The Two Falcons

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The Two Falcons

 

Once there was a king who received a gift of two magnificent falcons from Arabia. They were peregrine falcons, the most beautiful birds he had ever seen. He gave the precious birds to his head falconer to be trained.

Months passed and one day the head falconer informed the king that though one of the falcons was flying majestically, soaring high in the sky, the other bird had not moved from its branch since the day it had arrived.

The king summoned healers and sorcerers from all the land to tend to the falcon, but no one could make the bird fly. He presented the task to the member of his court, but the next day, the king saw through the palace window that the bird had still not moved from its perch. Having tried everything else, the king thought to himself, “Maybe I need someone more familiar with the countryside to understand the nature of this problem.” So he cried out to his court, “Go and get a farmer.”

beautiful-falcon-flying-wallpaper-1502In the morning, the king was thrilled to see the falcon soaring high above the palace gardens. He said to his court, “Bring me the doer of this miracle.”

The court quickly located the farmer, who came and stood before the king. The king asked him, “How did you make the falcon fly?”

With his head bowed, the farmer said to the king, ” It was very easy, your highness. I simply cut the branch where the bird was sitting.”

We are all made to fly — to realize our incredible potential as human beings. But instead of doing that, we sit on our branches, clinging to the things that are familiar to us. The possibilities are endless, but for most of us, they remain undiscovered. We conform to the familiar, the comfortable, the mundane. So for the most part, our lives are mediocre instead of exciting, thrilling and fulfilling.

So let us learn to destroy the branch of fear we cling to and free ourselves to the glory of flight.

 

If you are feeling like the falcon and would like help in “cutting the branch”, we are here to help you! You can sign up for our “Dream Coaching” here:

http://www.thirumurdavidkiran.com/dream-coaching/

Alternatively, you can choose to attend one of our “Be the Hero” Events and learn how to take control of your life and make it a successful one.

http://www.thirumurdavidkiran.com/be-the-hero-of-your-own-story/

 

 

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One Thousand Marbles!

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Happy New Year, my dear friends all around the world. By now the dust has settled on what has been a great weekend of celebration. And why should it not have been? 2015 was a year that we all made it through. Now, you may not have had a good a year as you would have liked; and indeed, some might have had better than others. But at least you made it through the year and are here today to face 2016. That is in itself is a worthy cause of celebration.

Now that the festivities have died down and each of us are ready to go forward with the year ahead, I wanted to share this beautiful story that I came across a few days ago. It impacted my life greatly and made me make some resolutions that I will try to make last through the year.

I hope you enjoy this story as well and may it impact your life and your living in 2016. Have a wonderful week ahead and indeed, a wonderful year ahead too!

~ Thirumur David Kiran

 

One Thousand Marbles

By Jeffery Davis

You know, the older I get, the more I enjoy Sunday mornings. Perhaps it’s the quiet solitude that comes with being the first to rise, of maybe it’s the unbounded joy of not having to be at work. Either way, the first few hours of a Sunday morning are most enjoyable.

A few weeks ago, I was shuffling toward the kitchen, with a steaming cup of coffee in one hand and the morning paper in the other. What began as a typical Sunday morning turned into one of those lessons that life seems to hand you from time to time.

Let me tell you about it. Every Sunday, I listen to the radio as I read the newspaper. This particular day, as I sat down, I turned the volume up on my radio in order to listen to a Sunday morning talk show. I heard an older sounding chap with a golden voice. You know the kind, he sounded like he should be in the broadcasting business himself. He was talking about “a thousand marbles” to someone named “Tom”. I was intrigued and sat down to listen to what he had to say.

“Well, Tom, it sure sounds like you’re busy with your job. I’m sure they pay you well but it’s a shame you have to be away from home and your family so much. Hard to believe a young fellow should have to work seventy or eighty hours a week to make ends meet. Too bad you missed your daughter’s dance recital.” He paused and then continued, “Let me tell you something Tom, something that has helped me keep a good perspective on my own priorities.” And that’s when he began to explain his theory of a ‘thousand marbles.’

