Tuesday, August 31, 2010

2010-36 - Accepting Challenges…

Soichiro Honda was born in Yamahigashi on November 17 1906. His father, Gihei Honda, was a local blacksmith. His mother, Mika, was a weaver. The family was not wealthy, but Gihei Honda instilled into his children the ethic of hard work, and a love of mechanical things. Honda spent his early childhood helping his father, a blacksmith, with his bicycle repair business. Soichiro soon learned how to whet the blades of farm machinery, and how to make his own toys.
Honda's subsequent spirit of adventure and determination to explore the development of new technology had its roots in his childhood.
In 1938, while still in school, Soichiro Honda took everything he owned and invested it in a little workshop where he started to develop his idea of a piston ring. He wanted to sell his idea to Toyota Corporation, but was turned down by Toyota. He had to go back to school for two years as a result of his failure. With sheer persistence, after the two years Toyota gave him the contract.
As the Japanese government was preparing for war, he was not given the concrete needed to build his factory. Because of this he created his own form of concrete and managed to construct his factory. Unfortunately, his factory was burned down twice and a major portion of it was destroyed. Then, a major earthquake destroyed his factory and he finally decided to sell off his piston ring factory to Toyota. After this, he tried a few other business ventures but did not have any success.
In 1947, after the war, there was a gasoline shortage in Japan. He could not use his car, so he thought of an idea to attach a small motor to his bicycle. His neighbours were impressed with his motorized bicycle, and asked him to make one for them. He finally ran out of motors, and decided to start a factory to build his own motors.
In order to raise funds for his factory, he wrote to 18,000 bicycle owners and received 5,000 replies to provide him with the necessary capital. When the motorized bicycles were manufactured, the sales were not as expected because the motorized bicycles were too big and bulky. Later, he came up with the idea to improve the motorized bicycle, and finally introduced to the world the “Honda Cub”.
Today, Honda Corporation employs over 100,000 people in the USA and Japan, and is one of the world's largest automobile companies. Honda succeeded because one man made a truly committed decision, acted upon it, and made adjustments on a continuous basis. Failure was simply not considered a possibility.
~ Author Unknown

“Diamonds are nothing more than chunks of coal that stuck to their jobs.”
~ Malcolm Stevenson Forbes

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

2010-35 - The Piano Principle…

Imagine walking into someone's home, and finding the living room dominated by a beautiful grand piano. You ask your hosts for a recital, to which they reply that they don't play. As you run your hand over the sleek exterior of this magnificent instrument, you think to yourself, "What a shame..."
I think human beings are like grand pianos - incredible creations capable of producing wonderful music. But too often that potential goes untapped. We think that greatness is meant for someone else, that we don't have the talent (the looks, the money, the time, the breaks...) And so we live lives "of quiet desperation," occasionally entertaining thoughts of "what if...?"
What if Mozart had hidden his talent? (Or Bowie, or, moving from music, Edison or Gandhi or anyone else who has made a positive difference.) I'm not saying that everyone should feel compelled to live that big, but if one has that inkling... It seems a shame that, as Oliver Wendell Holmes said, "The average person goes to their grave with their music still in them."
Imagine a world where people felt free to share their grandest music and make a huge positive difference. Or, at the least, were free from the negativity that causes them to hurt themselves and others. Consider what would be possible. That's a future I want to help create.
~ Brad Yates

“Vision without action is a dream. Action without vision is simply passing the time. Action with Vision is making a positive difference.”
~ Joel Barker

