5. Dec, 2014


       Ask and Ye Shall Be Told

My grandmother was a sweet woman and softly spoken and she used to brag about the way she spoke by saying to me in her own language thus, “Barkana, if your words are soft and sweet, they would not be as hard to take back to swallow when you have to eat them.”

My grandfather on the other hand was a practical man who believed in using his common sense. He used to tell me that you would have many decisions to make everyday in your life so it would be good to weigh all your answers against all the simple questions. He said that a handful of common sense was always worth a ton of learning.

Common sense is simple to use. Just ask yourself frequently, “Does it make good common sense?”  If it does then go and do it but on the other hand if it does not then do not do it at all. Always remember the old addage that a word to the wise is sufficient but a word to the unwise is often resented. 

Then I found out what it means when common sense says do not smoke when you are filling your gas tank or do not go through red lights or do not overeat or do not spend more than what you earn.

My father who was a simple farmer had another meaning of common sense. He said that common sense was sometimes called horse sense because at the racetrack we do not find a horse betting on how fast a jockey can run.

When I completed writing my book, “Motivation Towards 2000” where I made a few interesting remarks and observations about procrastination my wife who edited the manuscript said that there was no such thing as future decision because we only face present decisions  that would affect what would happen in the future.

She explained that since procrastinators waited for just the right moment to decide they became security seekers who were running in place, going through the motions and getting deeper in a rut. If we waited for every objection to be overcome, we would attempt nothing.  She asked me to stop stewing and start doing because she did not want me to be depressed and active at the same time.

She wanted me to change the word motivation slightly to reflect a personal commitment to take charge of the current situation and make my day as best as possible. She liked the idea of motive plus action that would equal motive-action.

I do not know why I did not take her words seriously at that time but now when I reflect on her thoughts I can not help thinking and witnessing that everybody is looking for new ways to get motivated. After my visit to Malaysia, I noticed that companies and corporations are paying sizable fees to consultants who try to make their personnel more productive and fire up their sales teams.

I was also told that when a properly motivated person thinks and says, “I am going to try it” we should take that comment seriously and work on it to turn that motivation into motive-action. If we do not then the quandary is that nothing would happen. The notion that could get us started is motive-action together with motivation.

My wife was trying to explain things to me in her usual kind words but I did not realize this until I looked at Mother Teresa’s comments, ‘kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless’.

Now I believe that it is better to ask some relevant questions than to think that we know all the answers and as an old Chinese proverb says a lot of fragrance clings to the hand that gives roses. When someone asks good questions the wise always try to give worthy answers that resemble the best roses from the garden.