“I too used to be a workaholic when I was younger. Work was my life and I gave everything to it. But then something changed. You see, I sat down one day and did a little arithmetic. They say the average person lives about seventy-five years. I know, some live more and some live less, but on average, folks live about seventy-five years. Now then, I multiplied 75 times 52 and I came up with 3900 which is the number of weeks that the average person has in their entire lifetime.

“Now stick with me Tom, I’m getting to the important part. It took me until I was fifty-five years old to think about all this in any detail”, he went on, “and by that time I had lived through over twenty-eight hundred weeks. I got to thinking that if I lived to be seventy-five, I only had about a thousand of them left to enjoy. So I went to a toy store and bought every single marble they had. I ended up having to visit three toy stores to round-up 1000 marbles. I took them home and put them inside of a large, clear plastic container right here in my workshop next to the radio. Every Sunday since then, I have taken one marble out and thrown it away.

“I found that by watching the marbles diminish, I focused more on the really important things in life. There is nothing like watching your time here on this earth run out to help get your priorities straight. And get them straight I did! I now spend more time on those things that matter and do my best to make every day count!

“Now let me tell you one last thing before I sign-off with you and take my lovely wife out for breakfast. This morning, I took the very last marble out of the container. I figure if I make it until next Sunday then God has blessed me with a little extra time to be with my loved ones. But if not, then I know I can die happy, having lived a life with the right priorities. It was nice to talk to you Tom, I hope you spend more time with your loved ones, and I hope to meet you again someday. Have a good morning!”

You could have heard a pin drop when he finished. Even the show’s moderator didn’t have anything to say for a few moments. I guess he gave us all a lot to think about.—And I mean a lot!

I had planned to do some work that morning and then go to the gym. Instead, I went upstairs and woke my wife up with a kiss. “Come on honey, I’m taking you and the kids to breakfast.”

Her face beamed in the brightest smile that I’ve seen in a while! “Oh, that would be wonderful, darling! What brought this on?”

“Oh, nothing special,” I said. “It has just been a long time since we spent a Sunday together with the kids and that’s not good! I need to make spending time with you and them a priority!”

I gave her a hug and walked out of the room. As an afterthought, I stopped and turned around and called out to her, “Hey, can we stop at a toy store while we’re out? I need to buy some marbles….”

 

Roll with the Punches

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Roll with the Punches

A true-to-life tale, as told by Thirumur David Kiran

I marched down the street in a blistering rage, my anger about as dark and stormy as the winter evening sky.

I had just encountered a major setback in business and it seemed that it would cost nearly all my company’s profit for the quarter—not to mention the respect of my colleagues and family.

It was not the first time either. It seemed like every time I set out to try something new, I was getting beaten back. My business career as an entrepreneur seemed like a constant case of “two steps forward and one step back”—except those numbers seemed to be reversed more often than not. Sometimes it seemed I was taking three or four steps back. This was just another setback on that long and dreary road towards success, or so the success books and manuals would have said. At this point, however, I honestly doubted that the road was leading anywhere.

“It’s not fair!” I complained aloud. To whom my complaint was directed to, I knew not. I simply felt the need to vent. “Why this failure?! This is the end of me! I’m done! I can’t go on! I can’t take another step! I’m ruined!”

As these angry and despondent thoughts were running through my head and spilling out my lips, I happened across a building with a flashing neon sign outside, advertising a forthcoming event. Seeking distraction from my troubles and a shelter from the wintry blasts that were beginning to bite at my bones, I stepped inside.

The room was a dimly-lit one. It was an old boxing gym that appeared to have been home to many local champions of the years gone by. The gym, while small, was filled to max capacity with the local populace who had come in anticipation of the event.

The boxing ring soon came into view: the hardened floor that had seen one too many man collapse on it in exhaustion, the ringside scrubs where many a coach had either raised his arms in triumph or wrung them in shame, the ropes that many a fighter had leaned on for strength before his final burst to victory or had been pushed on to moments before his defeat.

A fight was about to begin and the gathering crowd was chattering with anticipation. Today was the big one, they said. You could almost feel the tension in the air as the crowd thronged around the ring, each hoping to get a glimpse of this historic neighborhood rivalry and at who would be the hero of it all. I felt myself being caught up in the anticipation as my eyes scanned the arena, eagerly looking for the two brave men who would soon grace the floor.

