Challenges make you stronger

Value: Positive attitude, Mental strength

Sub value: Self-confidence

There was a young boy who used to come for regular soccer practice but always played in the reserves and never made it to the soccer eleven.

While he was practicing, his father used to sit at the far end, waiting for him.

The matches had started and for four days, he didn’t show up for practice or the quarter or semifinals.

All of a sudden he showed up for the finals, went to the coach and said, “Coach, you have always kept me in the reserves and never let me play in the finals. But today, please let me play.”

The coach said, “Son, I’m sorry, I can’t let you. There are better players than you and besides, it is the finals, the reputation of the school is at stake and I cannot take a chance.”

The boy pleaded, “Coach, I promise I will not let you down. I beg of you, please let me play.” The coach had never seen the boy plead like this before.

He said, “OK, son, go, play. But remember, I am going against my better judgment and the reputation of the school is at stake. Don’t let me down.”

The game started and the boy played like a house on fire. Every time he got the ball, he shot a goal. Needless to say, he was the best player and the star of the game. His team had a spectacular win.

When the game finished, the coach went up to him and said, “Son, how could I have been so wrong in my life. I have never seen you play like this before. What happened? How did you play so well?”

The boy replied, “Coach, my father is watching me today.”

The coach turned around and looked at the place where the boy’s father used to sit. There was no one there.

He said, “Son, your father used to sit there when you came for practice, but I don’t see anyone there today.”

The boy replied, “Coach, there is something I never told you. My father was blind. Just four days ago, he died. Today is the first day he is watching me from above.”


When we take on any task with self-confidence and faith, we are sure to reach the pinnacle with victory on our side. Let us therefore be confident and have the firm conviction to  face the situations however hard they may seem to be.

The more difficulties one has to encounter, within and without, the more significant and the higher in inspiration his life will be.





Adopting positive attitude as a way of life


Value: Happiness/ positive thinking

Sub value: Perseverance, acceptance

Everyone wants to be happy in life. But no one believes that happiness is a choice. People blame all outside forces for being unhappy —relationships, fate, workplace experiences, … anything that they are not happy with.

Remember, you can either be a prey or a producer. The choice is yours. Making the choice empowers you to shift from prey mode to producer mode. Adopting positive attitude as a way of life, brings constructive changes in the way we live. We are in control of our happiness quotient by being so.

True, it’s easy said than done. If and when we really work hard on it, we can easily find something good about a situation that looked bad a while ago. Practice makes it perfect.

A little boy was heard talking to himself as he walked through the playground, carrying his cricket bat and ball: “I’m the greatest batsman in the world.”

Then he tossed the cricket ball in the air, swung at it with the bat and missed.

Undaunted, he picked up the ball, threw it into the air again, swung the bat at it, and missed again for the second time.

He did this four more times and missed all four times.


After missing the ball for the sixth time, he yelled out: “I’m the greatest bowler in the world!”

Life can be tough at times, painful at other times and testing at more times. But turning a situation to your advantage, like the little boy did, is the key. It’s certainly a state of mind well worth developing.


Happiness is a state of mind; when we accept situations with a positive attitude and persevere to move forward we can handle life better.


Every day may not be good, but there is something good in every day.


Bitter tasting sweet

yad bhavam

Value- Truth

Sub value- Optimism, good thought

Good story on ‘Yad Bhavam Tad Bhavati’ (As one thinks so they become)

In a village there lived a good-natured person named Rama, who suffered from indigestion. He took several medicines to treat this  chronic ailment, but it was useless, he couldn’t get cured. During a festive occasion in Rama’s village, a saint came to give a discourse. This saint was a highly learned man. Rama met the saint after the discourse and told him about his ailment. The saint gave him a simple cure; he asked Rama to chew some pieces of rock salt daily. On doing so for some time, Rama’s condition improved.

guru and disciple

Rama was a generous person, who  used to distribute sweets to the poor and little children, during the festivals.  On one such occasion, he went to the market to by some sweets as was his usual practice. When he tasted the sweets to be purchased; he found them to be bitter. He thought perhaps the quality of sweet was not good in that particular shop. He went to many other sweet shops to check; but everywhere he tasted, he found the sweets to be bitter.Little did he realize that this was on account of his habit of sucking the rock salt daily.

One shopkeeper who knew Rama’s habit of sucking the salt; suggested to him to wash his mouth before eating the sweet. Rama listened to the shopkeeper’s suggestion , and after doing so he tasted the sweet; to his delight found the sweetmeat was sweet indeed.


Similarly while succumbing to our bad habits, we do not gain the sweet and sanctifying fragrance from the sacred company of the divine personalities that we come across. We can get benefit from the good company only after cleansing our minds. Thoughts are very powerful. As we think so we become and attract those kind of things to us. So let us think positive and good. Let us eliminate negativity and attract goodness, happiness and peace of mind for ourselves.

