the man said angrily.

“I just want to know. Please tell me, how much do you make an hour?” pleaded the little boy.

“If you must know, I make $20 an hour.”

“Oh,” the little boy replied, head bowed. Looking up he said, “Daddy, may I borrow $10, please?”

His father was furious. “If the only reason you wanted to know how much money I make is just so you can borrow some to buy a silly toy, then you march yourself straight to your room and go to bed. Think about why you’re being so selfish. I work long, hard hours every day and don’t have time for such childish games.”

The little boy quietly went to his room and shut the door. The man sat down and started to get even madder about the little boy’s questioning. How dare he ask such questions only to try to get some money? After the man had calmed down, he started to think he may have been a little hard on his son. Maybe there was something he really needed to buy with the $10 and, besides, he really didn’t ask for money often. The man went to the boy’s room and opened the door.

“Are you asleep, son?” he asked.

“No, daddy, I’m awake, ” replied the boy.

“I have been thinking, maybe I was too hard on you earlier,” said the man. “It has been a long day and I took my aggravations out on you. Here’s the $10 you asked for.”

The little boy sat straight up, beaming. “Oh, thank you, daddy!” he yelled. Then, reaching under his pillow, he pulled out a bundle of crumpled up bills. The man, seeing the boy already had money, started to gt angry again. The little boy slowly counted his money, and then looked up at his father.

“Why did you want more money if you already had some?” the father retorted angrily.

“Because I didn’t have enough, but now I do,” the little boy replied. “Daddy, I have $20 now. Can I buy an hour of your time?”

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“The past is a place of reference, not a place of residency.” Willie Jolie

A lot of uslive in the yesterdays and worry too much about the tomorrows. We forget that we are living in the now and we let our past experience and our perception of the future govern our lives.

There is no doubt that we cannot escape our past. But we all have a chance to make our tomorrows better than our yesterdays. In order to create the future, we need to forgive the past. Acknowledge all your unpleasant experiences but park them in the past. Don’t let your present living be burdened by the garbage from your past. Forgive those who have hurt you in the past….and learn also to forgive yourself for whatever role you played in the past. Truly open your heart to forgiveness and you will be amazed at the sense of peace and calm that will flow through you.

I know of a heart-wrenching true story of the parents of someone that I know. Because of a misunderstanding, the parents stopped talking to each other and were in a cold war for more than twenty long years! Imagine living in the same house and yet treating each other like strangers for more than two decades…what a nightmare that must have been for the couple. Repeated attempts by the couple’s children to reconcile them over the years failed. After more than twenty years of this cold war, both of them developed a lot of sickness because of their pent-up bitterness. The husband was finally diagnosed with a terminal cancer with only a couple of months left to live. Their children prayed fervently to God for mercy and asked for reconciliation of their parents. They then made another attempt to reconcile their parents. Miraculously it worked. For the first time in over twenty years, their parents hugged each other with tears running down both of their cheeks. It was the most joyous day for their children. The husband passed away not long after that but there was a smile on his face as he left this world.

Focus your energy on the present and the future will start to take care of itself. This does not mean that we don’t have to do planning for the future. On the contrary, we should. Just don’t worry too much about the future. Worry is like a rocking chair…..it gets you nowhere. Don’t let negative thoughts about the future dictate your life. The more we worry about a problem, the bigger it seems to become.

Live in the now. Be in the room. I mean if you are in the room, be in the room. I know you are probably thinking that this is the silliest thing you have ever heard. . but is it?

How often do you find your mind elsewhere when you are supposed to be working on something in the work place? Are you not guilty of being preoccupied with some office or business problem when you are in the midst of a conversation with your children? How many times have your spouse told you that you are not listening when he or she is talking to you?

Test yourself with the following sentence:

OPPORTUNITYISNOWHERE

Let’s be honest now. What was your very first answer?

Opportunity is nowhere?

Isn’t that what you got?

Remember the subject matter of this article. With that in mind, read the sentence again.

What do you get now?

Opportunity is now here.

Yes, that is the correct answer in the context of this article.. Most of us will get the first answer because we do not stop and think of the subject matter of this article. We are not in the room!


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