To my left in the scrubs I saw the first fighter. I will call him “Bill”. He was huge! Never before had I seen a man so worthy of praise. He looked like the embodiment of the Greek mythological god Hercules in the flesh! He stood there, tall and strong; impassive to all. It seemed that there was nothing that could cause him to fear. I mentally marked him off as the winner in my mind.

To my right, I caught a glimpse of the opponent—”Bob”. He was slightly smaller in build and in demeanor. From the looks of it, he didn’t stand a fair chance against this rock of a man that he was fated to meet. His opponent saw it and gloated in the fact, sending taunts to the man whose confidence seemed to be stripped with each verbal barb thrown in his direction.

Beside “Bob” sat his coach, an old, wizened man yet with a keen eye and sense of sharpness surrounding him. He had definitely coached many a champion to victory. He was whispering his last pep talk to his man.

“Coach,” “Bob” said in a trembling voice, “I’m scared stiff. What am I going to do out there? I’m going to get whaled!”

“Son,” the Coach began, “Just remember this: No matter what comes, no matter what that man does, no matter how hard the blows land or how numerous, roll with the punches. That is the secret, son. Take them on you like a man, roll with them and then strike back with all you’ve got in you. No matter how hard you are struck, roll with it and get up to strike again! That is what makes a champion!”

“Bob” rose with a confidence that he did not earlier possess. He strapped on his gloves and jumped into the ring with the words of his coach still ringing in his ears: “Roll with the punches.” His opponent swaggered over to him, taunting as he went. Yet nothing could undo “Bob’s” confidence.

The bell rang and the match began. “Bill” attacked first, his massive arms swaying like great oak trees. His blows came fast and hard down upon “Bob”. Yet, with each blow, “Bob”, staying true to his coach’s word, rolled with the blows and struck back. His coach was on the side, cheering him and goading him on.

Round one ended with “Bob” receiving a particularly bad patch of punishment from “Bill”, who jeered him all the way to his corner. “Bob” sat down with a sigh. “I suppose that he won that round.”

“Yes, he did,” his coach said. “But you’re going to win the fight. It may seem like you went a few steps backward, but who said you were going to win the fight in one round? It might take some time, but you will win if you don’t give up. Just keep rolling with those punches. You can do it!”

The bell sounded and “Bob” jumped back to his feet and walked back into the ring to receive another barrage of punishment from “Bill”. And he did so again for the third round, and the fourth, and the fifth. It became routine for him: get up, get hit, roll with the punch, hit back.

However, with each round, something was happening. The blows of his opponent were getting slower and softer while his were becoming more commanding.

There! “Bill” took a hard one from “Bob”. He stumbled back, momentarily stunned. Invigorated, “Bob” launched forward with a vengeance, landing a left and right again and again! His opponent tried to strike back but “Bob” just rolled with it and struck again. “Bill” hit the floor! Unbelievable! “Bob” had won it!

With a smile of joy on his face, he jumped triumphantly out of the ring and into his coach’s arms. His coach hugged him and whispered in his ear, “My son, I knew you could!” Tears streamed down the winner’s face as he embraced his coach with a triumphant smile.

As I walked away from the joyous celebration, I too had tears in my eyes. I couldn’t seem to get the Coach’s words out of my mind: “Roll with the punches.” Suddenly everything made perfect sense. That was what I was lacking. That was what I needed to help me onwards in life.

“Roll with the punches!” No matter what comes, no matter what life does to you, no matter how hard the blows of failure and defeat land or how many times or for how long, roll with the punches. That is the secret to success! Take it on you like a man, roll with them and then strike back with all you’ve got in you! No matter how hard you are struck, roll with it and get up to do your best and strike again! That is what makes a champion!

The Allegory of the Pencils

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The Allegory of the Pencils

By Thirumur David Kiran

One day, the Master Pencil Maker was busy in his workshop creating pencils. He formed, he cut, he shaped, and he colored. All of this he did with a keen sense of precision and joy, for he loved nothing more than creating pencils and seeing them put to good use in a variety of locations for a variety of purposes. Although seemingly small and insignificant, each one was important their own way. The pencil maker knew this and so he put his best efforts into creating the perfect pencils.

