RSS

Tag Archives: Inspiration

Nugget# 118 Life lessons from an ATM machine!

images (14)Hi friends,

Hope you are doing fine. This nugget came to me quite recently when I went to withdraw money from an ATM machine. I inserted the card and waited for further instruction so that I could complete my transaction. However, there was no response from the machine no matter how many times I tried in different ways. I then left the kiosk sadly wondering whether I had made some mistake. I returned to my car and told my father what had happened.Immediately without missing a beat,he suggested to try the other ATM bank located nearby. I was suddenly filled with new hope and walking into the kiosk entered my pin number. I was delighted to hear the instant whirring of the machine and watch the money come through in different denominations exactly as I wanted it. I collected the money and stepped out happily. Any guesses about my choice of ATM machine next time I needed one? Definitely the second choice had become my first choice in a matter of moments. Let’s see how we could apply this to our life.

1) In our journey of life , we meet different kinds of people for the first time and sometimes no matter how hard we try,we simply cannot go ahead with that relationship since there’s no proper response from the other side. Sometimes we just have to walk out without guilt or condemnation that we have not done enough to make that relationship work.

2) We should not keep ourselves so deep in thought about the previous relationship that we miss out on the better oportunities just next to us. In my experience with the ATM, deep in thought i missed noticing the nearby ATM kiosk. Fortunately , my father pointed it out to me. Sometimes in life however, there may not be anyone to point out to us and we may just miss the golden opportunity that was awaiting us. Thus, in life too we must always keep an open mind and  be optimistic so that we do not miss out on any further chances in life to accomplish our dreams.download (3)

3) The second ATM machine  not only gave me money but presented it to me in sufficient smaller denominations so that I wouldn’t have to go through the difficulty of obtaining change later on. Similarly in life , sometimes we come across people who not only accept our friendship but also go the extra mile to make sure that we too are happy in the relationship. Such friends are the best kind of friends. They are the ones we treasure the most in life.
images (15)

 

Nugget of Life : “Many people will walk in and out of your life,but only true friends will leave footprints in your heart.”- Eleanor Roosevelt

Have an awesome week,

Cheers,

Sparkylaurie

 

 

Advertisements
 
 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Nugget# 117 Life lessons from Chacha Nehru!

images (9)

Hi friends,

Hope you are fine. Today ( Nov 14th) is celebrated as Children’s Day in India. It is the birth anniversary of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru ( India’s first Prime Minister) ,more fondly called Chacha Nehru as the favorite uncle to children all across India. He often wore a rose on his jacket.Some say that he began to do so from the day a child pinned one on him.He thought of each child as a light of the future of the country.He would meet thousands of children at rallies in Delhi.He received handmade birthday cards from children in Jaipur and would send back thank you notes signed in person.Such was the love he had for children.Children’s Day continues to be celebrated to increase awareness of rights, care and education of children.It is celebrated on different dates in different parts of the world.

Pandit Nehru was a great champion for introducing the English language in schools and colleges in India.He is one of the few at that time to receive foreign education.He was also a great philosopher and writer. He once remarked,  ” Life is like a game of cards.The hand you are dealt is determinism,the way you play it is free will.”- Nehru

Just like in a game of cards,we are handed over 7- 10 cards depending on the number of players, we have no choice but to play with the cards that life has handed over to us.We cannot change it, but the choice to make the best of it and to win depends on us alone. Similarly in life, we can make the most of what life has dealt us with and with a positive attitude we can play to win.

images (12)Nugget of Life: ” What we are is God’s gift to us, what we become is our gift to God.”- Eleanor Powell

Happy Children’s Day!