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

2010-34 - I have a mountain to climb…

I was about to climb the mountain today. But I had so many other things to do, so instead of climbing the mountain I took care of much more important tasks. I washed my car, mowed the grass and watched the big game. Today the mountain will just have to wait.
I was going to climb the mountain today. But as I stared at the mountain in its majestic beauty, I knew I stood no chance of making it to the top, so I figured why even bother trying.
I have forgotten about climbing the mountain today; until a friend came by and asked me what I was up to lately. I told him I was thinking about climbing that mountain some day. I went on and on about how I was going to accomplish this task.
Finally, he said, "I just got back from climbing the mountain. For the longest time I told myself I was trying to climb the mountain but never made any progress. I almost let the dream of making it to the top die. I came up with every excuse of why I could not make it up the mountain, but never once did I give myself a reason why I could. One day as I stared at the mountain and pondered, I realized that if I didn't make an attempt at this dream all my dreams will eventually die."
"The next morning, I started my climb."
He continued, "It was not easy, and at times I wanted to quit. But no matter what I faced, I placed one foot in front of the other, keeping a steady pace. When the wind tried to blow me over the edge, I kept walking. When the voices inside my head screamed "stop!" I focused on my goal never letting it out of sight, and I kept moving forward. At times, I was ready to quit, but I knew I had come too far. Time and time again, I reassured myself that I was going to finish this journey. I struggled to make it to the top, but I climbed the mountain!"
"I have to be going," my friend said. "Tomorrow is a new day to accomplish more dreams. By the way, what are you going to do tomorrow?"
I looked at him, with intensity and confidence in my eyes, and said, "I have a mountain to climb."
~ Gary Barnes

“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you've imagined.”
~ Henry David Thoreau

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

2010-33 - Happiness is NOW, don't wait…

We convince ourselves that life will be better after we get married, have a baby, then another. Then we are frustrated that the kids aren't old enough and we'll be more content when they are.
After that, we're frustrated that we have teenagers to deal with. We will certainly be happy when they are out of that stage.
We tell ourselves that our life will be complete when our spouse gets his or her act together, when we get a nicer car, are we able to go on a nice vacation, or when we retire.
The truth is, there's no better time to be happy than right now. If not now, when? Your life will always be filled with challenges.
It's best to admit this to yourself and decide to be happy anyway.
Happiness is the way. So, treasure every moment that you have and treasure it more because you shared it with someone special, special enough to spend your time with... and remember that time waits for no one.
So, stop waiting…
--until you get a new car or home
--until your kids leave the house
--until you lose 10 lbs.
--until you get married
--until you get a divorce
--until you have kids
--until you retire
--until you die
There is no better time than right now to be happy.
Happiness is a journey, not a destination. So -- work like you don't need money, Love like you've never been hurt, And dance like no one's watching.
~ Crystal Lloyd

“Each morning when I open my eyes I say to myself: I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn't arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I'm going to be happy in it.”
~ Groucho Marx

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

2010-32 - On friendship…

Horror gripped the heart of the World War I soldier, as he saw his life-long friend fall in battle. Caught in a trench with continuous gunfire whizzing over his head, the soldier asked his lieutenant if he might go out into the "No Man's Land" between the trenches to bring his fallen comrade back.
"You can go," said the lieutenant, "but I don't think it will be worth it. Your friend is probably dead and you may throw your own life away."
The lieutenant's words didn't matter, and the soldier went anyway. Miraculously he managed to reach his friend, hoist him onto his shoulder, and bring him back to their company's trench. As the two of them tumbled in together to the bottom of the trench, the officer checked the wounded soldier, then looked kindly at his friend.
"I told you it wouldn't be worth it," he said. "Your friend is dead, and you are mortally wounded."
"It was worth it, though, sir," the soldier said.
"How do you mean, 'worth it'?" responded the lieutenant. "Your friend is dead!"
"Yes sir," the private answered. "But it was worth it because when I got to him, he was still alive, and I had the satisfaction of hearing him say, 'Jim, I knew you'd come.'"
Many a times in life, whether a thing is worth doing or not really depends on how you look at it. Take up all your courage and do something your heart tells you to do so that you may not regret not doing it later in life. May each and every one of you be blessed with the company of true friends.
~ Author: Unknown

“What is a friend? A single soul dwelling in two bodies.”
~ Aristotle