Stories

The Man On The Steps Of The Bankruptcy Court

Today, I’m going to tell you a story that really inspired me, made me laugh and got me personally to understand something important about wealth and more importantly, living life.

This is a story about a man who got very, VERY wealthy, he had many millions and businesses all over the place.

Then something hideous and unforeseen happened, and he lost the lot and then some and found himself in bankruptcy court.

When he came out, he had absolutely nothing left.

Coming down the steps, he spots one of the creditors and calls him over and right there on the steps, sets up his NEXT business deal!

What this guy knew was HOW TO MAKE MONEY – period. He would always make money because he knew HOW it is done. In principle.

That’s what I always wanted to know too, because if you know that, then you just can’t fail.

“It’s never about “the” money, but about how to make it.”

~SFX

And here’s our exercise.

Take 60 Seconds now to recall an inspirational story that MADE ITS MARK ON YOU like this one did on me.

Close your eyes, take a deep breath and DO IT NOW!

From:

How Ganesh Came Into Being


The legend behind the birth of Ganesha is as follows:

It is said that Goddess Parvati, before taking an elaborate bath, wanted someone to stand guard at the door.

Not finding anyone, she created the idol of a child from the sandalwood paste that she had applied on herself, and breathed life into it. She told the boy she had created not to let anyone in, and went to have her bath. When her husband, Lord Shiva came home, the child could not recognise him and refused to let him in. Shiva was furious, and severed the head of the child.

When she learnt that the child she had created was dead, Parvati was distraught and asked Shiva to revive him immediately. Shiva ordered his lieutenants to get the head of any creature that was sleeping with its head facing north. The servants returned with the head of an elephant. Shiva joined the elephant’s head to the boy’s body, and Parvati’s child lived again.

The legend also says that Shiva made the boy the leader of his armies. Hence, the name Ganesha, meaning ‘god of the army’.

If He Can – I Can

In February 2013, Faujah Sing became the oldest person to run a marathon at age 101, completing a 6.25 kilometer race in Hong Kong in one hour, 32 minutes, and 28 seconds. Astonishingly, Sing only came to racing at age 89 after losing his wife and son, but has since completed eight competitive races.

Here’s a video:

His story is as follows:

Fauja Singh was born on April 1, 1911, in the village of Beas Pind, Punjab. Young Fauja was scrawny and sick as a child, often bullied by other children who called him “danda”, Punjabi for “as thin as a stick.” Fauja did not develop the ability to walk until he was five years old. His legs were thin and weak, and he could hardly walk long distances.

He never went to school – instead, Fauja became a farmhand. Initially he would assist with odd chores like minding the cattle. But later, he began to help with tilling of the land and growing staple crops like wheat and maize.

Working hard in the fields, Fauja grew into a strapping lad, tall and handsome, his traumatic early years as a sickly thin child quickly forgotten. He’d now reached a marriageable age and his parents soon found him a suitable bride, Gian Kaur.

Fauja and Gian quickly settled into a domestic routine. Fauja worked on the farm and wife Gian Kaur managed the house. Over the years, they had six children, three boys and three girls.

The proud parents watched as the children grew up, completed their education and began looking for jobs to begin their careers. Also, now came the responsibility of getting them married. One by one the children married and/or found jobs abroad in Canada and England and left Punjab. All except one – Kuldip and his wife decided to stay back and help Fauja and Gian with the farm.

The years rolled by.

In 1992, Fauja’s wife Gian Kaur passed away. Fauja shed many tears but accepted his fate and carried on. He was 81 now, he’d come a long way.

Then, in 1994, tragedy struck again. His son Kuldip, who had been taking care of his parents all this time, was killed right in front of Fauja’s eyes in a construction accident. Fauja’s world turned upside down. His grief knew no bounds and life became empty for him thereon.

Now almost 83 and unable to bear the loss of his beloved wife and son, each day became a burden for Fauja. It was then that his children, who were by now well settled abroad, decided to bring their father to stay with them. Fauja eventually moved to London to stay with his son Sukhjinder and his family; this was in the late 1990s.

Though happy to be with his son, Fauja was still grieving inside; he just couldn’t come to terms with the loss of Kuldip, and his mind was still in India.

However, like many others his age, Fauja too may have soon come to turns with this tragedy, spent his old age with his children and died a peaceful death. But life was about to take a glorious turn for this octogenarian.

While watching television one evening, Fauja heard the anchor of a show inviting people to participate in the upcoming London marathon.

This woke Fauja up from his slumber; he was back to his childhood days when he used to run errands for the family, tearing up and down the village streets. Well, that was almost six decades or so ago; he was now 89, not a youngster by any means. Nevertheless, Fauja, who had by now taken tentative steps out of the house to enjoy an early morning jog with members of his community, decided he’d give the London marathon a try.

He, of course, had absolutely no clue what a marathon was.

Asking around, he was introduced to Harmander Singh, an athletic coach and a marathon runner himself.

Fauja explained to Harmander that he wanted to participate in the upcoming London marathon, hardly a couple of months away. Harmander is said to have shaken his head in disbelief. Fauja wouldn’t relent, he had made up his mind and nothing was going to change it. Eventually, Harmander agreed to coach Fauja.

Here is an oft-repeated anecdote from the first day of training: it is said that Fauja turned up for training in a three-piece suit. Harmander was taken aback and had to chide Fauja that this attire was not exactly suitable for running a marathon.

With coach Harmander guiding him, Fauja finally began his training in right earnest. At long last he had a new goal in life and he began to come out of his shell.

On race day of the 2000 London marathon, Fauja was one amongst the teeming tens of thousands who had turned up from around the world to participate in this prestigious event.