Cheers,

Sparky Laurie

 

 

 

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on November 14, 2018 in LIFE LESSONS, Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , ,

Nugget# 115 Life may not always be ur checked off bucket list!

images (5)Hi friends,

Today’s post may be quite different from the usual “sparky” posts of mine, but trust me this may actually be a post that could take a huge burden off of some of us, especially those of us with a Type A  who are by nature extremely fond of their “To Do”lists and for the rest it may be a smile in the right direction.So here goes…

While there’s a real joy of having lived our life on our own terms, more often than not, life takes another turn and we find ourselves slowly pushed into another direction than we had intended. Though inconvenient , if we decide to go with the flow (rather than throw a tantrum), if we keep our eyes open, our hearts trusting & doing the best that we can, we will always attract the best.Sometimes, it may not be what we expected, but would turn out to be something much better and more relevant to our lives. I recently heard of a woman Mariah who shared her life – story confirming this.

Thus for the many of us who life hands us more lemons, instead of making the ‘prover bial’  lemonade, why not make some lemon meringue …or some lemon pickle? 😉 The moral of the story being : ‘let’s continue to make the best out of what’s handed out to us at different stages of our life.’

Isn’t this good news for the hard working soul ; who still hasn’t got her big break….. ,/for a person who has just been diagnosed with cancer & whose life ambitions have all of a  sudden been placed on hold, /for the young teenager whose life long aspirations of becoming a pilot has been cancelled because of imperfect eyesight. This post is dedicated to you friend; if you have given ur best in life and yet have been handed a bitter lemon instead of a sweet apple! What do we do ? We may have to detour for the moment, maybe even slowdown a bit…. let’s make a decision today that this is only a bump in the road and slowly but surely like the proverbial ‘tortoise’,we will reach the destination we were intended to reach, provided we never ever give up in between.images (7)

In closing , I’d like to share with you a YouTube link of Tom Bob  a genius street artist who makes beautiful cartoons on streets and walls out of old pipes and the like. Here’ s one awesome soul who wonderfully illustrates today’s nugget. Definitely worth watching!

bright-idea-smiley-emoticonNugget of Life:- “I’m going to make everything around me beautiful – that will be my life.”- Elsie de Wolfe

Have a beautiful week,

Cheers,

Sparkylaurie

 

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

Nugget#113 Life lessons from a Butterfly!

images (1).jpgHi friends,

Yesterday as I looked out of my bedroom window, I saw an enormous butterfly with black and yellow wings.It was definitely a wonderful sight to behold. I could have spent the whole morning admiring its beauty but was suddenly stopped as my new friend quickly fluttered away. 😦 That set me thinking and this nugget came to mind.After some time just as if to say “Thank you”, it came back suddenly out of nowhere and hung around for some time and then once again fluttered away!

1) Life is momentary– Life is in fact “a sequence of many moments called now.”  There is no point in crying over the past or in stressing about the future.All we have is today and that too is a gift that is why it is called ‘Present’ and so let us treasure every moment of it. Just as the butterfly was there only for some brief moments, we don’t have any guarantee about the length of our or anyone else’s life. We are here today so let’s make sure we cherish the moments we have been given today!images (2)

2)Be the best ‘YOU ‘ that you can be –   Like that beautiful butterfly that I just had a glimpse of had made such an impact on me just by its presence ; similarly our first impressions must have a powerfully positive impression on others.This can be possible every time we meet a person as long as we work with a spirit of excellence in everything we do. images (3)

3) Gratitude- If like the butterfly which came back as if to just thank me, it would be such a blessing if we would remember to thank every person who has contributed in one way or another to the progress in our life. Our aged parents or grandparents, our college / school teachers who may have had a life changing influence on us or even an author or anyone else in our life who may have inspired us greatly to become what we are today. Writing a Thank you note or posting a Thank you card /message even visiting them would bring so much joy to both our and their lives.

If a Butterfly could brighten my day, just imagine how much you and I could do to make this world a happier place to live in ! 🙂

amazing-butterfly-smiley-emoticon-animation Nugget of Life – ” You were born with the ability to change someone’s life,don’t waste it.”- Unknown author

Have a beautiful week!

Cheers,

Sparkylaurie

 

 

Tags: , , , , ,

Nugget # 111 Life Influences from the Movie ‘Front of the Class’!

