Stories I only tell my friends: The Power Of Belief-System

December 12, 2011


Filed under: Uncategorized — mylittleblackpen @ 12:59 pm

Knowledge helps you to reach your destination provided you know what the destination is. An ancient Indian sage was teaching his disciples the art of archery. He put a wooden bird as the target and asked them to aim at the eye of the bird. The first disciple was asked to describe what he saw. He said, “I see the trees, the branches, the leaves, the sky, the bird, and its eye.”

The sage asked this disciple to wait. Then he asked the second disciple the same question and replied, “I only see the eye of the bird.” The sage said, “Very good, and then shot.” The arrow went straight and hit the eye of the bird. What is the moral of the story? Unless we focus, we cannot achieve our goal. It is hard to focus and concentrate, but it is a skill that can be learned.

On the journey to life’s highway, keep your eyes upon the goal. Focus on the donut, not upon the hole.


keep your eyes upon the goal

On July 4, 1952, Florence Chadwick was on her way to becoming the first women to swim the Catalina Channel. She had already conquered the English Channel. The world was watching. Chadwick fought the dense fog, bone-chilling cold and many times, the sharks. She was striving to reach the shore but every time she looked through her goggles, all she could see was the dense fog. Unable to see the shore, she gave up.

Chadwick was disappointed when she found out that she was only half a mile from the coast. She quit, not because she was a quitter but because her goal was not in sight anywhere. The elements didn’t stop her. She said, “I’m not making excuses. If only I had seen the land, I could have made it.”

Two months later, she went back and swam the Catalina Channel. This time, in spite of the bad weather, she had her goal in mind and not only accomplished it but beat the men’s record by two hours.

Why are goals important?

On the best sunny day, the most powerful magnifying glass will not light paper if you keep moving the glass. But if you focus and hold it, the paper will light up. That is the power of concentration.

A man was travelling and stopped at an intersection. He asked the elderly man, “Where does this road take me?” The elderly person asked, “Where do you want to go?” The man replied, “I don’t know.” The elderly person said, “Then takes any road. What difference does it make?” How true. When we don’t know where is going, any road will take us there.

Supposing you have the football eleven enthusiastically ready to play the game, all charged up, and then someone took the goalpost away. What would happen to the game? There is nothing left. How do you keep score? How do you know you have arrived? Enthusiasm without direction is like wildfire and leads to frustration. Goal gives a sense of direction. The why do people go through life without having any goals?


People confuse goals with dreams and wishes. Dreams and wishes are nothing more than desires. Desires are weak. Desires become strong when they are supported by:

  • Direction
  • Dedication
  • Determination
  • Discipline
  • Deadlines

That is what differentiates a desire from a goal. Goals are dreams with a deadline and an action plan. Goals can be worthy or unworthy. It is passion, not wishing, that turns dreams into reality. Steps to turn a dream into reality:

  1. Have a definite, clear written goal
  2. Plan to accomplish it
  3. Read the first two twice a day

Why don’t more people set goals?

There are many reasons, including:

  1. A pessimistic attitude – Always seeing the pitfalls rather than the possibilities
  2. Fear of failure – What if I don’t make it? People feel subconsciously that if they don’t set goals and if they don’t make it, then they haven’t failed. But they are failures to begin with.
  3. A lack of ambition – This is a result of our value system and lack of desire to live a fulfilled life. Our limited thinking prevents us from progress. There was a fisherman who, every time he caught a big fish, would throw it back into the river, keeping only the smaller ones. A man watching this unusual behavior asked the fisherman why he was doing this. The fisherman replied, “Because I have a small frying pan.” Most people never make it in life because they are carrying a small frying pan. That is limited thinking.
  4. A fear of rejection – If I don’t make it, what will other people says?
  5. Procrastination – “Someday, I will set my goals.” This tie in with a lack of ambition.
  6. Low self-esteem – Because a person is not internally driven and has no inspiration.
  7. Ignorance of the important of goals – Nobody taught them and they never learned the importance of goal-setting.
  8. A lack of knowledge about goal-setting – People don’t know the mechanics of setting goals. They need a step-by-step guide so that they can follow a system.

Goal setting is a series of steps. When you buy a plane ticket, what does it say?

  • Starting point
  • Destination
  • Class of travel
  • Price
  • Starting date
  • Expiry date

If you ask most people what is their one major objective in life, they would probably give you a vague answer, such as, “I want to be successful, be happy, make a good living,” and that is it. They are all wishes and none of them are clear goals. Goals must be SMART:

  1. S – Specific. For example, “I want to lose weight.” This is wishful thinking. It becomes a goal when I pin myself down to “I will lose 10 pounds in 90 days.”
  2. M – Must be measurable. If we cannot measure it, we cannot accomplish it. Measurement is a way of monitoring our progress. For example, 10 pounds/90 days are measurement.
  3. A – Must be achievable. Achievable means that it should be out of reach enough to be challenging but it should not be out of sight, otherwise it becomes heartening.
  4. R – Realistic. A person who wants to lose 50 pounds in 30 days is being unrealistic.
  5. T – Time-bound. There should be a starting date and a finishing date.

Goals can be:

  1. Short-term – up to one year
  2. Mid-term – up to three years
  3. Long-term – up to five years

Goals can be longer than five years but then they become a purpose of life. And having a purpose is very important because without one, it is possible to develop tunnel vision, where we are only obsessed with achieving our goals. Goals are more easily achieved if they are broken into small ones. Life is hard by yard, but by the inch, it’s a cinch.

Goals must be balanced – Our life is like a wheel with six spokes.

  1. Family. Our loved ones are the reason to live and make a living.
  2. Financial. Represents our career and the things that money can buy.
  3. Physical. Our health, without which nothing makes sense.
  4. Mental. Represents knowledge and wisdom.
  5. Social. Every individual and organization has social responsibility without which society starts dying.
  6. Spiritual. Our value system represents ethics and character.

If any one of these spokes is out of line, our life goes out of balance. Take a few minutes and just think. If you had any one of the six missing, what would life be like?


In 1923, eight of the wealthiest people in the world met. Their combined wealth, it is estimated, exceeded the wealth of the government of the United State at that time. These men certainly knew how to make a living and accumulate wealth. But let’s examine what happened to them 25 years later.

  1. President of the largest steel company, Charles Schwab, lived on borrowed capital for five years before he died bankrupt.
  2. President of the largest gas company, Howard Hubson, went insane.
  3. One of the greatest commodity traders Arthur Cutton, died insolvent.
  4. President of the New York Stock Exchange, Richard Whitney, was sent to jail.
  5. A member of the President’s Cabinet, Albert Fall, was pardoned from jail to go home and die in piece.
  6. The greatest “bear” on Wall Street, Jessie Livermore, and committed suicide.
  7. President of the world’s greatest monopoly, Ivar Krueger, committed suicide.
  8. President of the Bank of International settlement, Leon Fraser, committed suicide.

What they forgot was how to make a life! It stories like this give the readers the false impression that money is the root of all evil. That is not true. Money provides food for the hungry, medicine for the sick, clothes for the needy. Money is only a medium of exchange.

We need two kinds of education. One that teaches us how to make a living and one that teaches us how to live. There are people who are so engrossed in their professional life that they neglect their family, health, and social responsibilities. If asked why they do this they would reply that they were doing it for their family. Our kids are sleeping when we leave home. They are sleeping when we come home. Twenty years later, we turn back, and they are all gone. We have no family left. That is sad.

A Little Black Pen


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