Once the pencils had been created, the Master Pencil Maker had one last task to complete before sending them out to take their places in the various shops, schools, business, etc. where they would be used. He gathered all the pencils together and spoke to them saying, “My dear pencils, there are a few things I need you to know before you go out to fulfill your tasks. Always remember them and you will each become the best pencils you can be.”

The pencil maker picked up one of the pencils and moved it deftly in his hand. He placed the tip of the pencil on a paper and began to write with flowing and artistic strokes. Masterfully and beautifully, his hands maneuvered the pencil over the surface of the paper, creating what was sure to be a masterpiece. When he was finished, he laid the pencil down and held up the paper for all the pencils to see. They all gasped with wonder and the beautiful picture that had been created there. Then the Master Pencil Maker said, “You see, each of you has been created for a purpose. Some of you will create masterpieces, some of you will write books, some of you will jot down information, some of you will even go on to change the course of history. However, you will only do these great things if you allow yourself to be held in someone’s hand. Without that, you won’t be able to accomplish anything.”

The pencil maker then picked up the pencil that he had just been using. He noted that the lead had become dull and pointed this out to the other pencils. The pencil with the dull lead’s face fell and he turned away, feeling embarrassed and useless, for he thought he could no longer be used in any way. The Master Pencil Maker picked him up and placed him in the sharpener and began to turn. The pencil winced from the pain and the other pencils gasped as they didn’t know what the Master was doing. Was this a punishment for the pencil for being blunt and useless? Some shrank back in fear. However, after a minute the Master Pencil Maker pulled the pencil out of the sharpener and held him up to a mirror to look at himself. The pencil gasped with wonder and joy as he saw that his tip was once again sharp and perfect for use! All the other pencils smiled as they now understood. The Pencil Maker said, “Remember, there will come times when each of you will experience a sharpening. Sometimes this sharpening might even be painful. But this is not a sign of failure or that you are useless, but this is required if you are to become better and more useful pencils.” All the pencils nodded their heads in agreement.

The Master placed the pencil down and called another one to come to his side. The pencil rushed forward in eagerness. However, in his haste, he slipped and fell over the drawing that the Master had earlier created, leaving a long black mark across it. The pencil looked at what he had done and then hung his head in shame, tears of guilt streaming down his face. But the Master Pencil Maker picked him up and wiped away his tears. He then turned the pencil over and using the eraser that was attached to the pencil he erased all traces of the mark. He then took the pencil in his hands and touched up the picture till it once more looked beautiful. The Master Pencil Maker turned to the pencils and said, “Always remember, you have the ability to correct any mistakes you might make. No matter how badly you feel you have screwed up, you can fix things.”

He then asked all the pencils to look at each other and tell him what they saw. The pencils looked around at each other and saw that each pencil was different. Some pencils were red; others were black. Some pencils were blue; others were yellow; some pencils were shiny; others were duller by comparison. Some pencils were plain; others were covered with patterns. The Master Pencil Maker explained, “All of you are different in your own ways. Even all of you who are red are different shades of red. Yet it is not the colors or the patterns that you posses on the outside that make you valuable or of worth. It is what’s inside of you that makes you valuable. All of you are the same inside, because that is how you are made. Always remember, the outside can wear out and fade, but the most important part of you will always be what’s inside.

The Master gathered up all the pencils and sorted them out to place them in their respective boxes. The pencils were all deep in thought as they tried their best to remember what they had learned. Before sealing the boxes the Master said to them, “One last thing that you must remember is this: You should always continue to write. No matter what happens, no matter what the condition, no matter how difficult it may be, you must continue to write, for that is your mission. You must always leave a clear, legible mark wherever you are, no matter how difficult the situation. That is your duty as a pencil!”

The pencils nodded with understanding and promised to remember what they had been told. They went into their respective boxes fully understanding their Maker’s purpose. They were then sent out to go and accomplish it. And through applying what they had been told, each one of them went on to become a success in their own ways. Some created masterpieces, others wrote books, others helped to store valuable information, and each one of them went on to change their world for the better in some way.