Front_of_the_Class_posterHi friends,

Hope this has been a pleasant week for you. Recently, I watched ‘Front of the Class’ which is a 2008 American drama film on the life of Nationally Recognized Teacher & Motivational Speaker Brad Cohen. This Hallmark Hall of Fame movie is based on Brad’s book Front of the Class: How Tourette Syndrome Made Me the Teacher I Never Had.

This nugget is one where instead of drawing life lessons, I’d like to highlight some inspiring people from the life of Brad Cohen, who have been influential in making him the winner he is today! Brad never let his challenges with Tourette’s come in the way of achieving his dreams.

At the onset of the movie, we find the 12 year old Brad who lives (in Missouri) with his divorcee mom Ellen and kid brother Jeff; get into all kinds of trouble with his dad as well as his teachers at school because his TS tics are unfortunately misunderstood to be his antics!  He is labelled the prankster and in one rather disturbing scene in the movie, he is made by his teacher to go to the front of the class and apologize for his disturbing behavior and promise that he would never to do that again. Brad’s mum, in her quest for answers lands up in a library where she comes across Tourette’s syndrome in a medical book. Hopefully, she seeks professional advice from a Doctor who agrees on her diagnosis (on the basis of symptoms) that Brad may be having TS but informs them that TS was incurable. In an effort to find others with TS, Brad’s mother drags him into a support group. Here, he finds a sorry group of people who have accepted TS as their disability & surrendered themselves to a secondary existence, giving up any dreams of achieving success in life. The only lesson Brad learns from them is never to become victims of TS like them. award

BRAD’S MUM- WHO ALWAYS BELIEVED IN HER SON & ENCOURAGED HIM NEVER TO GIVE UP HIS DREAM OF BECOMING A TEACHER ONE DAY, Tourette’s / No Tourette’s! * [A word to Parents, never underestimate the enormous role you play in molding your children’s future.]

At the beginning of middle school, Brad gets into trouble with his TS and is sent to the principal’s office who invites him to the school concert. At the end of the concert, (which is disrupted by Brad’s TS tics), the Principal calls Brad up to the stage and asks him to talk about his Tourette’s. He addresses the crowd & explains to them how TS was a disorder of the brain & that he didn’t like making the tic sounds any more than they liked hearing them, concluding that all he wanted was to be treated like anyone else. As Brad uncertainly makes his way back to his seat after his small speech, the school applauds him. It is then that Brad realizes the power of education. At this life- changing moment, Brad decides to make teaching his career.

awardTHE PRINCIPAL OF BRAD’S MIDDLE SCHOOL – who takes the time to talk to the boy about the real purpose of EDUCATION [which is to wipe out ignorance with knowledge]; more importantly, it is Mr PRINCIPAL who encourages Brad to educate the school about TS. This encouraging & noble act of his is pivotal in opening a door to a brand new world for him. Brad made that life changing decision that day – to become the Teacher he never had– *[ A word to Teachers, never get so bogged down by the never ending pending deadlines, futile inspections and heaps of test paper books for correction, that you lose sight of  the real purpose of education.]

As an adult, living in Georgia with his friend Ron, Brad’s primary focus is to get a job as a school teacher. He is used to being asked about his pet dog when interviewers call him & hear his TS related barks. We discover his amazing winning attitude as he answers those queries with humor. However, after being rejected in 24 interviews (because of his TS),we find a rather dejected Brad lying on his couch. It is at his darkest moment that Brad’s step mom visits him. Though he is definitely not pleased to meet her initially, her parting remark that ‘he had a gift to teach, and it was not in spite of his Tourette’s, but because of it ‘ gives him the strength to dream again. award

BRAD’S STEP MOM- Even though Brad does not appreciate her visit and doesn’t even make the effort to hide it, yet I love the way this amazing woman leaves him only after throwing in a spark of hope into his otherwise dismal day!  Many a time, our well-intended acts of help may be ignored, sometimes despised. Yet, we can learn from Brad’s step mom, how to do our bit;  irrespective of the response we get and then, just as she did, leave the place a little brighter than it was before. I’m sure that Brad would agree that his step mom on that day , played a major role in encouraging him not to give up, that too just before his final interview.