Source- Adapted from Summer Showers in Brindavan-1973 discourse by Sri Sathya Sai Baba

The Black Dot

black dotValue : Optimism

Subvalue : Open minded, counting our blessings

One day, a professor entered his classroom and asked his students to prepare for a surprise test. They all waited anxiously at their desks for the exam to begin.The professor handed out the exams with the text facing down, as usual. Once he handed them all out, he asked the students to turn over the papers.To everyone’s surprise, there were no questions–just a black dot in the center of the paper.

The professor, seeing the expression on everyone’s faces, told them the following: “I want you to write about what you see there.” The students, confused, got started on the inexplicable task.At the end of the class, the professor took all the exams, and started reading each one of them out loud in front of all the students.All of them, with no exception, defined the black dot, trying to explain its position in the center of the sheet.


After all had been read, the classroom silent, the professor started to explain:“I’m not going to grade you on this, I just wanted to give you something to think about. No one wrote about the white part of the paper. Everyone focused on the black dot – and the same thing happens in our lives.

However, we insist on focusing only on the black dot – the health issues that bother us, the lack of money, the complicated relationship with a family member, the disappointment with a friend. The dark spots are very small when compared to everything we have in our lives, but they are the ones that pollute our minds. Take your the eyes away from the black dots in your lives. Enjoy each one of your blessings, each moment that life gives you


See the positives in life rather than focusing on the negatives. We limit our thinking and concentrate only on a certain thing and hence lose out the bigger picture of life. Lets se happy and live a life filled with love!”

Source : Roger Darlington Stories

Thinking “out of the box”


Value- Right attitude

Sub value- Presence of mind

Many hundreds of years ago in a small Italian town, a merchant had the misfortune of owing a large sum of money to the moneylender. The moneylender, who was old and ugly, fancied the merchant’s beautiful daughter so he proposed a bargain. He said he would forgo the merchant’s debt if he could marry the daughter. Both the merchant and his daughter were horrified by the proposal.

The moneylender told them that he would put a black pebble and a white pebble into an empty bag. The girl would then have to pick one pebble from the bag. If she picked the black pebble, she would become the moneylender’s wife and her father’s debt would be forgiven. If she picked the white pebble she need not marry him and her father’s debt would still be forgiven. But if she refused to pick a pebble, her father would be thrown into jail.

pebble 2

They were standing on a pebble strewn path in the merchant’s garden. As they talked, the moneylender bent over to pick up two pebbles. As he picked them up, the sharp-eyed girl noticed that he had picked up two black pebbles and put them into the bag. He then asked the girl to pick her pebble from the bag.

What would you have done if you were the girl? If you had to advise her, what would you have told her? Careful analysis would produce three possibilities:

  1. The girl should refuse to take a pebble.
  2. The girl should show that there were twoblack pebblesin the bag and expose the moneylender as a cheat.
  3. The girl should pick a black pebble and sacrifice herself in order to save her father from his debt and imprisonment.

The above story is used with the hope that it will make us appreciate the difference between lateral and logical thinking.The girl put her hand into the moneybag and drew out a pebble. Without looking at it, she fumbled and let it fall onto the pebble-strewn path where it immediately became lost among all the other pebbles.

“Oh, how clumsy of me,” she said. “But never mind, if you look into the bag for the one that is left, you will be able to tell which pebble I picked.” Since the remaining pebble is black, it must be assumed that she had picked the white one. And since the moneylender dared not admit his dishonesty, the girl changed what seemed an impossible situation into an advantageous one.


Most complex problems do have a solution, sometimes we have to think about them in a different way. One should have presence of mind to handle any situation. Instead of getting disturbed and vexed by a situation one must have the right attitude and a calm mind which can allow one to handle the situation cleverly and wisely.

Positives in Negatives



Value- Truth

Sub Value- Optimism

A young woman was sitting at her dining table, worried about taxes to be paid, house-work to be done and to top it all, her family was coming over for Thanksgiving the next day. She was not feeling very thankful at that time. As she turned her gaze sideways, she noticed her young daughter scribbling furiously into her notebook. My teacher asked us to write a paragraph on “Negative Thanksgiving” for homework today, said the daughter. She asked us to write down things that we are thankful for, things that make us feel not so good in the beginning, but turn out to be good after all.

With curiosity, the mother peeked into the book. This is what her daughter had written:
“I’m thankful for Final Exams, because that means school is almost over.
I’m thankful for bad-tasting medicine, because it helps me feel better.
I’m thankful for waking up to alarm clocks, because it means I’m still alive”.
It then dawned on the mother, that she had a lot of things to be thankful for!
She thought again…
She had to pay taxes but that meant she was fortunate to be employed. She had house-work to do but that meant she had her own home to live in.
She had to cook for her family for Thanks giving but that meant she had a family with whom she could celebrate.

We generally complain about the negative things in life but we fail to look at the positive side of it. Let us take out some time to look at the positives in our negatives and be grateful for what we have.



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