Each of us is like a pencil from this little story. And however childlike this little story may seem, there are lessons from it that we can learn. We too have been sent into the world by our Maker, and He has sent us with some instructions. Remember them, and you will become the best person that you can be!

One: You will be able to do many great things, but only if you allow yourself to be held in God’s hand.

Two: You will experience a painful sharpening from time to time, by going through various problems and difficulties, but it’s all to help you to become a stronger and better person.

Three: Never let your mistakes get you down. You have the ability to either correct your mistakes or grow through them.

Four: Everyone is different. Yet on the inside, we are all the same. By the same token, what you wear, what you look like, how you carry yourself are all of secondary importance. The most important part of you will always be what’s on the inside.

Five: On every surface you walk you must leave your mark. No matter what the situation, you should always leave a mark for good by doing the best that you can whenever and wherever you can. That is your mission. Remember, you were made to do great things!

(Excerpts of upcoming book: Allegories for Life)

The Two Wolves

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The Two Wolves 

Adapted by Thirumur David Kiran

According to Native American folklore, there was once a great a powerful chief of the Cherokee tribe. Not only was this chief a mighty and brave warrior with many exploits on the field of battle but he was also very wise. He was well known and his wisdom, his kindness, and his upright character brought him much respect from both the other Native Indians as well as the White Men.

One day when he was old, he took his grandson aside to impart some of his wisdom to him. He said: “Son, you are my grandson, and one day you will be chief. You will be chief over many lands and many people will be within your responsibility and care. Now, if you are to be a great ruler, you must first learn to be a good man.”

The grandson asked the great chief, ‘How do I become a good man, Grandfather?”

The grandfather turned his eyes towards the plain in front of him. It was twilight and the wolves had already begun their howling and baying to the moon. He turned back to face his grandson.

“My son,” the grandfather began, “to be a good man, you must win the battle within you.” The grandson looks up into his grandfather’s face, confused. His grandfather smiled and continued:

“There is a battle that rages inside of us all. It’s a battle between two wolves. One wolf—a dark one—bears everything that is evil within its breast—anger, jealousy, resentment, greed, arrogance, lying, hatred, selfishness, and so on. The other wolf—one of the light—contains everything that is good and pure. Love, joy, peace, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, empathy, generosity, compassion, truth, and faith are all found within it.”

The grandson listens in wonder at his grandfather’s tale. He thinks long and hard about those words and then asks, “Grandfather, which wolf wins?”

The grandfather smiled and wisely replied, “The one you feed.”

May you feed the right wolf. Have a wonderful week ahead!

(Originally Published in “Heart Talk,” April 2013)

Happy Mother’s Day!

A TRIBUTE TO ALL YOU MOMS OUT THERE! (And especially my wonderful mom!)

A man came home from work and found his three children outside, still in their pajamas, playing in the mud. The door of his wife’s car was open, as was the front door to the house and there was no sign of the dog.

Proceeding into the entry, he found an even bigger mess. A lamp had been knocked over. In the front room the TV was loudly blaring a cartoon channel, and the family room was covered with toys and various items of clothing.

In the kitchen, dishes filled the sink, breakfast food was spilled on the counter, the fridge door was open wide, dog food was spilled on the floor, etc.

He quickly headed up the stairs, stepping over toys and more piles of clothes, looking for his wife. He was worried she might be ill, or that something serious had happened.

He was met with a small trickle of water as it made its way out the bathroom door. As he peered inside he found wet towels, scummy soap and more toys strewn over the floor. Miles of toilet paper lay in a heap and toothpaste had been smeared over the mirror and walls.

As he rushed to the bedroom, he found his wife still curled up in the bed in her pajamas, reading a novel. She looked up at him, smiled, and asked how his day went.

He looked at her bewildered and asked, ’What happened here today?’ She again smiled and answered, ’You know every day when you come home from work and you ask me what in the world I do all day?’ ’Yes,’ was his incredulous reply.

She answered, ’Well, today I didn’t do it.’