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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.
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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

 

 

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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

 

 

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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

 

 

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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.]
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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!

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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

 

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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!

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

Wishing you an adventurous 2018!

Cheers,

Sparky Laurie

 

 

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Nugget# 105 Life lesson from a Computer Hang up!

computer-hang-up

Hi friends! First of all wishing you a bright & prosperous 2017! This week I would like to share a nugget that came to mind quite out of the blue! I was using my laptop when suddenly it hanged and wouldn’t respond to my inputs. Though I badly wanted to complete what I was doing, the computer page remained frozen. After trying a few more times to undo what I had done & retrieve the data, I had to give up. Nothing else could be done. The computer had to be rebooted. I had to now wait patiently as the PC shut down and restarted. This was taking more time than usual and I found myself hoping and praying that I would not have lost the data and could just resume from where I had stopped. Fortunately, after waiting for some time, I found the data and could continue my work at a quicker speed. That lit a bulb in my mind and I came up with this week’s nugget! Hope you like it 🙂

Caught up in the rat race of life, we try to do as much as we can in the time available. As a result, we end up becoming “human doings” rather than ‘human beings’. As in the case of the computer, sometimes we too need a break to unwind & reboot. Being aware of this, most of us wait for our annual leave to plan vacations & spend time relaxing but often these vacations actually end up making us more stressed/busy so that we find ourselves longing to get back to our normal routine!

As we all know, January is the best time for New Year Resolutions. Let’s try something different this year. Instead of adding more things to our ‘TO DO’ List, let’s take an inventory of our activities & then remove some things /prioritize the things that are really important. Let’s reboot our Laptop, our TV and even ourselves. It’s high time for a vacation for the Soul!

Just like my computer worked better and quicker after the reboot, I’m certain that when we are able to reboot our body, soul and spirit, our overall efficiency will definitely improve and we will begin to enjoy our life. Happy rebooting!


computer-work-smiley-emoticonNugget of Life: “Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including YOU!”- Anne Lamott

Have a refreshing week,

Cheers,

Sparky Laurie

 
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Posted by on January 8, 2017 in LIFE LESSONS, Uncategorized

 

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Nugget # 103 Life is an Acappella!

acapellaHi friends,

Hope you are doing fine. This week I’d like to share a nugget that many of us could relate to. Firstly let’s define what an acapella really is: Acapella according to Internet slang refers to “vocal music without instruments.” The first time I heard this kind of music I was flabbergasted. Since then I have been a big fan of all kinds of acapella music.

Click here to hear the first acapella song I heard. It’s made from an old Hindi film song. The song was brilliantly remade using sounds made by voice, mouth and body only. Can you imagine, there are no musical instruments used in making it! Amazing right? 🙂

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This week I’d like to share how much we too are like Acapella singers in our life as we do the many roles handed over to us- a daughter/son, a sister/bro, a spouse, a parent either by choice or chance, a homemaker / a career person, a friend, a writer, teacher, story teller, a cook, a cleaner, a singer, a believer… the list goes on endlessly…. And we can keep adding or subtracting from it. Just like how in acapella, we mainly sing vocals but simultaneously we also imitate the other instruments or sounds to give it the effect of hearing the original track , in life too we may be called to play several other roles in addition to our main role. Just like the acapella singers focus one by one on each sound and then synchronize it with the other sounds similarly we need to give our 100% dedication to each role assigned to us and do it with a spirit of excellence. Later on, we will be able to manage our time and prioritize the things according to their urgency. Sometimes we will have to postpone or even drop some activities from our list in order to live a balanced & stress-free life. Many times we may have to even sacrifice certain privileges just in order to see a smile on another’s face. At these times it may be tempting to ignore ourselves or others, the optimal method is to be able to know when and where to draw the line. Prayer & planning as well as delegation & brain storming with friends & family helps us to do this. Once we have drawn a blueprint, it is essential as far as possible to stick to it. However we need to be flexible enough to incorporate changes as we move along.

downloadThe final result will be the acapella where our different roles are played out successfully & now we can hear the lovely song played in our own unique version. Surely, there will be mixed responses and reactions to the music of our life but as long as we have tried our best and even enjoy or like what we have done, we can lean back and nod our heads to the trendy beat of the song we have always loved!

Click here to hear Pentatonix singing Mary, Did You Know?

guitar-smiley-emoticonNugget of Life: “Music speaks what cannot be expressed, soothes the mind and gives it rest. Heals the heart and makes it whole, flows from Heaven to the soul!”

Have an awesome week!

 

Cheers,

Sparky laurie

 
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Posted by on September 25, 2016 in LIfe, Uncategorized

 

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