Saturday, February 21, 2009



“There are some defeats more triumphant than victories .”

– Michel de Montaigne

Monday, February 16, 2009


Sequel to Pause and Ponder sl no. 2

Please visit my last post first AND the comments, for reference, if you have not yet visited that.

A few days back, I received by email from my dear friend Veera, an inspirational story, which I am sharing below. I am amazed to discover how candidly and succinctly this real life story exemplifies what John Wooden might have tried to convey when he said “ Do not let what you can not do interfere with what you can do “. In fact, my own interpretation also leans heavily on this line of thinking, that advocates building on your strength and not letting your weak zone keep you blind to your strengths or too depressed to work on what you can. Most certainly, it does not say that you should not try the uncertain – that would amount to shifting the real focus of the thought from “ what you can” to “ what you can not”. It just says, do not bother too much if you can not do a few things – you still are endowed with unlimited potential and extra-ordinary talent in some other fields – try & find those out, work on those and be all that you can be, be all that you are here for !! And yes, it is most important to realize that it is not arrogance about our talents but an attitude of gratitude, which will awaken us to our true potentials through difficult times.

I am extremely thankful to my on-line friends for having pondered over this and brought out the perspectives from various angles. ( Hey, I find this way of blogging very interesting and very enriching as we get to benefit mutually when so many minds open up on a particular thought with new perspectives, newer dimensions!! Great. Further, as I am virtually hopping around now from place to place, and do not have the time for detailed posts ( I must admit, I can not write at lightening speed like some of my blogger friends do like Daphne, Middleway, Lifemadegreat etc. ); so this way, at least my blog won’t die !! Hence this PnP series. )

The Patrick Henry Hughes Story
[ Credit : Veera, my dear friend & Source of the story :]

[ “The date was July 16, 2008. It was late in the afternoon and I was sitting in my hotel room in Louisville, Kentucky. I was scheduled to speak that evening for the Kentucky Association of School Administrators (KASA). I was a little "down in the dumps." I hadn't gotten to exercise lately because of my traveling schedule and recently I'd experienced some mild bouts of vertigo (that inner ear condition that can cause the room to start spinning.) You got it...speaking and "spinning" are not good partners!My keynote presentation was scheduled for 7:00 PM, but I had been invited to show up at 6:00 to see a performance they said I'd enjoy. Little did I know that I was about to see something I would never forget.They introduced the young musician.
Welcome...Mr. Patrick Henry Hughes. He was rolled onto the stage in his wheelchair, and began to play the piano. His fingers danced across the keys as he made beautiful music. NEW RELEASE:He then began to sing as he played, and it was even more beautiful. For some reason, however, I knew that I was seeing something special. There was this aura about him that I really can't explain and the smile...his smile was magic!About ten minutes into Patrick's performance, someone came on the stage and said..."I'd like to share a 7-minute video titled, The Patrick Henry Hughes story." And the lights went dim.Patrick Henry Hughes was born with no eyes, and a tightening of the joints which left him crippled for life. However, as a child, he was fitted with artificial eyes and placed in a wheelchair. Before his first birthday, he discovered the piano. His mom said, "I could hit any note on the piano, and within one or two tries, he'd get it." By his second birthday, he was playing requests (You Are My Sunshine, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star). His father was ecstatic. "We might not play baseball, but we can play music together."Today, Patrick is a junior at the University of Louisville. His father attends classes with him and he's made nearly all A's, with the exception of 3 B's He's also a part of the 214 member marching band. You read it right...the marching band! He's a blind, wheelchair-bound trumpet player; and he and his father do it together. They attend all the band practices and the half-time performance in front of thousands. His father rolls and rotates his son around the field to the cheers of Patrick's fans. In order to attend Patrick's classes and every band practice, his father works the graveyard shift at UPS. Patrick said..."My dad's my hero."But even more than his unbelievable musical talent, it was Patrick's "attitude of gratitude" that touched my soul. On stage, between songs, he would talk to the audience about his life and about how blessed he was. He said, "God made me blind and unable to walk. BIG DEAL! He gave me the ability...the musical gifts I have...the great opportunity to meet new people." When his performance was over, Patrick and his father were on the stage together. The crowd rose to their feet and cheered for over five minutes. It gave me giant goose bumps!My life was ready to meet Patrick Henry Hughes. I needed a hero, and I found one for the ages. If I live to be a hundred, I'll never forget that night, that smile, that music, but most importantly, that wonderful "attitude of gratitude."I returned to Chicago and shared Patrick's story with my wife, my friends, and our team at Simple Truths. About two weeks later, I received a letter from a friend. He said, "Mac, I don't know who said it, but I think you'll love this quote." "Life is not about waiting for the storms to's about learning how to dance in the rain!"I thought...that's it! We all face adversity in our life. However, it's not the adversity, but how we react to it that will determine the joy and happiness in our life. During tough times, do we spend too much time feeling sorry for ourselves, or, can we, with gratitude...learn how to dance in the rain?It almost sounds too simple to feel important, but one word...gratitude, can change your attitude, thus, your life, forever. Sarah Breathnack said it best..."When we choose not to focus on what is missing from our lives but are grateful for the abundance that's present....we experience heaven on earth." ]

That’s it - do not focus too much on what is missing , what you are weak in, what you can not do …. ; Count your blessings, be grateful for what you have, what you are naturally talented in, what you can do … and give your best.

I strongly feel that if we get these perspectives clear - especially the younger generation in their formative stage- much of human despair and suffering can get converted to creative and constructive action. I love visualizing that world !!

Thursday, February 5, 2009



Do not let what you can not do interfere with what you can do . ”

John Wooden

Powerful thought , huh ??

What is your take on this ????

How often we waste our precious time, energy and resources on “fixing” or “ trying to prove otherwise” what we can not do , or to put it a little simpler, what we are naturally not wired for, in utter neglect of what we can, what we are naturally wired for ! Of course, that does not mean at all that we should be quick in quitting certain things assuming that we can not do this or do that . No, at times, we just know intuitively that we have a flair for doing certain things as against certain other things that we simply can not do to our satisfaction. And at other times, despite best of conscious & conscientious efforts, things just don’t work out giving enough indication that it’s not our cup of tea ; as against certain other things, that just come naturally to us and give us an “aha” feeling while doing them. Consciously watching out for these defining moments would have us gain insight into our true strengths and natural talents to build further on them and live a life of fulfilment. Focusing too much on our weaknesses would result in wasted opportunities for growth in our areas of strength. Wise people do not let that happen.