Soon after this, Brad finally gets his break when he gets an interview call from a school who accepts him (TS & all) & is ready to give him a chance. On the very first day, Brad explains to the children about his constant companion Tourette. He brightens their lives by bringing joy & wonder into it. He especially impresses the terminally ill Heather & helps the problem child Thomas. His out of the box teaching techniques are frowned upon at first but later on appreciated. award

THE SCHOOL WHO GAVE HIM A CHANCE- It is the Mountain View Elementary School, Georgia who accepted Brad and saw beyond the Tourette’s – which is the only thing that the other 24 schools who had rejected him had seen. I salute the Board who gave Brad both the courage & the opportunity to prove himself. We later learn that this turns out to be the schools’ best decision as Brad goes on to win the First Year Teacher of the Year Award in the State of Georgia for their School that year.   *[A word to those in authority, to those who have the opportunity to recruit others. Has prejudice ever clouded your perceptions? Do you have the eyes to see beyond the obvious? Do you look down intimidatingly/critically at that nervous/eager interviewee across the table? Wouldn’t it be better to just cut him some slack, maybe even smile as you remember how years before someone else had sat across you from that table &  believed in you enough to give you a chance?]

As regards his social life, Brad’s estranged relationship with his dad is restored & he also starts dating Nancy, who shares similar musical interests. They hit it off from the very start. When asked about whether his TS noises bothered her, she simply says Not when I compare them to the noises other guys make. You know, like, braggers, loud-talkers, egocentric, humor– challenged idiots.  Seriously, no. Your noises don’t bother me at all.” We can’t help but feel happy for Brad who has finally found his match!

awardNANCY- It’s quite refreshing to see someone who sees beyond Brad’s tics & who hears beyond his TS noises. She doesn’t even seem to notice what is obvious to everyone else. On being questioned about this, her reply is simply so profound. *[The world would be such a better place if there were more people like Nancy who see beyond the superficiality & accept/ appreciate people for who they really are.]
BradCohenHomer-213x300

At the end of the movie, like the cherry on the cake, Brad wins the Sallie Mae First Year Teacher of the Year Award for his outstanding teaching & positive role model abilities. His other victories are his Master’s degree; fulfillment of his lifelong ambition (to be dressed up as Homer-the Atlanta Braves mascot) & marrying his sweet heart Nancy in 2006. Now that’s what I call living life king-size!

chess-smiley-emoticon

 

Nugget of Life: “Everyone, regardless of ability or disability, has strengths and weaknesses. Know what yours are. Build on your strengths and find a way around your weaknesses.” – Brad Cohen, (Front of the Class: How Tourette Syndrome Made Me the Teacher I Never Had)

Have a great week!

Cheers,

Sparky Laurie

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Nugget # 110 Life lessons from the movie Florence Foster Jenkins!

Florence_Foster_Jenkins_(film)Hi friends,

Hope you are doing fine. I just watched the biographical comedy –drama movie Florence Foster Jenkins (starring Meryl Streep & Hugh Grant) and strongly recommend it. The movie is based on the real life story of Florence Foster Jenkins, a New York heiress and socialite who founded the Verdi Club in order celebrate her passionate love for music. Though a great lover of music and even a talented child pianist who played for the President when she was a youth, Florence had to later give up her career aspirations as a pianist due to an arm injury.

St Clair Bayfield, a British Shakespearean actor is her husband & manager. The couple are very much in love but choose to live separately due to an illness (syphilis) that Florence had contracted from her first husband. According to Mr Bayfield, theirs is more a relation of the spirit. For his other needs, he has a mistress Kathleen Weatherly whom he resides with in an apartment in the city paid for by Florence.

Florence , inspired by an opera singer, has a great desire to sing. She thus resumes her singing classes with her vocal coach, Carlo Edwards (Assistant conductor at the Metropolitan Opera).  She hires a new pianist Cosme McMoon who is simply shocked when he finds out that though Florence is a terrible singer, both her coach and husband hide that fact from her and pretend that she is a wonderful singer. Bayfield goes one step further and asks McMoon to do the same.