The race began and Fauja ran alongside his coach, Harmander Singh. Six hours and 54 minutes later, Fauja crossed the finish line – he had run 26 miles and 365 yards. At age 89, he was a marathoner, having just completed his first marathon race, the 2000 London marathon.

When asked how he managed to run the 26-mile marathon, Fauja replied: “The first 20 miles are not difficult. As for the last six miles, I run while talking to God.”

Fauja entered the London marathon again in 2001, but this time with a record at stake. He needed to beat 7 hours 52 minutes to be the fastest marathoner alive over age 90. He broke the record by 57 minutes!

When he turned 92, Fauja successfully competed in three marathons in the space of six and a half months, another remarkable record.

Fauja Singh would eventually become the oldest marathon runner, having participated in eight marathon races from 2000 to 2011.

His personal best would be achieved in the 2003 Toronto marathon in Canada, where he clocked an astonishing 5 hours 40 minutes in the 42.195 km race – a stunning record for a 92-year-old runner.

When asked about the secret of his running prowess and his longevity, Singh has said there is no secret formula: “My diet is simple — phulka, dal, green vegetables, yoghurt and milk. I take lots of water and tea with ginger. I go to bed early, taking the name of my rabba (God) as I don’t want all those negative thoughts crossing my mind.”

Source: The Better India

When Your Goal Is Impossible

When I was researching inspirational, motivational stuff to encourage us as we work on this project, I found a short article about a movie about survival, grit, determination, and a refusal to give up. It’s about a plane carrying an Uruguayan rugby team went down in the Andes mountains 38 years ago.

The film brings to life the experiences of 29 people who survived the crash and struggled to remain alive in the snow and freezing temperatures of the Andes for three interminably long months. An avalanche takes the lives of eight of them one morning. Five others die from their injuries and exposure during the ordeal. After learning by radio that efforts to find them had been called off, two of the survivors set out on an impossible odyssey to breach the Andes and send a rescue team back.

At one point during their quest one of them calls to his friend, “Come up here, man, you’ve got to see this, it’s beautiful.” The audience thinks he sees civilization. The camera pans to his view to show a nauseating infinity of snow-capped mountain peaks. No end in sight.

His friend says, “We’re going to die up here.” And the other replies, “Do you know what it is that we made it this far? It’s impossible, that’s what it is. If we’re going to die, we’re going to die walking.”

They breach the Andes. They find their way to the green valleys of Chile and make contact with the outside world. The closing scene of the film is of the survivors hearing helicopter engines and then seeing the choppers come into full view, with the two friends that saved them waving from inside.

I found the full version of the movie on YouTube, in case anyone wants to watch it. There’s also a book, it’s Miracle in the Andes by Nando Parrado.

The Original Story

This is an early version of the story that became known as The Little Engine That Could. It was published 8 April 1906 in the New York Tribune. As you can see, it has changed quite a bit over the years.

Story of the Engine that Thought It Could
by Rev. Charles S. Wing

In a certain railroad yard there stood an extremely heavy train that had to be drawn up an unusually heavy grade before it could reach its destination. The superintendent of the yard was not sure what it was best for him to do, so he went up to a large, strong engine and asked: “Can you pull that train over the hill?”

“It is a very heavy train,” responded the engine.

He then went to another great engine and asked: “Can you pull that train over the hill?”

“It is a very heavy grade,” it replied.

The superintendent was much puzzled, but he turned to still another engine that was spick and span new, and he asked it:”Can you pull that train over the hill?”

“I think I can,” responded the engine.

So the order was circulated, and the engine was started back so that it might be coupled with the train, and as it went along the rails it kept repeating to itself: “I think I can. I think I can. I think I can.”

The coupling was made and the engine began its journey, and all along the level, as it rolled toward the ascent, it kept repeating to itself: “I —think —I can. I —think —I— can. I —think— I —can.”

Then it reached the grade, but its voice could still be heard: “I think I can. I—– think—–I—–can.  I —–think—– I—– can.” Higher and higher it climbed, and its voice grew fainter and its words came slower: “I ——-think ——–I——-can.”

It was almost to the top.

“I ———think”

It was at the top.

“I ———can.”

It passed over the top of the hill and began crawling down the opposite slope.

“I ——think——- I—— can——I—– thought——I——-could I—– thought—– I—– could. I thought I could. I thought I could. I thought I could.”

And singing its triumph, it rushed on down toward the valley.

The Little Engine That Could

Because this project is based, at least in part, on this little book, I thought it would be fun to post the 1930’s version, in its entirety right here, right now.

This is what the Amazon review had to say about the book: The unknowing progenitor of a whole generation of self-help books, Wally Piper’s The Little Engine That Could is one of the greatest tales of motivation and the power of positive thinking ever told. In this well-loved classic, a little train carrying oodles of toys to all of the good boys and girls is confronted with a towering, seemingly impassable mountain.

As nicely as they ask, the toys cannot convince the Shiny New Engine or the Big Strong Engine–far too impressed with themselves–to say anything but “I can not. I can not.”

It is left up to the Little Blue Engine to overcome insurmountable odds and pull the train to the other side. The Little Engine That Could is an entertaining and inspirational favorite, and the Little Blue Engine’s rallying mantra “I think I can–I think I can” will resonate for a lifetime in the head of every child who hears it.

Here it is, the whole entire story, every page:


A Shoe Story

Here is a story about a shoe:

While boarding a moving train one day, one of Gandhi’s shoes slipped off and fell upon the track. As he was unable to retrieve it, Gandhi – to the astonishment of his fellow travelers – calmly removed his other shoe and threw it down the track to where the first had landed. “The poor man who finds the shoe lying on the track,” Gandhi explained, “will now have a pair he can use.”

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