It is indeed interesting as well as enjoyable to watch the lengths to which the loyal and loving Bayfield would go to hide the painful truth from his beloved that she just cannot sing. Towards the end of the movie, in spite of all their efforts to make sure that Florence hears only the good reviews, Florence comes to know of the negative review of her recital on reading the column by Earl Wilson in the Post. On reading it, she clutches her heart and suddenly falls unconscious. Later, on gaining consciousness, she sadly asks her dear husband who is by her bedside soothing her :”Was everyone laughing at me the whole time?” We can’t but admire his truthful and yet thoughtful reply to her question . He answers: “I was never laughing at you” and adds.. “Yours is the truest voice I have ever heard.”

Life Lesson#1 : We need to speak the truth in love-  It is necessary to soften life’s blows to hearts like Florence’s. (who is actually doing no one any harm). It is the truth that she cannot sing and everyone was laughing at her but her husband replies that he never laughed at her and that he heard in her singing the truth in her voice as she sang with all her heart. It is indeed wonderful to love someone so much to tell them the truth and yet be tactful and gentle enough not to break their heart in the process. This is a skill, which I feel if developed, would easily save a lot of marriages and probably other relationships too. 

Life Lesson#2 : Pursue your passion fervently irrespective of another’s approval – Though anyone would easily agree that the woman’s singing is indeed extremely hilarious, yet we are forced to admit that Florence passion for music is rather intoxicating. Yes, she may lack the talent but definitely not the heart for it, Florence is indeed a true lover of music. Her last few words are one that will echo in my heart forever. It is actually what really prompted me to write this Nugget.On learning the truth that she is indeed a terrible singer, she concludes chuckling… People may say I couldn’t sing, but no one can say I didn’t sing.” After a while she dies peacefully.

How many of us are willing to pursue something so passionately that even if we are laughed at, or even thought of as weird, we would rather do it? Are we ready to laugh at those who laugh at us and say like she did, they may never approve of me but at least they will not say I never did it. Though Florence could never sing like a Nightingale and win applause for her voice, yet she became a prominent musical cult figure in New York City during the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s. Cole PorterGian Carlo MenottiLily PonsSir Thomas Beecham, and other celebrities were fans. How did Florence win the hearts of so many in spite of her clear lack of singing talent? It was probably her love and courage to sing that made her win both their hearts and ours!

drawing-the-love-sign-smiley-emoticonNugget of Life: “Do what you love, and you will find the way to get it out to the world.”- Judy Collins 

Enjoy this video which pretty much sums up this nugget: https://youtu.be/3yFiqdCjNMk

 

Have a great week,

Cheers,

Sparky Laurie

 

 

 
2 Comments

Posted by on March 29, 2018 in LIFE LESSONS, Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Nugget # 109 Life lesson from breakfast!

fried-eggHi friends,

Hope you are enjoying 2018!

Many of us, (including me) have our list of New Year Resolutions ready and may already be feeling overwhelmed or defeated with one week already having passed by and not being able to do as planned. I’d just like to share something that encouraged me : I was in the kitchen making breakfast and was quickly preparing an egg. After sprinkling salt and black pepper on the yolk of the bulls eye, I was scooping the perfectly ready egg onto a plate when the egg accidentally slipped and fell onto the stove… I was surprised and irritated with myself at the same time. I dumped the perfectly cooked egg-( now a mess) into the dust bin and quickly wiped up the stove. I then got another egg and repeated the process.This time I plated it with a bit more caution. That’s when this nugget just came to me- I was reminded of how our perfectly made plans may slip and fall for no reason or fault of ours at all, and that’s alright. All we need to do, is just get rid of the mess and restart the process…. Go again!

images14

breakfast-emojiNugget of Life: “Failure is the opportunity to begin again more intelligently.”- Henry Ford

Wishing you an adventurous 2018!

Cheers,

Sparky Laurie

 

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,